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The Midwife's Apprentice
Lyrical yet unsentimental, The Midwife's Apprentice won the coveted 1996 Newbery Medal. Filled with striking characters, it paints unforgettable pictures of village life in the Middle Ages, the midwife's craft, and a very remarkable girl's growing independence and pride. Brat has no name, no home, and no shelter against the 14th-century English winter except the foul warmth of a dung heap. So when Jane the Midwife wakes her with a kick and takes the half-starved creature to her cottage, a curious relationship begins. Jane teaches Brat to gather herbs and make the poultices used to ease the pain of childbirth for the village women. The skinny young girl quickly learns to obey the sharp-tongued midwife, and secretly watches Jane practice her art whenever she can. But Jane is also teaching Brat unspoken lessons that will take longer-maybe a lifetime-to master.