Published by Candlewick
Summary: Brother Edik discovers Beatryce in the barn, cradling the monastery’s ornery goat Answelica. Beatryce is sick and bloodied, and when she wakes up, the only thing she can remember is her name Soon Brother Edik has discovered a disturbing fact about Beatryce: she knows how to read and write, something unthinkable for a girl. He disguises her as a small monk and is determined to keep her safe, aided by Answelica and a local boy named Jack Dory. When the king’s men come looking for the girl, the four are forced on a dangerous journey, during which Beatryce’s memory gradually returns and she learns who she is and how she is part of a prophecy to “unseat the king and bring about a great change.” Through the powers of storytelling and love, this prophecy eventually comes true, and a happy ending is in store, at least for those characters the reader has come to care about the most. 256 pages; grades 3-7.
Pros: This book has the feel of a medieval fairy tale, beautifully illuminated with illustrations by Caldecott illustrator Sophie Blackall. The characters are memorable, with a timeless feel to the story and the setting. Seems like a shoo-in for another Newbery medal or honor for Kate DiCamillo.
Cons: Why not color illustrations? I know they’re more expensive, but I’m sure this book is already a big seller.