Catherine, Called Birdy

by Karen Cushman

12th day of September (1290): "I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am... read more

12th day of September (1290): "I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say." Fourteen-year-old Catherine has struck a deal: she can forego spinning, a task she loathes, if she agrees to keep a diary of her daily life. Catherine's chronicle of her life as lady-of-the-manor-in-training (a position she has no desire to fulfill) is witty, acerbic and altogether delightful. Over the course of a year, Catherine writes about events ranging from the number of fleas she's had to pick off herself (29 one day) to arrangements being made for her pending marriage to the man she calls "Shaggy Beard" - a marriage Catherine - independent of mind and spirit - does not wish to make. A fascinating and entertaining novel rich with detail of life in the middle ages. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1994

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