Chapters 5, 6, and 7
Sleeping in the dung heap, Brat dreamed of "snug cottages,
and warm bread, and mothers who hugged their babies." a) True
Why would Beetle be a target for the "scrawniest, ugliest,
dirtiest, stupidest" boys in the village? (Quote a line from the
Where did the "kick of a boot in Brat's belly" come from?
The midwife took Brat in because she felt sorry for her.
a) True b) False
What made the midwife decide to take Beetle home? (Quote
a line from the book.)
The villagers don't like the midwife because she isn't very
good at her job. a) True b) False
Why do the villagers dislike Jane the Midwife?
Why do you think Beetle saved the cat?(Don't say she felt
sorry for it.)
Why do the villagers taunt and tease and abuse Beetle?
a) Because she's stupid. b) Because of the way she talks. c)
Because they are angry at the midwife. d) Because they don't like
beggars, like she used to be. e) It's just random.
What event prompted Beetle to start watching through the
windows and learning from Jane? a) When Jane let her help in an emergency.
b) When the pregnant woman was giving birth in the field. c) Nothing
in particular; she just got too curious. d) When Beetle begged and
pleaded to be allowed to watch. e) None of the above.
Why does Jane leave Beetle outside when she delivers babies?
Beetle learned that midwifery was more about ______ and _____,
than about magic and potions. a) strong hands and clean fingernails
b) hard work and good sense c) slapping and shouting d) herbs
and tonics e) none of the above
So far, all the insults in the book insult your...
a) looks b) size c) intelligence d) smell e) speech
Beetle was excited at the idea of her first delivery.
a) True b) False
What did Beetle do first to try to help the miller's wife?
a) give her tea b) give her ale c) talk gently to her
d) nothing e) none of the above
Jane kicks Beetle out of the cottage for a while after her
performance with the miller's wife. a) True b) False
Before going to the St. Swithin's Day Fair in the midwife's
place, Beetle had never been to a fair before. a) True b) False
What is a soothsayer? a) a merchant b) an
old form of a counselor c) a musical instrument d) a fortune
teller e) none of the above
Why does the merchant give Beetle the comb? a) He feels
sorry for her. b) He thinks she's kind of cute. c) She looks
like she needs a comb. d) All of the above. e) None of the
Alyce prefers to be outside, rather than inside.
a) True b) False
Why does Alyce save Will? a) She's scared she might go
to Hell if she doesn't. b) She's scared she'll be the one the village
blames for his death. c) She doesn't want to help send Will to Hell.
d) She says she doesn't know. e) None of the above.
By "pluck" (p39) Will means...a) savvy. b) courage.
c) cleverness. d) all of the above. e) none of the above.
Which of the following is the only example of someone
in the village who is nice to Alyce? a) Will b) the miller's
wife c) Grommet Smith d) the baker's wife e) None of
the above. (Someone else.)
What's wag? ("...Aww this wag grows boresome..." -p41)
a) What a dog's tail does. b) A shake of the head. c) Teasing.
d) Drunkenness. e) none of the above
The reason Alyce is the one out after dark is that she
knows all the secret ways around the village. a) true b) False
Why were all the people who were caught shown mercy, and
not punished as severely as they normally would be? a) Their "crimes" weren't
that serious. b) They were needed by the village. c) The Devil
made them do it. d) They were all well-liked by the villagers.
e) none of the above
How does Ms. Cushman foreshadow that Alyce will be
revealed as the "Devil"?
(3) Give three examples that show that Beetle is not as stupid
as Jane the Midwife would like to believe.
What is special about Magister Reese?
Why does he teach Purr to read, instead of teaching Alyce?
What does the midwife tell Magister Reese about Alyce?
(2) Why is "giving up" different than "failing"? Which
(2) Why does Alyce travel to the manor? What is her
(3) Who is the only person who helps Alyce when she arrives
at the manor?
Why does Jane the Midwife not notice that Alyce is gaining
skills and respect in the village? a) Because she hates Alyce. b)
Because she isn't, really. c) Because Jane is too self-centered.
d) Because Alyce doesn't tell her. e) None of the above.
Why does Alyce deliver the bailiff's wife's baby, instead
of the midwife? a) The bailiff's wife asked for her. b) She
would do it for free. c) The midwife's ankle was still broken.
d) It was part of her training for helping the midwife. e) None of
What prompted Alyce's first smile? a) Delivering Alyce Little.
b) The compliment from the merchant. c) The compliment from the bailiff.
d) Helping Will deliver Tansy's calves. e) None of the above.
After she proved herself by delivering Alyce Little, the
midwife started to let Alyce watch and learn, and finally be a real apprentice.
a) True b) False
Why do the boys say they are chasing Runt? a) He stole
something. b) He's annoying. c) Because they can't tease Alyce
any more. d) Because he's a beggar. e) None of the above.
How does Runt help us figure out when this story takes place?
(between 1272 and 1307) a) He tells us. b) By how old he is.
c) By asking what the king's name is. d) By the town that he comes
from. e) None of the above.
What turns out to be the reason Emma Blunt's baby wasn't
coming out? a) Alyce wasn't using the right herbs and potions. b)
The baby was in the wrong position. c) Alyce didn't shake her hard
enough. d) The baby just didn't want to come out. e) None of the
The real reason Alyce leaves is that she... a)
doesn't like delivering babies. b) can't express what she's feeling.
c) can't help the midwife any more. d) can't take the midwife's treatment
of her any more. e) can't take the insults she knows she's going to get.
-Why does this person help Alyce?
Who does she think Alyce is?
(3) How does Alyce get her hands clean? Why is this
unusual? Describe her first bath.
(2) Was Alyce's trip to the manor a success? Does she
accomplish what she wanted to?
(2) Back at the inn, Alyce is tested. Does she succeed?
What does she do differently?
(2) Is Alyce an "Angel" or "Saint"? What does she say
when people ask her that question?
(2) Who is the month of June named after? Why is that
important to this story?
(4) Alyce has three good options in Chapter 17; but instead
of choosing one of these,
she decides to return to the
-What are her three options?
-Why does she decide to return
to the village instead?
Initially, Jane Sharp would not allow Alyce to be her apprentice
What does Alyce learn about the importance of perseverance?
Why will perseverance help Alyce when she becomes a midwife?
(hint: see page 88).
What other qualities did Alyce have that helped her survive
and succeed. Be sure to give examples.
Give at least three examples of the ways that the lives and
treatment of children in this novel are different than those of kids, like
you, who live in America today.
-Would you want to trade places
with Alyce? (why?
or why not?)
-Are there any advantages
to her situation, compared to yours? (besides homework).
-What might Alyce think about
going to 7th Grade classes at Laguna Middle School?
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