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1. Alchemy and Meggy Swann
2. Rodzina
3. Catherine, Called Birdy (rpkg)
4. The Loud Silence of Francine Green
5. The Midwife's Apprentice
6. Matilda Bone
7. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
8. Colman
9. Catherine, Lady wider Willen
10. Matilda Bone
11. Karen Cushman (Library of Author
12. Rodzina (Spanish Edition)
13. Matilda Bone.
14. Matilda huesos/ Matilda Bone (El
15. Alyce und keine andere. Sonderausgabe.
16. Rodzina
17. Die Ballade von Lucy Whipple.
18. Aprendiz De Comadrona/Midwife's
19. El Libro De Catherine (Periscopio
20. Author Talk: Conversations With

1. Alchemy and Meggy Swann
by Karen Cushman
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2010-04-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0547231849
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone  who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann.Amazon.com Review
Product Description
Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann,newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in--not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann.

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Karen Cushman, Author of Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Dear Amazon Reader,

Alchemy and Meggy Swann started, as all my books do, with a "what if?"What if there was a man who was a poisoner in Queen Elizabeth's court?Why did he do it?How did he feel about what he did?The idea of making the man an alchemist came later.What great cover, I thought, for a poisoner.So I immersed myself in the arcana of alchemy and the alchemist's search for transformation.

And then, as in all my books, the focus changed to a girl--his daughter--how she felt and what she did.Transformation?Did Meggy seek to be transformed?How and why, I wondered.And so her wabbling was born.

My husband once pointed out that The Ballad of Lucy Whipple told my own story of moving to California when I was ten, which came out in a book forty years later.The Loud Silence ofFrancine Green, and in a way, Matilda Bone, about a girl raised by a priest, and Rodzina, about a Polish girl from Chicago like me, are all my own stories. How then, I wondered recently, is Meggy's story my own?As I wondered, I took two more ibuprofen for my painful right knee.And there it was--after dealing over the past five years with my own pain and limited mobility, I gave these problems to poor Meggy.It seems I cannot write a book that does not in some way reflect me and my feelings and my life.

And just as Meggy is transformed in ways she did not anticipate, so too did my story transform into hers.She took on a life of her own, and breathed on the page.I hope you enjoy meeting her and watching her grow in strength and awareness.


Karen Cushman

(Photo © Crescent Studio, Vashon,WA)

... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Bittersweet Tale of Spunky Meggy
This book is the first-person account of Meggy, a crippled child who is sent to live with her father (the alchemist), whom she does not know and who does not really want her.She is forced to make her own way in London, faces dangers and prejudices, and ultimately finds a surrogate family where she is accepted and appreciated.I found that the semi-archaic English was difficult for my seven-year-old child to follow, even when I read it to her.The story is also pretty dark in places -- there is a murder plot, child neglect, a fire, and cruel treatment of Meggy -- simply because she is lame.Nevertheless, Meggy is spunky, finds allies, and seems to be a survivor.Though it is not a romance, there is some suggestion that Meggy and one of her friends have a special affection for each other.

Though I found the writing and period aspects of the story entertaining, the plot itself was disjoint.It seemed that the writer was not sure whether this should be astory about alchemy, murder plots, traveling play groups, or "life in Elizabethan London."I think that there are probably three or four good story lines in this book, but they do not all work together, and the plots sometimes fizzle before completion (like Meggy's nascent romance and her relationship with her rascal father).The title does not capture the storylines well; while Meggy is clearly the main character, alchemy is only one of several topics covered in the book, including poisoning, printing, nascent romance, and theater.

Given the amount of information that the author assumes that the reader has about language and history, I would recommend this book for children who are at least 11 or 12 years old.I do not think that it would hold the interest of teenagers, as Meggy is about just on the cusp of adolescence herself.

4-0 out of 5 stars Take an enthralling tour of Elizabethan London through Meggy Swan's 13-year-oldeyes as she learns who she is and who she can be.
Newbery-award winning author Karen Cushman quickly pulls us into Meggy Swann's life.A 13-year-old, rural-bred girl born with a disability, she is unwanted by both her parents and moved to "Elizabethan" London where she uses her compassion, brain, and quick wit to survive.Delivered to a small, barren January-cold room--herfather's house--he sees she is not a son, and is a cripple, and rejects her, leaving her to her misery.Determined to survive, she, with her only friend Louise, a disabled goose, enters the vile city streets in search of food.Lacking social skills, and those she does have come from living above a tavern, she cusses, curses, and spews her anger at every person she encounters.While many spat on her crippled body with fire and damnation, a few approach her with kindness.Meggy's life takes many down turns as she learns who she is and who she can be.Meggy is a delightful character and her story a pleasure to read.

Reviewed by Susan Roberts

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings about this one
While I liked the premise of the character and story line, it was darker and more depressing than I expected. The language was a little more extreme than it needed to be. It had me stopping and thinking about the insults the characters were hurling at each other, just to decipher them. My nine year old read it following me and I had to explain the story line too often. She would get confused with the language and have no idea what was going on. In the end she didn't finish the book. I found that when I finished the book I liked what Meggie had accomplished, I felt sorry for her, but I didn't feel like I knew her enough to really care about what happened to her.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not up to her usual standards
I was kind of disappointed with "Alchemy and Meggy Swann," a historical novel set in Elizabethan times. Compared to Karen Cushman's other books such as "The Midwife's Apprentice," it was not that good. I thought the plot was a bit too weird and depressing. The only character I liked was the goose, and even it had to go live with someone else.

5-0 out of 5 stars GreenBeanTeenQueen Reviews-[...]
In full disclosure, I grew up loving Ms. Cushman's Catherine Called Birdy. It's one of my favorite books from my childhood. So I'll admit I may have been pre-disposed to like this book.

I really feel that Alchemy and Meggy Swann is Ms. Cushman at her best. All the reasons I love her books are here. The historical detail she puts into her writing is superb. I really think Meggy would be a great introduction to the time period. (Meggy takes place in 1573) It's fascinating to read about Meggy's daily life and how people lived during this time.

