Gordon Pennington's Reviews > The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
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's review
Dec 07, 2011

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bookshelves: book-awards, chapter-book
Read in December, 2011

This book is a Newberry Award recipient. “Brat” is a girl who sleeps in a pile of dung. She has no family, friends, or place that she can call home. She does not even have a name to be called at the beginning of the story. She comes across a village and runs into Jane Sharp, the Midwife, of the town. She is starving for food and warmth so Jane Sharp decides to give her some food if she works for it. She becomes known as the “Midwife’s Apprentice” in the town as she goes and assists Jane on her jobs. She grows in skill and understanding to the point that she is called upon rather than the Midwife to birth the baby. A group of boys bully her and call her names. She eventually runs away and finds work at an inn after she failed to birth a baby. She comes back and proves she has guts and has what it takes to be a Midwife to Jane Sharp. The book is a great read for children. It can be read to learn about past societies and their characteristics. It can be read to examine the Old English style of writing. Students will also like it because it is an inspirational story. It can teach students to muster up the courage to stand up for themselves and follow their dreams, which is so important.


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