Matilda Bone

by Karen Cushman

Self-righteous Matilda has a hard time adapting to her new life as an apprentice... read more

Self-righteous Matilda has a hard time adapting to her new life as an apprentice to Red Peg the Bonesetter, who lives in Blood And Bone Alley where “ordinary people came to be bled, dosed, and bandaged.” Matilda, after all, has lived her first 14 years in a manor, surrounded by servants and saints. But now that her guardian Father Leufredus has been called to London to swear his support for young King Edward III, Matilda finds herself in the care of a tough, independent woman who expects the girl to engage in menial labor as she learns the tricks of the trade. Matilda’s gradual transformation from a helpless whiner into a tough, independent young woman in her own right is both funny and credible. Cushman fills her story, which is set against the backdrop of a medieval English village, with plenty of details about early medical practices and the role of women in the field at that time. (Ages 8-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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