I really loved Meggy. She was somewhat annoying at the start, but she grew on me. She is such a strong girl and I loved her comebacks-she's very funny. I don't want to give away too much, but I really liked the fact that Meggy could have been negative about everything-I wouldn't really blame her for it either. Her growth throughout is what made the book for me. I think she might rival Catherine for my favorite Cushman character!

The book has an overarching storyline, but it also has the feel of smaller vignettes in Meggy's life. It all comes together in the end and it's a treat to see how Ms. Cushman pulls it all together.

The book is somewhat heavy in historical detail and language, so it might not be an easy read for some younger tweens. But if you have historical fiction fans or readers looking to "read up," give them Alchemy and Meggy Swann. This is one treat of a book you won't want to miss.

... Read more

2. Rodzina
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-01-11)
list price: US$6.50 -- used & new: US$2.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044041993X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1881, 12-year-old Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski wishes she didn’t have to board the orphan train in Chicago. But she has no home, no family, and no choice. Rodzina doesn’t believe the orphans are on their way out West to be adopted by good families. She’s sure they will become slaves to strangers. Anyway, who would ever adopt a large, tough, stubborn girl of Polish origin? As the train heads west, all Rodzina has is a small suitcase and her family memories from the past. Will Rodzina ever step off the train to find the family that deep in her heart she’s searching for? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

Rodzina is a great book about an orphan from chicago,with heads west on a train to be givin to familys.Its a great book that has made me alot more grateful for the things i have such as a warm place to sleep,good warm food,a loving and caring family.This is a great book for old and young!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Polish Courage
How did I not know the history of the children's orphan trains in the United States? I found myself fascinated all the way through, not just with the events of this journey, but also with the delightful characters.

Rodzina Brodski, a 12-year-old Polish orphan girl from Chicago, and two dozen other children were put on an orphan train headed west in the hope that they could be adopted by good families. Not every family wants a child to love and cuddle, however. In the early 1880s, westerners were mostly hard-scrabble ranchers, farmers and miners, who needed a hard worker with a strong back, not another mouth to feed.

The story of Rodzina, as she grows from grouchy and sad to a more hopeful and independent girl is one that evolves, as she faces two women who want her for her labor, and later, a man who wants her to replace his dying wife.

This is my favorite kind of book -- spunky characters, fun to read, and along the way I learn something!
Recommended for girls 9-12 -- and I enjoyed it, too!

3-0 out of 5 stars All right
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't anything special like some of the author's other books. But I still enjoyed it on audiobook.

3-0 out of 5 stars Rodzina the Orphan
This historical nonfiction book is about a real orphan girl named Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski. She and her family were Polish immigrants.Rodzina had a mom, dad, and twin 5-year-old brothers.When she was about ten her dad died, then her mom died shortly after that. She then became an orphan at the age of twelve and had to board the first of many trains going West with a lot of other orphans.Before becoming an orphan she didn't even know what a train was!

Because she was the oldest, she had to help take care of the other kids.She was lonely and sad, but then she became friends with some of the others whose names were Lacey, Joe, and his brother Sammy.She also met a lot of other people who were traveling west on the trains.Rodzina was talking to a lady with "rosy red cheeks and red cherries on her hat.She seemed very nice."The two adults that were watching the orphans and making sure they didn't get hurt were Mr. Szprots, who wasn't very nice and Ms. Doctor, who Rodzina grew to like.

Did the tall, brave Rodzina get picked to be a daughter or didn't she?How many of the original fourteen orphans would find good homes on the train ride West?I recommend this book to people who would like to learn more about the world of a young orphan in the 1880's.I loved this book and know if you read it you will too!

4-0 out of 5 stars Rodzina Book Review

As the orphans board the train they are told they are going to be adopted by loving and caring families out west. Rodzina Brodski, in the novel Rodzina by Karen Cushman, isn't sure about this and doesn't want a new family. She is perfectly fine with her orphanage back in Chicago but is forced to move west. Along the way she meets several orphans and interesting people. Another orphan on the train named Lacey becomes very good friends with Rodzina after they end up sitting together. Another person who Rodzina meets is the lady who is in charge of the orphans named Mrs. Doctor. Later at the end of the novel Mrs. Doctor who has grown fond of Rodzina decides to have Rodzina come live with her.This book is very fascinating and with its fast paced action it will make the reader anxious to know what will happen next. This is a good novel and I would recommend it to others.

Another reason why I would recommend this book is because the characters seem very realistic. I could imagine them in the scenes of the book as I read the story. Rodzina seems like an average girl who is scared and not wanting to be part of a new family, as most orphans would be. Another example, Mrs. Doctor at first seems cruel but later find out she is kind and caring. The plot seems also very realistic because several of these events actually did happen to real orphans.

Another reason why I recommend this book is because of the creativity in the plot.This book will grab the reader's attention from the very beginning when the orphan's situations are described. The reader will have fun trying to imagine how Rodzina feels and what she is going though. It will make the reader really relieve the hardships in there lives.

As a historical fiction novel, Rodzina told about how life was in America during the late 1800's. The author used great detail to describe the country side that the train traveled though and the cities they spent time in. After reading the novel I had a much better understanding of how life was different form today. An example of this difference is how long it took them to travel from Chicago to California.

Rodzina is an excellent well written novel that I would highly recommend. Readers looking for a funny adventurous story will love this book. The reader will route for Rodzina to find a family and live happily. They will want to keep reading until they find out the great ending of who adopts Rodzina.

~C. Cirillo
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3. Catherine, Called Birdy (rpkg) (Trophy Newbery)
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 224 Pages (1995-05-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064405842
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life."

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man--any rich man, no matter how awful.

But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call--by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all.

Unfortunately, he is also the richest.

Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?

Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

1995 Newbery Honor Book
Notable Children's Books of 1995 (ALA)
1995 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1995 Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA)
1995 Teachers' Choices (IRA)
1995 IRA Distinguished Book Award for Fiction
1995 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
1994 Golden Kite Award for Fiction (SCBWI)
1995 Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts (NCTE)
1995 Notable Trade Book in the Language Arts (NCTE)
1994 Golden Kite Award for Fiction (SCBWI)
1994 "Pick of the Lists" (ALA)
Outstanding Books of 1994 for Middle School-Aged Teens (V) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (298)

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging book that will encourage children's interest in history
This is another gem that I discovered in a graduate class. Catherine, Called Birdy is a historical novel set in Medieval England in the year 1290, and is written in the form of diary entries. Catherine, who is fourteen-years-old, is the daughter of Lord Rollo and Lady Aislinn, and sister to Thomas, Edward, and Robert. She lives in a manor house, and begins the diary upon the prompting of her favorite brother Edward, who is a monk at an abbey.

The diary contains Catherine's entries of a year in her life which is filled with rich details of life in medieval England. It begins on the 19th of September, 1290 and Catherine writes on the leftover skins from the household accounts. She writes that she is the daughter of a country knight with ten servants and seventy villagers. Catherine's intense dislike of her father is evidenced throughout the diary. She also laments her situation as a girl with limited prospects. All she does on a daily basis is sew, hem, brew, nurse, and count linen, activities which she does not care for. Instead, she daydreams about going off to fight in the Crusades and lead an adventurous life, like some of her brothers and uncle Robert. She also finds herself in a predicament as her father keeps trying to marry her off to a series of incompatible suitors, finally betrothing her to a vile old man whom she calls Shaggy Beard.

Catherine is a complex and multi-dimensional character who is well-delineated. Contrary to the times she lived in, where women were considered no more than chattel to be bartered at will, Catherine is presented as a strong-willed and opinionated young woman. The feelings that Catherine expresses through her diary entries are typical for an adolescent dealing with difficult issues, and though the setting of the story is medieval England, these feelings are relevant in today's context and are feelings many adolescents will identify with.The author's writing style is witty and engaging with the main character using interesting and often funny phrases to convey how she is feeling, such as "Corpus Bones!" as an expression of frustration. Catherine is a young woman ahead of her time and a character many adolescents will relate to.

4-0 out of 5 stars intriguing period conveyed by a master children's writer
Catherine, Called Birdy is the first novel by Karen Cushman-- a now hugely popular YA novelist ( specifically in the YA genre ) who has won the Newberry. Set in the medieval time periods, Catherine is a spunky heroine who keeps an " account" of the goings-on in her quiet home and village . Although she is well and high-bred, her family's poverty asserts she marry wealthy. A score of suitors show up to court the young maiden and Catherine fights them all off... with pranks and pleas and costume changes ( such as mouse bones in her hair and blacking soot on her teeth ). It is Catherine's pursuit of her own happiness that makes this book so intriguing. Her perserverence and her refusal to marry anyone deemd unworthy sets her above the rest.

Cushman paints the medieval period without romanticism. It is grubby and gritty and dirty and crass. We see the grease, learn of the privy and hear many of the time's exclamatory remarks.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Glimpse into Life in Medieval Times
I purchased the audio tape of CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY from a library sale.It was so good I ordered the book to have when my grandchildren visit.Even as a grandmother, I thoroughly enjoyed this story.Karen Cushman, the author, has an amazing talent for creating a setting far removed from our time and customs. I felt as if I were with Catherine as she experiences growing up in the 1200s with all its angst and joys. As a former middle school drama teacher, I would highly recommend the audio version as well as the book - the narrator, Jenny Sterlin, is an excellent voice actress.Monica in Vermont

2-0 out of 5 stars Too politically correct
Listened to the CD. There were so many references to politcally correct ideas that at first I thought the author would calm down and get to the story in a realistic manner. But she does not and continues to drivel. I did get the CD's from the library and so returned if after listening to only one CD. Perhaps it did better. But it lost me.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fun book for kids
The titular Catherine (called Birdy) is a fourteen year old young lady in medieval England. Her mother is kind and softspoken, her father is a beast, one brother takes after their father and her other brother is a priest. The novel, told in journal form, starts when Birdy's brother (the priest) gives her a journal and asks her to write in it, in the hopes of helping Birdy to think, grow more introspective, and grow up a little. Then Birdy's troubles begin: her father notices she's become a young woman, and decides it's time to shop for a husband for her.

Catherine, Called Birdy was one of my favorite books as a child. It chronicles not only Birdy's attempts to foil her father's plans to (basically) auction her off, but also her life in 13th century England. ... Read more

4. The Loud Silence of Francine Green
by Karen Cushman
Mass Market Paperback: 225 Pages (2008-09-09)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375841172
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
FRANCINE GREEN’S FATHER says it’s best not to speak up or get involved. But then she meets the outspoken Sophie Bowman, a newcomer to All Saints School for Girls. The nuns dislike her friendship with Sophie, who protests injustice in and out of school. But their friendship leads Francine to thinking outside the box of her trouble-free life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Coming of Age Story
A teenager, Francine, befriends a boisterous teenager, Sophie, who does not want to conform to what everyone else wants. Francine knows that Sophie's way of asking questions and annoying others is not right, but she also realizes that the adults are not always right either. She also starts seeing that making waves is sometimes necessary in order to do what is truly right. Through the book she slowly forms her own opinions and matures.
I am not old enough to have lived through the time of the Red Scare, but mainly the book is not inaccurate from what I have read of the time. It indicates that as a teenager, Francine, is confused about communism and would like to get answers. The book does not make light of any danger that may have existed back then, it just shows the confusion of one girl. The ill-behavior of people toward a nicer older couple because of their Russian background just adds to the girl's confusion.
I enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I found this book particularly relevant for my library, which is housed within a Christian school. Children need to know that it is okay to ask questions, it is good to think for yourself, and it is not necessary to follow along blindly. A book like this makes them work out for themselves what they truly believe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Two Thumbs Up!
The Loud Silence of Francine Green is a great story about a young girl named Francine and her friend Sophie who live blocks away from the studios of Hollywood. Personally, after reading every Karen Cushman book and disliking most of them, I was hesitant to read this new one.However, I was surprised to find that this book was very detailed, descriptive and most of all interesting! The Loud Silence of Francine Green was so good that in fact I finished it in one day. At the end of the book however, I was very disappointed. Karen Cushman threw in too many events that she did not clear up and left bold questions in my mind.She also left suspense at the end of the story where there could be a sequel but it would not have a point. Although the Loud Silence of Francine Green's ending was not impressive I still thought the book a friends who live in the world of Hollywood was an excellent story and I highly recommend for the [...] age.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Loud Silence of Francine Green
Francine Green wishes she could be like the Hollywood movie stars she adores because "they always knew what to say." Francine however, never knows what to say and in Los Angeles in 1949, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. That's not to say Francine doesn't have "unplumbed depths". She has a lot on her mind, she's just learning how to put it into words, and when the appropriate time to do so is. Something her new best friend, Sophie Bowman, can't say for herself.

