I recommend this book for: grade 6-9
This one was so cool! As a theatre person, I appreciated the monologue form, which gave the characters their own voices to tell about their lives. It also gave the reader a sense of the interconnectedness of the small village, how everyone depended on the others. There were great details (including gross ones like kidneys and fleas that the boys are sure to appreciate), and the background essays that give context to some of the monologues were well-written, informative, and interesting without ever taking up more than two pages. This would be a solid choice for historical fiction assignments, pleasure reading for kids interested in the time period, or for a reader's theater performance (oh how I hope that wouldn't be copyright infringement - it begs to be read aloud for an audience!) My personal favorite was Giles the beggar, who gets the last word in the book and makes the most of it.