Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman


"Ye toads and vipers," the girl said, as her granny often had, "ye toads and vipers," and she snuffled a great snuffle that echoed in the empty room.

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Summary: Meggy Swann is newly arrived in Elizabethan London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation.

Publisher: Clarion Books; 166 pages

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a satisfying read! I liked the vivid descriptions of Elizabethan London, with the smells, sounds, and the sights. I loved getting to know Meggy and her story, I laughed at her insults and her sharp wit and her stubbornness, and my heart went out to her as she learned to make her way in her new situation. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up for Meggy Swann. I will read this one again.

Jacquie said...

This book is absolutely Newberry-worthy. I can see it ending up on every home-school reading list for the time period it represents. It's a great picture of the era complete with sights, smells, and attitudes.

Jewel said...

I love this era and thought this book portrayed it well. I enjoyed the story also. However, I think the language may prove too difficult for the age group and only the most dedicated readers or those who really love this time period are going to struggle through it.

Desetti said...

I really liked the book.

It was a fun read. Language may be a bit harder for kids to read as they talk in Elizabethan dialogue. Still it gives authenticity to the story.

Richie Partington said...

http://richiespicks.pbworks.com/ALCHEMY-AND-MEGGY-SWANN

Martha said...

Sorry, but I didn't care for this book. The beginning was soooo dreary and I got tired of listening to her complaining and feeling sorry for herself and being mean to everyone. The book got better as it went along, but if I was a kid reading it, I would have disliked her from the start and put the book down.

Becky said...

Another excellent job by Karen Cushman! I thought that I was sitting down to read excellent historical fiction -- and I did -- but I was also impressed with her spot-on description of the pain and fearfulness of persevering with disability AND the trial of dealing with a work-obsessed, neglectful parent. Maybe our culture HAS made some advancement since the early 1600's! Newbery could possibly shine from this cover next January. And if not, I can see lots of uses for this book in classroom discussion and I wouldn't hesitate to hand it to any child or grownup.

tessyohnka said...

I liked the book but am not terribly enthusiastic. I appreciate the interesting slant on historical fiction but I have to say, I tired of the same curse used repeatedly, "Ye toads and vipers."

Anonymous said...

I liked this book a lot better than The Midwife's Apprentice. It seemed more interesting and was easier to read (although it has been a while since I read Midwife's Apprentice).