Sophie questions everything about the world around them from the teachings of their mean Catholic school teacher Sister Basil, to the "FBI" hunting down and questioning people based on their political beliefs. Sophie even dangerously questions the existence of God. Francine befriends Sophie when no one else will and the two form a friendship that forces Francine to search inside herself and stand up for what she believes.

Good news first. I don't know much about the 1950s. I learned some in school, I've seen films like The Majestic and Good Night and Good Luck, but upon picking up this book, when it comes to communism and the Red Scare, I was about as clueless as Francine. Ms. Cushman does as good a job as any in describing her era and painting a portrait of what life was like in Los Angeles in the 1950s. I honestly feel as if I understand what some of the people in that time period were going through after reading this and can make sense of some of their actions and fears. I did say "some" of the people though, and I'll get to that later.

The book is absolutely hilarious at times. I found myself laughing out loud quite often, like during Francine's theory on why nuns are bald, or when Francine's little brother Artie pees in her closet, or when Francine's father decides to turn Artie into a man and takes him fishing, or during Francine's mother's cemetery celebration on Mother's Day. But the book isn't all humor and it balances these scenes of comedy nicely with dark, complex scenes of Francine and her family living in fear of the world around them. Francine's father begins digging for a bomb shelter. The girls at school practice "duck and cover" drills in case a bomb is dropped. It's no wonder Francine is confused about the world she lives in.

Now the bad news. I found myself hating Sophie more and more as the book went on. Sophie is not half as clever as she thinks she is, the questions she asks are not even remotely as thought provoking as she'd like them to be, and her timing is selfishly horrible. She's a troublemaker and that's it. She's impulsive and in the worst kind of way. Sure there are some light, touching scenes that reveal there could be more to her, but in the end, there's not.

I've read some reviews that claim this book is not "preachy" (which was half the reason I decided to pick it up) and I would have to strongly disagree. I've already admitted that I have no real knowledge of the 50s and I have no strong opinions on McCarthyism, but I thought it was rather obvious that Ms. Cushman does. I feel it's this "one-sidedness" that causes this coming-of-age tale to lose most of it's appeal. For example, in a book about the effect of McCarthyism on Los Angeles residents in 1950, why does she fail to explain what communism really was? Could that discussion have been conveniently left out?

Lastly, I would strongly urge anyone wanting to read this to, or put this in the hands of a child to tread very carefully. I have no problem with Ms. Cushman's opinions or feelings on the Cold War (however you can't deny the fact that they are littered throughout the book) and I don't doubt that with careful structure, this book could provoke a great discussion about the 1950s if it's approached as a work of fiction depicting one author's point of view. What scares me is a different message lurking through the book that I think children could take away, the message that it's okay to be like Sophie. It's okay for children to ask questions, but Sophie doesn't just ask questions. Sophie provokes people for her own pleasure. I would hope that children would be able to distinguish between the way Sophie acted throughout the book with Francine's powerhouse of an ending. Francine chose an appropriate argument, with an appropriate setting, at an appropriate time. I was glad to see that she had grown from the beginning of the book and had learned from Sophie, that you don't always have to act like Sophie to stand up for what you believe in.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Cushman Book
Karen Cushman's new historical fiction book is modern compared to her other novels.The Loud Silence of Francine Green takes place in 1950's Los Angeles during the height of the Red Scare and McCarthyism.Thirteen year old Francine attends All Saints School for Girls, and is constantly being told, by her parents, her teachers, and her confessor, to keep quiet and do as she is told.On the other hand, her new best friend, Sophie, encourages her, by example, to speak out against what is wrong and to question authority.Francine is both embarrassed and inspired by Sophie's fearless antics, which often lead to Sophie's standing in the waste basket, Sister Basil's favorite form of punishment.Francine's friendship with Sophie causes her to wonder if the advice of the adults in her life to "keep quiet" and "don't get involved" is really the best advice.We see Francine mature in this book, but not too much - the scene where Francine decides to call the Pope for advice reminds us that she is very much still a child.
Cushman endows Francine with a genuine and endearing voice.It sometimes feels like Cushman is trying too hard to illustrate the effects that the fear of Communism had on people, with Francine's father building a bomb shelter in the backyard, and a family friend of Sophie's being blacklisted for his political beliefs.Altogether though, the book works, and by novels end we see a more mature Sophie that has grown in courage and self-confidence.
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5. The Midwife's Apprentice
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 128 Pages (1996-09-30)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$1.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006440630X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
‘Like Cushman’s 1995 Newbery Honor Book, Catherine, Called Birdy, this novel is about a strong young woman in medieval England who finds her own way home. This is a world, like Chaucer’s, that’s . . . dangerous, primitive and raucous. From the first page you’re caught by the spirit of the homeless, nameless waif, somewhere around 12 years old. She gets the village midwife to take her in, befriends a cat, names herself Alyce, and learns something about delivering babies. When she fails, she runs away, but she picks herself up again and returns to work and independence.’ --ALA Booklist (starred review). ‘. . .A fascinating view of a far distant time.’ -- The Horn Book (starred review)

