Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices form a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
Schlitz, Laura Amy. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village. Illustrated by Robert Byrd. Candlewick Press, 2008. 96 pages. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4332-4.
Annotation: A collection of monologues from a variety of children living in and around an English manor in 1255.
Summary: In this collection of twenty-two monologues, English medieval children from all classes and backgrounds, describe their daily life. From a plowboy to a shepherdess and from a knight’s son to a half-wit, children accurately and realistically portray their life style and culture. The portrait of life in the Middle Ages is revealed as each child describes his or her vocation, class, attitude, family life, religion, and social practices. Relevant essays are scattered throughout the monologues to give extra background information.
Evaluation: The text is in both prose and verse. The interconnected monologues are written in varying poetic styles from a medieval child’s perspective and the essays in prose contain interesting historical background information. The ink drawings fused with watercolors works well with the text and give a sense of medieval art. Historical notes are added in the vertical margins. Recommended for ages 6 to 13.
Genre / Subject: Juvenile Non-Fiction, History, Plays, Poetry, Medieval England, Middle Ages
Awards: 2008 Newbery Medal Award Winner, 2008 ALA Notable Children’s Book