Author: DiCamillo, Kate
Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret that imperils them all, for the king of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy, knows why. So a girl with a head full of stories of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves searches for the castle of the one who wishes her dead.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 513239
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/21)
School Library Journal (10/01/21)
Booklist (+) (05/15/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/09/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/09/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2021 *Starred Review* Father Edik’s usual trepidation over approaching Answelica the goat’s enclosure skyrockets upon seeing a sleeping girl there, clutching the foul-tempered creature’s ear. This turns out to be Beatryce, a girl with no memory aside from her name, a girl who can read and write despite laws prohibiting such a thing, a girl about whom Father Edik believes he may have written in his order’s prophetic Chronicles of Sorrowing: “There will one day come a girl child who will unseat a king and bring about a great change.” It isn’t long before word reaches the monastery that the king is also looking for Beatryce on account of the prophecy, so Father Edik disguises her as a monk and sends her off with Answelica, her fierce and loyal protector, and a bright boy from town named Jack Dory, who has an interesting story of his own. Somehow, DiCamillo manages to fit a medieval epic into just over 250 pages—and that includes many glorious black-and-white illustrations by Blackall that one can easily envision stitched upon a tapestry. DiCamillo fills her narrative with humor and love, never getting in the way of her characters (or Answelica’s boney head) as they work through difficult choices and display many forms of bravery. It’s a gently feminist tale where stories carry the same power as magic and are, perhaps, one and the same.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Rumor has it that this might be popular. And might win all the awards. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 Gr 3–6—The prophecy speaks of a girl who will unseat a king and change the world. It doesn't exactly mention a goat, but true prophecy will find a way to be fulfilled…especially if the hard-headed, and hard-butting, Answelica has anything to do with it. Brother Edik, a monk who illuminates manuscripts and pronounces the occasional prophecy (including the one about Beatryce), is startled to find a very sick girl curled up in the straw next to the monastery's irascible goat. He doesn't realize that the king is looking to capture this very girl; he takes her in and nurses her back to health. The goat refuses to leave Beatryce's side as she is eventually forced to leave the monastery and earn her way by writing (in a world where girls are not allowed to read and write), and ultimately by befriending others who help demonstrate that Beatryce is, in fact, the girl foretold to change everything. Hand to fans of Adam Gidwitz's The Inquisitor's Tale (although there are no farting dragons here). VERDICT DiCamillo's fantasy has no magic, but is a gentle tale of the power of love and the determination to do the right thing, even when that thing comes at great personal cost. Recommended for tweens in all library settings, both independent and read-alouds.—Elizabeth Friend, Wester M.S., TX - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.