Winner, 1996 Newbery Medal; New York Public Library 1995 List of Recommended Books; Booklist for Youth Editor’s Choice 1995; School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, 1995; An American Bookseller Association Pick of the Lists, 1995; A 1996 Notable Children’s Book (ALA); A 1996 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)Amazon.com Review
Karen Cushman likes to write with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, and her feisty female characters firmly planted in history. In TheMidwife's Apprentice, which earned the 1996 Newbery Medal, this makes awinning combination for children and adult readers alike. Like heraward-winning book Catherine, Called Birdy,the story takes place in medieval England. This time ourprotagonist is Alyce, who rises from the dung heap (literally) ofhomelessness and namelessness to find a station in life--apprentice to thecrotchety, snaggletoothed midwife Jane Sharp. On Alyce's first solo outingas a midwife, she fails to deliver. Instead of facing her ignorance, Alycechooses to run from failure--never a good choice. Disappointingly, Cushmandoes not offer any hardships or internal wrestling to warrant Alyce's finalepiphanies, and one of the book's climactic insights is when Alycediscovers that lo and behold she is actually pretty! Still, Cushman redeemsher writing, as always, with historical accuracy, saucy dialogue,fast-paced action, and plucky, original characters that older readers willeagerly devour. (Ages 12 and older) --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (145)

4-0 out of 5 stars lively historical fiction with a great female main character
Lively historical fiction featuring a plucky 14th-century urchin who prevails through grit and wit. The main character is small and weak, but she fits the criteria of a hero. Often frightened but never cowed, Alyce knows what she wants: "a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world." Only through fierce determination and innate nobility does she begin to find these things by the book's end.

The author knows that readers love stories where the little guy or gal wins. Here she invents a protagonist who has just about everything against her that could be against her. She's the lowest creature on a strictly observed social ladder: female, young, homeless, and nameless. She is called "dung beetle" or worse by everyone, is regularly kicked and slapped by her mistress, and suffers much humiliation from local hooligans.

Everybody around Alyce cheats, steals, and abuses those lower than themselves. Societal ranking ensured that everyone is superior to someone, and that someone had better watch out. But Alyce has a more compassionate heart, and when she discovers one lower than herself, a runt of a boy barely 7 years old, she becomes his protector.

Details about 14th-century birthing practices and beliefs are rendered with sharp clarity, as are those regarding food preparation. For a time Alyce works at an inn, learning myriad ways to "economize" by cheating the customers (e.g. adding sawdust to pies and water to beer). But she finds her true calling as the apprentice to the local midwife, and one does not doubt that someday she will be a formidable one herself. The author includes a helpful closing note explaining medieval midwifery practices ("a combination of common sense, herbal knowledge, and superstition").

The casual cruelty of Alyce's world makes this book inappropriate for reading aloud to young children. In one particularly disturbing scene, a cat is tied into a sack and thrown in the river by some boys. Also, Alyce is addressed with unmistakable sexual innuendo by boys and men. However, upper middle school and high school readers studying the medieval period, especially girls, would respond well to the story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good book!
I enjoyed this book very much.It's a very nice quick read for someone that likes to read, but doesn't have much free time.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Midwife's Apprentice
This book was purchased for my daughter to use in a novel study in class.It was in the condition I expected.

4-0 out of 5 stars Warm and entertaining, if predictable
The Midwife's Apprentice is a medieval coming-of-age tale, the story of a nameless girl picked up out of a dungheap by a sharp-tempered, greedy midwife. Christened Beetle by the midwife, she begins by sweeping floors and running menial errands, but begins to realize that she has more wits than the rest of the world gives her credit for. Eventually, both her knowledge and courage are put to the test when she is called upon to exercise the midwife's trade herself.

I first read The Midwife's Apprentice in about fifth grade, but never liked it as much as Catherine, Called Birdy, Karen Cushman's other medieval historical fiction. Even at that age, I found the Moral at the End of the Story a little offensively obvious. Although Cushman also falls prey to the lesson-in-your-face YA tactic in Catherine, that book's greater narrative heft makes it more forgiveable.

However, The Midwife's Apprentice is still an extremely enjoyable read. It's very effective in creating a sense of space and slowly passing time despite its slim size, and there are quite a lot of wryly funny parts that I forgot. And Cushman's attention to the details of medieval life is always extremely rewarding and fun - she creates a uniquely lively, earthy, and warm atmosphere, painting colorful pictures of village life, market fairs, and the breathtakingly detailed esoterica of the midwife's trade, which employs ingredients from crushed emeralds to murderer's wash-water. Her characters similarly have great warmth, and she effectively plays a broad emotional range over the course of the story. Overall, a very fun and feel-good read.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Quick Read
A quick read. I've been periodically reading the Newbery winners this year, and this was one I saw on the library shelves. I liked the old herbal references, and the personal journey of the young apprentice. Of course, I wanted a little bit more of everything: Character development, storyline, plot. But for juvenile fiction, it was well-done.
... Read more

6. Matilda Bone
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 176 Pages (2002-03-12)
list price: US$6.50 -- used & new: US$2.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440418224
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Orphaned Matilda is not at all pleased when she arrives at Blood and Bone Alley to become an assistant to Red Peg the Bonesetter. She is a religious, well-educated girl who can’t picture herself doing dirty chores or helping sickly patients.

Each day is very different from her former quiet life. Matilda’s not used to being around so many people who are coming and going, laughing and eating. Not one of them seems interested in prayer or study.

