Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

eBook - 2010
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Meggy arrives in London expecting to be welcomed by her father, who sent for her, but he doesn't want her to assist in his laboratory when he sees that not only is she female, she needs two sticks to walk. Sent on trivial errands, she learns to navigate the city, which is earthy and colorful as well as dirty, noisy, and filled with rogues and thieves. Meanwhile she is befriended by the alchemist's former assistant, and when it appears that her father may be arrested and beheaded for practicing magic, together she and her new friend devise a plan to save him. Building strength and street smarts, Meggy goes from helpless to confident and from friendless to surrounded by warmth and love. Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has much to offer Meggy Swann.
Publisher: Boston : Clarion Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780547487410
Characteristics: 1 online resource : 167 pages
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Ann Langone Mar 20, 2011

"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."
It is 16th Century Elizabethan London and 13 year old Meggy Swann, with her deformed legs and walking sticks, has just arrived from the country to live with the cold and distant father she has never met. But once this father, the odd and unfriendly Alchemist, realizes she is both deformed and female, Meggy is left to fend for herself-- virtually and then literally abandoned-- her only friend the equally bad tempered goose named Louise. But Karen Cushman's hallmark is the strong female character and Meggy is at the top of the list. She makes her way-- finding friends and allies and creating a life for herself that is both positive and believable within her historic context. I love Cushman-- for her strong female characters, clever and likable as well as for the beautiful and luscious language she employs to carry us away. Great for girls and anglophiles and lovers of Shakespearean insults.

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