Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

rating: 4 of 5 stars

This 2008 Newbery Medal winner was a delight to read. The author, Laura Amy Schlitz, is a school librarian who wrote the pieces in the book for her fifth grade students to perform. Since she couldn't write 17 equal parts of importance, most of the book is made up of poetic monologues where each student represents a different person in a Medieval village. (I have to say though, my favorite parts were the dialogues performed by two characters.) The characters range in social class from the nobility right down to the beggars.

I think this book is so fabulous because it shows students how history can really come alive. This is a librarian who went the ultimate mile in allowing students to truly experience what they were learning in a way that is meaningful and unforgettable. In addition, Schlitz includes footnotes and background explanations which are both interesting and sometimes very humorous.

Do I think it will go flying off the shelves in your local library? Probably not. But if I were a teacher studying the Middle Ages, I would use it in my lesson plans for sure. If there is a student who had an interest in Medieval times or wanted to read something a little different, I would certainly recommend it. I'll definitely be handing it to my daughter in the next year or so.  I think it's appropriate from about fourth grade on up.

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stacey @ bookthirty said...

Have I already gushed here about Schlitz's novel A Drowned Maiden's Hair? Seriously, I'm trying to spread my love around for that book! Too many people haven't heard of it, and it's a FABulous read. Ok, I'll stop blabbering now. Glad you enjoyed this one of hers!

bermudaonion said...

I love Newberry Medal winners. Thanks for the review.

Ladytink_534 said...

I had planned to read all of the Newbery award winners (and maybe some of the honors) this year but I think I've only read a few lol.