A Parcel of Patterns by Jill WalshThis book was a recommended read for Mystery of History vol 2. We completed it as a read aloud.
The setting of the book is a small village in England, called Eyam, during the time of the Black Death. The story is an account of life in the village during the rampant spread of this misunderstood sickness as written by a girl named Mall. The story is centered on Mall's budding romance and how it is affected by the spread of a sickness which no one at the time could understand or treat. The reader is also able to get a glimpse of the religious differences and changes that were coming about during this time. While historically accurate and vivid in it's detail, the story is quite sad. The discussion of sickness and death could be too much for more sensitive readers or listeners. The difficult Old English language of the book increases the difficulty, as well.
I enjoyed gaining the knowledge about the Black Plague that is offered by the book. It was a realistic account of the time period which helps the reader become immersed in the time period. However, I felt it was slow and sad. I would not recommend this book for a reader younger than probably about 6th grade due to the more difficult language, along with the sickness, death and overall sadness that the story projects. However, for the more advanced reader, one who enjoys the time period or historical fiction, this could be a great selection to better understand how the people of the time lived their day-to-day lives.