Self-centered Matilda thinks no one understands her. But Peg does, and gives her time to get used to this new way of life and teaches her through kindness and friendship. Matilda is as surprised as anyone when she begins seeing the world around her in a different way. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Performance
If one should really like to learn how to enjoy audiobooks, try this one.
The voice of Janet McTeer is, to my opinion, one of the very best anyway, but the way she portrays all the different characters in this story, is sublime.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book on medieval medicine
When (in Medieval England) 14-year-old Matilda is apprenticed to Red Peg, the bonesetter, she feels like a duck among chickens. Raised to read French and Latin, to pray often and mortify the flesh, she suddenly finds herself in a world where literacy is vanishingly rare and not appreciated, where prayer is ignored and the flesh taken seriously. She begins to learn that prayer and religion is not the answer, but down-to-earth action is.

This book is a marvelous window into medieval medicine (if that is not too grand of a word to use for it) and life in general. In it we meet a pompous stargazing doctor, an ill trained but capable woman physician, a leech, a near-sighted apothecary, and a host of others. The author added an interesting appendix on her research into medieval medicine, complete with a short bibliography, should you wish to read more on the subject.

I must confess myself to being somewhat uncomfortable with the author's treatment of medieval Christianity, but I do not believe that her characters acted at all out of character for medieval people. So, I do recommend this short, but fascinating book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
Great for our medival unit study. My children enjoyed listening to this book on tape. We were not disappointed at the end of this book. It is very good with details from that period.

4-0 out of 5 stars Matilda Bone By: Karen Cushman
Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman is a book full of compassion and friendship. When Matilda's father Lord'leufuerd goes to London Matilda becomes an assistant for a bone setter. Bone settters are people that can heal injured bones and Peg, Matilda's mistress teaches Matilda lots of new things. She meets new people when her father is gone and while she is with her mistress,Peg. Matilda is a selfish girl and doesnt like to be bossed around. But how long can Matilda take these orders by some bone setter?

This book has thought me a lot about friendship. Is is filled with Friendship during this book. It is very well written too.

2-0 out of 5 stars Matilda Bone review
I read Matilda bone for a class assignment for humanities. The book was about a girl named Matilda that was assigned to be an assistant to a bone setter named peg. She lives on blood and bone alley. When she arrives she doesn't know anything that's going on around her.After a while she gets to know the people and her boss peg. And life goes by easily after that

I gave the book a two and a halve because to me it had lots of detail but also lots of small problems, I prefer to read about one big problem otherwise the book doesn't interest me. I'd probably recommend this book to someone who likes medieval problems and how they solved it then.
... Read more

7. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
by Karen Cushman
Kindle Edition: 208 Pages (1996-08-16)
list price: US$16.00
Asin: B003KK5DTA
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

In 1849 a twelve-year-old girl who calls herself Lucy is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a small California mining town. There Lucy helps run a boarding house and looks for comfort in books while trying to find a way to return "home."
Amazon.com Review
When California Morning Whipple's widowed mother uprootsher family from their comfortable Massachusetts environs and moves themto a rough mining camp called Lucky Diggins in the Sierras, California Morningresents the upheaval.Desperately wanting tocontrol something in her own life, she decides to be called Lucy, and asLucy she grows and changes in her strange and challenging newenvironment. Here Karen Cushman helps the American Gold Rushspring to colorful life, just as she did for medieval England inher previous two books, Catherine, Called Birdy and TheMidwife's Apprentice, which won Newbery Honor status and a Newbery Medalrespectively. For ages 8-12. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (52)

4-0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good read
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple is an enjoyable story of a teen girl trying to find her place in the world during the Gold Rush time period. I was pleasently surprised by this charming little book. Its not a typical Karen Cushman, which I am extremely happy about. A good book overall...

1-0 out of 5 stars Looks good at the beginning. . .dissapointing read
I bought this book at a used book sale, having never read it beforehand. At first, it looked like a really good story, but as I read it further, it became more and more dissapointing with every page. While the descriptions of an 1840s California mining town are excellent, there isn't much else to praise about this book.
First of all are the kids'names, especially that of the main character, Lucy, whose real name is California Morning Whipple. No wonder she wanted to change her name -- California Morning Whipple sounds like some kind of a dessert. Her sibling's names -- Butte, Prairie, Sierra and Ocean, seem just as odd for the time frame in which the story is set.
Mrs. Whipple, unfortunately, comes off as a rather unlikeable character -- a stubborn, somewhat self-centered widow who drags her kids away from their comfortable, familiar Massachussets town and into a rough mining camp where there are no schools, libraries, or even other kids to play with. She's very hard on Lucy, annoyed by her daughter's constant reading, and she is rather unsympathetic about Lucy's homesickness. She also seems to have no apparent concerns over letting strange, rough men sleep in the same quarters as her kids - apparently, nobody worried about child molesters in those days.
Butte's fascination with collecting different words for liquor is also a bad idea in a book geared toward impressionable young readers -- it makes alcohol seem very appealing to kids. And the ending, too, is dissapointing. Throughout almost the whole book, you hear Lucy saying how badly she wants to return home to Massachussets, so much so that you want to see her get her wish. Then, just as it's about to happen, she decides that home is California, after all, and she stays put. Then, in a letter to her mother (who has remarried and moved to the Sandwich Islands with the rest of the family)Lucy says that home is where her family is, but she makes no effort, or shows no desire to rejoin them. Instead, she remains in California, by her own choice, and becomes a librarian.
While in some stories the "I-really-want-to-go-home-but-after-I've-been-here-for-a-while-I've-decided-that-I-really-am-home" plot works well for some stories, it failed miserably in this one. For the above reasons, I give this book one star.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Misery of The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
I only completed four pages and I did not like this book. I thought this book is boring.Anyways, the book is inaccurate. A women during this period of time would not go all the way to California without a man, and East coast people were consider the proper folks of the day and would not have spoke in slang! The most inaccurate thing of all are the character's names. The people on the East coast would have never dreamed of naming there kids California, Butte, Prairie, Sierra, Golden Promise, and Ocean. Besides, the Prairie is in the midwest, the ocean has nothing to do with the west ( with the exception of the Pacific Ocean), and the Sierra Desert was not known about back than!These sound like Native American names, not proper English names.
This book could have been a success. I read Karen Cushman'sbackground and it seems like she is trying to interest children in history. I think if she wants do that she should at least put accurate information in her books! I have read The Mid-Wife's Apprentice also by Karen Cushman, I thought that was much more accurate than this book. If Karen would have kept this book a little more true to history and geography it would be more enjoyable. You would not sit and worry about what is realistic and what is not. If you look at the copy write date it is 1996. I am guessing there are lots of books with the same plot. A girl who is almost a teenager crosses the United States because her parents want to search for gold in California and the girl doesn't want to leave her friends and family and move. If she would have changed this very popular unoriginal plot I think more children would have enjoyed it. I know I would and many of my friends would have been more likely to read a book with an original plot than a book with stale, boring plot.

