Catherine, Called Birdy
Grades 6 & up
The Midwife's Apprentice
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14-year-old Catherine keeps a diary, recording her worries (will her father marry her to someone horrible?), troubles (the other ladies are angry because she used their clothing to keep her birds warm), and humorous observations from the year 1290.
The title of this book is somewhat disappointing, but the story is not. The cover does not do justice to the humor throughout this book; Catherine is a little like a mix of Anne (of Green Gables), Ramona (the Pest), and a feminist activist for animal rights. The language in the book may be off-putting to readers initially, but Catherine's hopes and worries are understandable to readers in a much later century. Her reflections on politics, religion, justice, love, and individuality are especially funny since they are couched in more formal English.
"You are so much already, Little Bird. Why not cease your fearful pounding against the bars of your cage and be content?'"
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