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Download Alchemy and Meggy Swann Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Alchemy and Meggy Swann Audiobook, by Karen Cushman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,098 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Cushman Narrator: Katherine Kellgren Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9780307710239
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Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone  who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With flawless historical prose, Cushman introduces Meggy Swann…There is no unequivocally happy ending for Meggy, but a better life awaits her, and readers will gladly accompany her on the journey.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Cushman adds another intrepid, resourceful, courageous girl to her repertoire in this tale set in 16th-century London…Her courage and confidence grow with each obstacle overcome.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A gem.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Writing with admirable economy and a lively ability to re-create the past believably, Cushman creates a memorable portrayal of a troubled, rather mulish girl who begins to use her strong will in positive ways.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A 2011 ALA Odyssey Award Honor Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 2/11/2014

    " Cushman creates another strong female character in Meggy Swann, who travels to London in the late 1500s to live with her father after the death of the grandmother who raised her. Meggy's limp makes life a challenge, as does living with her abrupt and secretive father, an alchemist. An intriguing look at Elizabethan England through the eyes of common people. Alchemy and Meggy's friendship with a boy make this questionable for a religious audience. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leslie | 2/4/2014

    " I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of Cushman's other books. The story was okay, and kids might enjoy it, but I was left a little cold. I didn't really care about any of the characters--even though Meggy makes quite a transformation--none of them had the depth I wanted them to have in order to be interested in their fate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginger | 1/16/2014

    " Characterization is full, plot well-done. Full of Elizabethan-period details. Cushman doesn't disappoint. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 1/11/2014

    " This is listed as a Teen book but I am way past being a teen and enjoyed the book. I don't usually read books set in the 1500s but since I have an interest in alchemy I picked this book up to read. It is a light read that people interested in historical fiction might enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stasia Kehoe | 12/7/2013

    " Fabulous, delicious language and a uniquely prickly yet endearing heroine. A terrific MG read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice Paterra | 11/27/2013

    " Historical fiction at it's best. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/8/2013

    " Ugh... Is there anything good about this book? It's dull, and the fact that the author used Elizabethan language didn't help that fact. The main character is hardly likeable and nothing really happened in the 34 pages I managed to get through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lex | 9/18/2013

    " Short, sweet story. This is a fun children's lit book set in London during the Elizabethan age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 9/3/2013

    " I think this will be a hard sell because of the old style English used throughout. Good, strong female character. Satisfying ending. Cushman's notes at the end help to explain much that took place in London during that time that might be foreign to readers. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 8/27/2013

    " I liked it, but not as much as Catherine, Called Birdy or The Midwife's Apprentice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shanda | 7/15/2013

    " loved this book so much!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 5/7/2013

    " This fantastic audiobook is narrated by the same person who does the Jackie Faber books--Katherine Kellgren. LOVE her. Oh, it's a great story too! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita | 9/19/2012

    " A good introduction to Elizabethan historical fiction for younger readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia See | 7/12/2012

    " really enjoyed this, but I am a big fan of Cushman's and a historical fiction fan, so I don't know if that made me add a star! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 3/7/2012

    " I wanted to love this book but it just didn't do it for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 GraceAnne | 10/30/2011

    " Fine writing and judicious use of period detail, but a little too close in its arc to her beloved Midwife's Apprentice for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louann | 8/14/2011

    " This is a good slice of life from Elizabethian London. Who wouldn't love Meggy, a character who struggles to find her place despite rejection from both of her parents. Despite all odds, Meggy finds her place, friends and a future. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly T | 6/14/2011

    " I might have enjoyed it more had I read it myself, rather than listening to it on audiobook. The narrator was just too annoying. It also seemed to borrow quite heavily from a hodgepodge of 19th century/early 20th century children's literature that I LOVE, so this felt a little cheap. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angelene | 5/2/2011

    " The title character's disability makes this a good discussion starter to use with students. The Elizabethan vocabulary may make it somewhat challenging for readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Camille | 4/4/2011

    " Liked it. Cushman creates such brave, strong girls. Katherine Kellgren narrates the audiobook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 3/28/2011

    " really enjoyed this, but I am a big fan of Cushman's and a historical fiction fan, so I don't know if that made me add a star! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 3/23/2011

    " Really good historical fiction that will satisfy readers of that genre. I liked the good discussion that could come from a handicapped character. Keeps you reading and the author's note is an added bonus.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katelyn | 3/16/2011

    " Actually, I wish I could give it a 3.5. Cushman has once again created a fiery heroine with a heart. And it gives a good fictionalized account of life in Elizabethan London. But the plot was a little lacking. The small conflict that seemed an afterthought was over as quickly as it began. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca | 3/12/2011

    " Another great book by Cushman. She gives such great insight into history from a young adults perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 3/10/2011

    " Elizabethan London. After a slow start, with a protagonist that was a bit unlikeable at first, this book turned into a delightful story of triumph and growth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caren | 2/13/2011

    " Meggy Swann is a young, invalid who lives during Queen Elizabeth's reign.
    I liked it. 5-6 grader girls might enjoy this. Old fashioned language in it, but overall shouldn't be too tough to understand. "

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About the Author
Author Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman is the author of many acclaimed historical novels including Catherine, Called Birdy, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Midwife’s Apprentice, which received the Newbery Medal.

About the Narrator

Katherine Kellgren has appeared onstage in London, New York, and Frankfurt. Her work includes the role of Laura in a regional production of The Glass Menagerie and appearances on Comedy Central. She is an Audie Award and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator of audiobooks and has also received the Peabody Award.