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March 21, 2016

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

Good MastersGood Masters! Sweet Ladies!

By Laura Amy Schlitz

This book is a historical-fiction drama which consists of 19 short monologues, 2 dialogues, and a few informative, historical essays on relevant topics of Medieval times. Twenty-three young characters, with varying societal roles that existed in the Middle Ages in England, tell their life stories through brief monologues, through which the reader learns a great deal about Medieval times.  Some of the roles are, the lord’s nephew, the blacksmith’s daughter, the plowboy, the doctor’s son, the half-wit, the sniggler, and the falconer’s son.  This is a high quality book which won the Newberry award in 2008; it makes it fun to learn about the different roles people held in Medieval society in England around 1255.  According to a Booklist review by Carolyn Phelan (August 2007 p. 69), “Although often the characters’ specific concerns are very much of their time, their outlooks and emotional states will be familiar to young people today. Reminiscent of medieval art, Byrd’s lively ink drawings, tinted with watercolors, are a handsome addition to this well-designed book. This unusually fine collection of related monologues and dialogues promises to be a rewarding choice for performance or for reading aloud in the classroom.”   This book would lend itself well to a school play, or just for fun, yet educational reading.

Review By: Christina Fitch