Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
|Author||Laura Amy Schlitz|
|July 24, 2007|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3619.C43 C55 2007|
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village is a 2007 children's book written by Laura Amy Schlitz. The book was awarded the 2008 Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature.
Instead of the typical narrative structure, the book is constructed of a series of monologues, each spoken by a young member of a medieval village. Each character has a monologue with the exception of Petronella and Jacob & Mariot and Maud, who have dialogues. The book was originally written to be performed by fifth-grade students at the Park School of Baltimore, where Schlitz is a librarian. It contains nineteen monologues and two dialogues, with the characters ranging from a runaway boy, to the lord's daughter.
Monologues/Dialogues (in order of appearance)
- Hugo, the Lord's nephew
- Taggot, the blacksmith's daughter
- Will, the plowboy
- Alice, the shepherdess
- Thomas, the doctor's son
- Constance, the pilgrim
- Mogg, the villein's daughter
- Otho, the miller's son
- Jack, the half-wit
- Simon, the knight's son
- Edgar, the falconer's son
- Isobel, the Lord's daughter
- Barbary, the mud slinger
- Jacob Ben Salomon, the moneylender's son and Petronella, the merchant's daughter
- Lowdy, the varlet's child
- Pask, the runaway
- Piers, the glassblower's apprentice
- Mariot and Maud, the glassblower's daughters
- Nelly, the sniggler
- Drago, the tanner's apprentice
- Giles, the beggar
John Schwartz, in The New York Times, called Schlitz a "talented storyteller" and praises the book for its frank depiction of the Middle Ages. Nina Lindsay, chair of the Newbery Medal committee, called the monologues "superb" and stated that as a whole, they "create a pageant that transports readers to a different time and place."  In 2008, Anita Silvey described Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village as a book that most children would find inaccessible." The description was contained in a School Library Journal article by Silvey, author of 100 Best Books for Children, in which she "criticized the Newbery selections as too difficult for most children." Writing for Slate, Erica S. Perl responded to this criticism, saying that while her younger self might not have enjoyed the subject matter or archaic language, her "inner drama geek" would have enjoyed the theatrical elements.
- Thompson, Bob. "Children's Book Award Winners Break The Mold." The Washington Post, 2008-01-15, p. C1.
- "Library of Congress Catalog that contains the complete list of contents". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-04-20.
- Schwartz, John (2007-12-16). "You Are There: 1255". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "2008 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". American Library Association. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "The Graveyard Book Wins Newbery Medal" by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, January 26, 2009.
- Perl, Erica. "Captain Underpants Doesn't Need a Newbery Medal". Slate. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
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