The Old Woman from Friuli by Ghillian Potts and Ed Boxall

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The Old Woman from Friuli by Ghillian Potts and Ed Boxall

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A rousing story which will delight the emerging reader. I cheered!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2017
Publisher: Arachne Press
ISBN: 978-1909208407

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On top of a hill in Italy there was a castle and in that castle there lived a duke. Every day he would go up to the highest tower and look out at all that he could see and marvel that he owned it all.

Except that is for one small house, a sturdy house with stone walls and a solid wooden door, a garden and a field.

The duke was furious that he didn't own the property. It belonged to the old woman from Friuli. The duke told his clever counsellor that he must have that property and he went to make an offer to the old woman from Friuli. He told her that he wanted the property. She told him that want must be his master and slammed the solid wooden door. Next the duke sent the counsellor to try and find some fact which could force the woman to sell, but the stubborn old woman from Friuli could prove that she did own the land, that she had paid her taxes and the priest said that she was a good woman. Everyone agreed that she was stubborn, but they also said that she was honest.

Finally the duke made his final - and the ultimate - offer and still the woman turned him down. I cheered at that point! What does an independent, strong-willed woman want with a duke for a husband? And right through to the end, she has the best of the duke and there's a neat twist at the end which establishes that even the duke's heirs are not going to get hold of the property.

I loved this story. It's told in clear language and once the emerging reader has her tongue around Friuli and counsellor they have a good story to get their teeth into. There are some illustrations, but probably not enough to give clues to any other pesky words which don't spring off the page and introduce themselves, but that's me being very picky.

What is great is that it's a story which shows that the law applies to everyone, high born, or just the old woman from Friuli. It shows that property can't simply be taken away at the whim of an aristocrat or anyone else who has an inadequate grasp of the law. It's also a clarion call to our daughters: they don't need to have a husband - they can make their own way in life and they're just as good as any man.

Three cheers, I say!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

For another strong female we can recommend Llama Llama Red Pyjama by Anna Dewdney.

Buy The Old Woman from Friuli by Ghillian Potts and Ed Boxall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Old Woman from Friuli by Ghillian Potts and Ed Boxall at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Old Woman from Friuli by Ghillian Potts and Ed Boxall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Old Woman from Friuli by Ghillian Potts and Ed Boxall at Amazon.com.


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