Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman.
Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin: NY, 2010.

Elizabethan England. Meggy has been called to London by her father she has never seen. Her mother is all too ready to be rid of her. She feels that the only friend she has or could have is a goose. She's crabby from being crippled and harassed all her life about it.

On arrival, she meets her father's ex-apprentice as he is vacating the home. He seems determined to be a friend despite her cantankerousness. Her father, a dedicated alchemist, stays in his laboratorium most of the time. No attention to household necessities whatsoever. Survival is up to her alone. In seeing to her needs, and her fathers, Meggy mingles with neighbors, sharing experiences, making friends, and accomplishes more than she would have dreamed possible. She is a swan, changing from a lonely cripple to a stronger and valued part of a community.

Disturbed by her father's late night visitors, Meggy overhears a plot to kill a baron with poison. She struggles with her father's involvement and his callousness. Then, she tries to set things right.

I enjoyed the use of language in building the setting. There is a freedom of expression, personally smashing words together in a colorful, descriptive manner (as would have been common in the period). Cushman also uses others forms of expression, such as printed word and players and ballads.

Meggy is an appealing and whole/real person. She struggles through her daily life. She lets out her frustration, and she slowly comes to enjoy some of life and learns to play. There is a lot of life in such a short book. A good example of historical fiction.

related-disabilities, alchemy, poverty, London, England, 16th century, Great Britain, Elizabeth I, fathers and daughters
RL=6th and up

RSS Add to Stumble It! Add to Technorati Favorites
Email Updates
Kickstart Reading/50+ Transitional Books
Horizons Transitional Books
Horizons Transitional Books
BookAdvice Crosswords
Follow minerva66 at Twitter
Knock Your Socks Off Challenge

Recent NTugo Network Posts

    ©2006-2016 Advice, banner, and coding help given by Redwall_hp. Established May 2006.