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The Midwife's Apprentice

The Midwife's Apprentice
From the author of Catherine, Called Birdy comes another spellbinding novel set in medieval England. The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the sharp-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat—who renames herself Alyce—gains knowledge, confidence, and the courage to want something from life: "A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world." Medieval village life makes a lively backdrop for the funny, poignant story of how Alyce gets what she wants. A concluding note discusses midwifery past and present.

More than 1,112,000 copies available on bookshelves around the world!


Discussion guide

Podcast: an introduction to The Midwife's Apprentice, as well as a short excerpt from the book, on TeachingBooks.net.

My Bookshelves: Medieval Times: Here are some of the books I used for research while writing about Brat. I hope you enjoy reading them or using them for your own writing.


Newbery Medal
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Notable Book for Children
Booklist Editors' Choice
Horn Book Fanfare Selection
School Library Journal, Best Books of the Year
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Hungry Mind Review Book of Distinction
Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
Not Just For Children Anymore! Selection (CBC)
Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Awards
Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers Choice Award Short List
Parents' Choice Gold Award
American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists"
New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
ABC Children's Booksellers Choice Award
NYPL Books for the Teen Age List


"With simplicity, wit, and humor, Cushman presents another tale of medieval England. Here readers follow the satisfying, literal and figurative journey of a homeless, nameless child called Brat. … Earthy humor, the foibles of humans both high and low, and a fascinating mix of superstition and genuinely helpful herbal remedies attached to childbirth make this a truly delightful introduction to a world seldom seen in children's literature." (School Library Journal, starred review)

"This novel is about a strong, young woman in medieval England who finds her own way home. … Kids will be caught up in this short, fast-paced narrative about a hero who discovers that she's not ugly or stupid or alone." (Booklist, starred review)

Karen Cushman books Catherine, Called Birdy The Midwife's Apprentice The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Matilda Bone Alchemy and Meggy Swann Will Sparrow's Road The Loud Silence of Francine Green Rodzina Grayling's Song War and Millie McGonigal
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