This is Karen Cushman's worst work. I highly recommend save your money for something other book. Trust me, this book is a waste of paper and ink!

5-0 out of 5 stars COULDNT STOP READING IT!!!!
Great book, a lot of similes, descriptions. You really see the characters and what they are doing in your head. Not difficult to read. I cant say any more but PERFECT!!!
I hope this review will be useful to you, and


4-0 out of 5 stars Walking Lucy's path
I think that "The Ballad of Lucy Whipple" is a very good book because of how clearly the author shows Lucy's personality within the book. Such as when Lucy states "Mama, that gold you claimed is lying in the fields around here must be hidden by all the lizards, dead leaves, and mule droppings, for I can't see a thing worth picking up and taking home." Lucy hates California at first, until she understands the true beauty of it at the end of the book.

I also enjoyed how the story sucks you into a whirlepool of adventure and another world so that you can put yourself in Lucy's shoes and walk her path in the story. Like when the author writes, "Small tents, shacks, and brush-covered lean-tos huddled along one bank of the river." and
"The air, heavy with heaty and dust, burned my nose and stung my eyes."

I recommend this book to people who love adventure, a little humor, and who aren't afraid of history. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple makes you laugh when you least expect it and gives you a taste of gold rush life. ... Read more

8. Colman
by Monica Furlong
Mass Market Paperback: 288 Pages (2005-02-22)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$44.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375815155
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Set in very early Christian times, Colman is a spellbinding fantasy of a faraway age, when the mystical and the commonplace walked hand in hand. The healer, Juniper, and her apprentice, Wise Child, are accused of witchcraft and forced to flee their small town. Wise Child’s devoted cousin, Colman, escapes with them. This is his story of their arrival to the land of Juniper’s birth, where she is, in fact, a princess.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars "Who wrote this book?!!"

I as well, have a hard time believing Monica Furlong wrote this book. The characters are not the same... Euny didn't have moments of cheerfulness and affection before this book. She's suppose to be tough and ornery which is what made her such a great character. Juniper didn't act helpless and confused and feel sorry for herself about things. In the last pages of Wise Child, it says that's the first time Wise Child truly knew she'd become a doran, but in "Colman" she doubts herself all over again. It's like no one even read the first two books before writing this.


And they way the fixed Cormac's face within the last paragraph of the book was just a joke. If it was that easy, why didn't they help him years before. I really felt it was a rushed "Everyone lives happily ever after" ending.

It just doesn't have the same feel as the first two books and doesn't keep true to the story. I hate to say it, but I wish they would've just left Juniper and Wise Child to stand on their own and not have tried to complete the series with this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Weak, not as good as Wise Child and Juniper
I did enjoy this book a bit, simply because it was the sequel to Wise Child. I've been hunting for this book for so long, and am so pleased i was able to find it.

That said, the magic of the previous two books seem to be missing from Colman. I don't know if it's because the narrator is a boy this time, or what.

Colman is Wise Child's cousin and best friend. After they flee the village where Juniper was on trial as a witch, Juniper and the children sail to Juniper's home, Castle Dore. But sadly, all is not well. Juniper's parents are dead, and her brother Brangwyn(heir to the kingdom) spirited away by Meroot and The Gray Knight. Meroot is Juniper's Aunt, and has coveted the throne for years.

Now they must find a way to save Brangwyn and restore him to Castle Dore.

I just didn't enjoy this one as much. I missed reading it from wise child's view. Dont get me wrong, the book was good for the most part. But after reading Juniper and Wise Child, it falls short. But i would recommend it to those who have been waiting for the sequel. It does end very well, and towards the end, starts to sound like a Monica Furlong book!

3-0 out of 5 stars Lacks the interest mystique of the previous books, but provides a solid conclusion to the plot. Only recommended as a sequel
The sequel to Wise Child and Juniper, Colman follows the lives of these three characters as they flee from Wise Child's childhood home to Juniper's childhood home of Cornwall, only to find Juniper's aunt has murdered her parents, the king and queen, and taken her brother, the prince, as a prisoner. Wise Child and Colman, with the help of the leper Cormac, must infiltrate the enemy stronghold, discover the prince's affiliation, and find a way to rescue the prince and the kingdom by defeating Meroot and the Gray Knight once and for all. As a sequel, Colman draws together and completes the overarching plot set up in the first two books, but it focuses on action and lacks the sense of magic and the strong female protagonist that makes the other two books so memorable. As this book does draw the story arc to a close, I recommend this book to fans of the series, but it is not a strong or outstanding book in it's own right.

Colman is a decided change of pace in this series of books: the male protagonist and the action-centered plot move it away from the wise woman stories of the other two books. Colman is a young boy but, concurrent with the strong woman theme in the other books, he uses the strength of his gender to protect the female Wise Child and to further her in her goals. Magic likewise still plays a role, fulfilling essential plot points, but it is not directly connected to character growth: in fact, Colman does not want to use magic, but he is willing to use it for Wise Child and Juniper's sakes. As such, this book exists within the wise woman philosophy of the others in the series, but with a male narrator it is less character-driven and lacks the fundamental draw and mystique of the previous books.

