Alchemy and Meggy Swann Book Review

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

Set in 1532, Meggy Swann has been sent for by her father. When she arrives though, she finds that she is unwanted, for he has no need of a girl, and a crippled girl at that. Despite a disability that makes it impossible for her to walk without sticks or pain, Meggy begins to make friends and help her father in his great work of transformation.

I have always been a huge fan of Karen Cushman with her strong but time-period correct females with interesting job descriptions. I was also happily surprised by Meggy's disability. Before you read that wrong, I am always excited to see author's writing stories with a special needs character because I think it is important to introduce to children of all sorts. On just this level alone, this book worked for me. Although Meggy is "crippled", the story itself is not about her disability but rather one little girl's search for love and acceptance in a world where both seem so difficult to achieve.

I did find the story to be a little slow at times, leaning heavily on the history and descriptions of London to carry it along. This is a rather small book though, and the slow parts were short, unlike another book that I just read and shall be reviewing next. Alchemy and Meggy Swann is not Cushman's best book, but I think readers will like it just the same.