A Company of Fools

A Company of Fools


Availability: 1 In Stock

Qty :

    share :

Lindsay's Review

As Deborah Ellis reminds us, pandemics are nothing new in human history. She has written a gripping account of young novices in a 14th century-monastery coming to terms with the Black Death (the bubonic) plague as it sweeps through France. The characters of Henri, Micah and the novices manage, with more than a little cheekiness, to continue the spirit of empathy, even as they must leave the sheltering monastery walls to try to help with the great suffering and societal collapse in Paris. And while the monks and novices form a drama troupe to bring healing laughter to the masses, for the streetwise Micah it is a journey of self-discovery that cements an unlikely friendship with Henri that’s stronger than the surrounding chaos.

As the chaos of our recent pandemic has receded in adult minds, it has been an indelible part of our children’s lives. Although Ellis’s book was written years before the recent Covid pandemic, it can serve an important cathartic role for today’s generation of children: they can learn how other young people managed emotionally and psychologically through far worse times, and even managed to thrive despite the difficulties. As well as being an entertaining, lively, informative and witty historical fiction, A Company of Fools can allow children a safe space in which to reflect upon the strange times of their own childhood. Don’t be put off by the subject matter; having a window into thriving in dark times is a rare and timely opportunity.

Publisher's Review

From the best-selling author of Parvana & Parvanas Journey comes an extraordinary story for young readers, set in fourteenth century France at the time of the Plague; a story about friendship, courage and the importance of resisting hypocrisy and despair.

'Before Micah came to St Luc's, he knew how to beg, how to steal and how to run from a beating. He didn't know how to comb his hair or wait his turn. Now he was a stranger in a strange land. If it had been me, I would have found a way to disappear inside myself until the strangeness wore off. Micah was not like me.'

Henri is used to the quiet routines of the abbey. He's shy and solitary, until Micah - a wild troublemaker with the voice of an angel - sweeps into his life like a fresh breeze. Micah stirs up fun and adventure at a time when Henri needs it most. For the Plague is coming. With the tail of a scorpion and breath of fire it will pass through every village and town until nothing can ever be the same. Together, Henry and Micah manage to find fun in the midst of fear. Marching about the countryside with their Company of Fools they revel in the healing power of laughter - at least for a while.

In this gripping story, acclaimed author Deborah Ellis celebrates the extraordinary resilience of children, their capacity for caring, and talent for happiness, even in the darkest times.

Deborah Ellis is an internationally acclaimed Canadian author, best known for her books about women and children struggling to survive in Afghanistan. A long-time feminist and anti-war activist, she is best known for the Parvana series, which has been published around the world in twenty-nine languages, with more than a two million dollars in royalties donated to organisations such as Women for Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF, and Street Kids International. In 2017 Parvana was adapted into an award-winning animated film called The Breadwinner. In 2006, Deb was named to the Order