This final text was also a posthumous release, and the lack of editing shows: the text feels longer and has a slower, somewhat chunkier pace than the other novels. It is not, however, poorly written. It may not be as good as the other books, but it is surprisingly complete and well-edited for a posthumous work. While not outstanding, it is still an accessible, readable book that builds up to a fine conclusion.

I recommend this book to fans of the series that have read and loved Wise Child and Juniper. Although not as satisfying and in many ways very different, this final text draws together the plot line into a solid conclusion, bringing a sense of satisfied finality to the text. I doubt that the book will be so fulfilling to those that have no read the other books, and I recommend that they pick up Wise Child and Juniper (in that order) first.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't trust the beautiful cover
The cover is gorgeous, but the book was bland and boring.the characters were all the same; the dialogue was so wooden it drove me up the wall. the characters talked like a textbook. the kids used the same exact voice as the adults. the entire book is so over-simplified and over-explained that i felt like i was reading a paticularly boring school book for first-graders. here's a quotation (colman narrates): "I could not get away from the feeling that Wise Child was angry with me.This made me sad because i loved Wise Child and felt that she was not happy." (p. 20) if you find the above sentence brilliant and insightful, then you're welcome to Colman. I, 20 pages into the book, was already sick of the bland and boring writing style (or lack of style), so much so that i marked that quote. i struggled through the rest of the book, which was full of blah sentences like the one above.

the entire book is quite boring as far as plot goes. There are Bad Guys who have taken over Juniper's home, so the Good Guys have to save it in as unexciting a way as possible. while there are various parts where colman and wise child "clutch each other in terror," i did not feel any suspense, or much care about whether evil meroot catches them. one of those books you want to kill yourself over just to stop the awful plodding writing.

1-0 out of 5 stars Such a dramatic difference in style from previous work.
This book did not nearly rise to the quality of 'Juniper' and 'Wisechild'. It seems to lack knowledge of the context, which is very unlike the prior books. It almost seems to have been written in a different voice. Ahem. In my opinion. ... Read more

9. Catherine, Lady wider Willen
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-08-31)

Isbn: 342371249X
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10. Matilda Bone
by Karen Cushman
Audio Cassette: Pages

Isbn: 0807287377
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11. Karen Cushman (Library of Author Biographies)
by Susanna Daniel
Library Binding: 112 Pages (2005-08)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$5.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1404204636
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12. Rodzina (Spanish Edition)
by Karen Cushman, Alberto Jimenez Rioja
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2004-06-30)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$12.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8493388300
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13. Matilda Bone.
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 187 Pages (2001-12-01)
-- used & new: US$68.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3423706724
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14. Matilda huesos/ Matilda Bone (El Barco De Vapor: Serie Roja/ the Steamboat: Red Series) (Spanish Edition)
by Karen Cushman
 Paperback: 189 Pages (2002-09-27)
list price: US$11.95
Isbn: 8434890801
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15. Alyce und keine andere. Sonderausgabe. ( Ab 12 J.).
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 144 Pages (2002-01-01)

Isbn: 342308572X
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16. Rodzina
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 208 Pages (2005-02-28)

Isbn: 3423709014
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17. Die Ballade von Lucy Whipple. ( Ab 13 J.).
by Karen Cushman
Paperback: 224 Pages (1999-12-01)

Isbn: 3423705744
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18. Aprendiz De Comadrona/Midwife's Apprentice (Nomadas, 3) (Spanish Edition)
by Karen Cushman, Anna Gasol
 Turtleback: Pages (2002-02)
list price: US$21.39
Isbn: 0606226842
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19. El Libro De Catherine (Periscopio (Edebe), 59.) (Spanish Edition)
by Karen Cushman, Sonia Tapia
 Paperback: 237 Pages (1997-06)
list price: US$10.50 -- used & new: US$18.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8423646009
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20. Author Talk: Conversations With Judy Blume, Bruce Brooks, Karen Cushman, Russell Freedman, Lee Bennett Hopkins, James Howe, Johanna Hurwitz, E.l. Konigsburg, Lois Lowry, Ann M. Martin,and others
Hardcover: 103 Pages (2000-08-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068981383X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Have you ever wanted to ask your favorite author:
What kind of child were you?
Did you like to read?
When did you become a writer?
What is the best thing about being a writer?

In fifteen short conversations with some of the best-known children's book authors, acclaimed author and editor Leonard S. Marcus asks these questions and more, discovering engaging details about their lives and their work. Throughout, you'll find childhood and adult pictures of the authors, as well as bibliographies, manuscript pages, and other fascinating memorabilia. Author Talk is a great introduction to the people behind some of your favorite books.Amazon.com Review
If you could ask your favorite author any question, what would it be? How do you write a book? Do you have brothers and sisters? Where do you get your ideas? What do you like to do when you're not writing? What is the best thing about being a writer?

Noted children's literature historian Leonard Marcus asks 15 popular children's book authors these questions and more in this fantastic introduction to the people who made Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery, and The Babysitters Club series possible. Complete with birth dates, childhood (and grownup) photos, manuscript pages, and other interesting memorabilia, the interviews provide a brief but in-depth look (six or seven pages per author) at the lives of kids' favorite writers, including Jon Scieszka, E.L. Konigsburg, Judy Blume, Laurence Yep, Gary Paulsen, and Johanna Hurwitz. Virtually every author claims that the way to become a writer is to read and write. A lot. All the time. So get to it! (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative+Good for Research
If you are doing a writing project, trying to get ideas to write, or just in the mood to learn something about your favorite authors, then Author Talk is a book that you should read. It is very in-depth, and it provides an up close and personal look at the lives of many different writers. This is a great book that is worth looking at even briefly when you are passing through the biography or children's nonfiction section of your library. ... Read more

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