Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Will Sparrow's Road by Karen Cushman

We attend Medieval dinners or Renaissance fairs and think of it as a simple time of courtly manners.  In actual fact they were a brutal time and place for the poor, and especially for children.  Karen Cushman has brought that world to life in the new young reader's novel, Will Sparrow's Road.  Cushman is best known for her Newberry medal winning novel, The Midwife's Apprentice.  This is her first attempt at writing a book in which a boy is the main character.  In the note at the back of the book, she states that is because in this setting, a girl’s chances of survival were slim.

Will Sparrow is a boy alone in the world.  He has almost no memory of his mother, and has been sold by his father for ale.  He feels himself unloved and unloveable.  He hits the road, without shoes, and soon finds himself part of a group of "oddities and prodigies" travelling around the country from fair to fair.  Will grows in stature and character as he finds a family among these outcasts, and finally stops running.

For any young fan of history, this is a great choice.  Or, with chapters averaging 10 pages, it is easily shared by a family over several days.

No comments:

Post a Comment