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Parents' Guide to

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Unique, brilliant, award-winning history book.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

'Tis great!

Excellent to use for a classroom! What a way to introduce poetry without overwhelming students! Have students act out each, talk about history, and enjoy the vocabulary!
age 9+

Boring book for adults - lack of interest with kids

This is one of the worst books I have read. The fact it is a Newberry winner makes it worse. While the author used catchy prose to help us understand the lives or everyday Medieval culture, the book is boring and not very interesting. This is one of those books Commonsense Media would say appeals to adults but most likely, not children.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The ways of the ALA Committees can be passing strange, but 2007 was one of the years they got it right. Just as the Caldecott Award went to The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, a work that blended graphic novel and prose to create the most original novel of the year, so the Newbery Award was given to GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES!, a unique and vivid work that blends fiction, nonfiction, and drama to create something entirely new.

Everything works beautifully here. The styles and voices of the characters vary according to their personalities, the author's own voice is warm and direct, and the illustrations and page design make this an attractive and accessible volume. Lots of information is given, but it is never dry or academic -- the format of monologues by fictional but realistic characters keeps it lively and engrossing. The book will appeal to many kids, including those who don't usually choose nonfiction, and will be useful for history classes and drama productions and workshops. Even reluctant readers will enjoy the clear, direct text, short length, and dramatic content. We can even hope that this brilliant book, with its awards and attendant success, may lead to a renaissance of books for kids that make history come alive.

Book Details

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