Voices from a Medieval VillageBy Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd
Step back to an English village in 1255, where life plays out in dramatic vignettes illuminating twenty-two unforgettable characters.
Maidens, monks, and millers sons in these pages, readers will meet them all. Theres Hugo, the lords nephew, forced to prove his manhood by hunting a wild boar; sharp-tongued Nelly, who supports her family by selling live eels; and the peasants daughter, Mogg, who gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. Theres also mud-slinging Barbary (and her noble victim); Jack, the compassionate half-wit; Alice, the singing shepherdess; and many more. With a deep appreciation for the period and a grand affection for both characters and audience, Laura Amy Schlitz creates twenty-two riveting portraits and linguistic gems equally suited to silent reading or performance. Illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Robert Byrd inspired by the Munich-Nuremberg manuscript, an illuminated poem from thirteenth-century Germany this witty, historically accurate, and utterly human collection forms an exquisite bridge to the people and places of medieval England.
"Starred Review. This unusually fine collection of related monologues and dialogues promises to be a rewarding choice for performance or for reading aloud in the classroom." - Booklist.
"The artist does not channel a medieval style; rather, he mutes his palette and angles some lines to hint at the period, but his use of cross-hatching and his mostly realistic renderings specifically welcome a contemporary readership. Ages 10-up." - Publishers Weekly.
"Byrd's colorful pen-and-ink drawingsreflect the style of a thirteenth-century illuminated manuscript, greatly enhancing the reader's experience of this remarkable book." - Children's Literature.
"Schlitz takes the breath away with unabashed excellence in every direction. .... Double-page spreads called "A little background" offer lively information about falconry, The Crusades, pilgrimages and the like. Byrd's watercolor-and-ink pictures add lovely texture and evoke medieval illustration without aping it. Brilliant in every way." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Laura Amy Schlitz is the author of The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer Who
Dug for Troy and A Drowned Maiden's Hair. She wrote the pieces in
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! for students at the Park School in Baltimore, where
she works as a librarian. She has also worked as a storyteller, a costumer, an
actress, and a playwright; her plays for young people have been produced in
theaters all over the country. Laura Amy Schlitz lives in Baltimore.
Robert Byrd teaches children s book illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is the author-illustrator of many books, including Leonard: Beautiful Dreamer; Finn Maccoul and His Fearless Wife; and The Hero and the Minotaur. He also illustrated Laura Amy Schlitz s first book for children, The Hero Schliemann, about the life of a nineteenth-century amateur archaeologist. Robert Byrd lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
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