Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village

Can I just tell you how fantastic Laura Amy Schlitz is? First of all, she wrote an awesome novel (which was ROBBED! ROBBED! last year come Newbery Medal/Honor time). Secondly, she's a school media specialist/school librarian in Baltimore. Thirdly, she's written another tremendous book!

You'll love the story of how Laura Amy Schlitz came to write Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village. Her students were working on a Middle Ages unit, and she wanted to create a performance piece for them. However, none of them wanted a small part. Having the creative mind that she has, Schlitz created 17 monologues (17 children per class) in the voices of a shepherdess, a lord's daughter, a pilgrim, and a half-wit, among other characters.

Schlitz also includes succinct footnotes to explain unfamiliar words and brief yet helpful stage directions. Some of the monologues are a bit frank in nature, but any such frankness is necessary. Life in the Middle Ages wasn't fun and games, to put it mildly. This is a fantastic supplement to any unit on medieval times.

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