Belle's Song by K. M. Grant. Okay, I admit this one caught my eye with the cover. And then I read the description and now I am fascinated. A YA book that draws inspiration from Canterbury Tales? Has this been done before? Probably, but not that I know of. This one isn't due to be released until November, but I had to share and perhaps start the conversation now.
Book description from the publisher:
Fifteen-year-old Belle is a dreamer with a sharp tongue and an aching burden: her carelessness has crippled her father. A chance meeting with bespectacled Luke has her decide to join the pilgrimage to Canterbury made famous by Geoffrey Chaucer's beloved tales. There she befriends the famous writer and Walter, a handsome squire with a secret of his own. Growing to love her fellow travelers dearly, Belle is thrilled by the attention from both Luke and Walter. But casting its shadow over the pilgrims is the threat to England posed by an unreliable king anxious to keep his throne at any cost. When Belle discovers that Master Chaucer is embroiled in dangerous politics, she is forced to make a choice that will turn her pilgrimage into a gamble with a deadly price.I'm not even sure how many high schoolers are assigned The Canterbury Tales anymore. I had to read them all at my magnet high school, yes even the bawdy ones. It was a magnet school and not a hint of scandal from this classic among the students although I seem to remember my teacher giggling at a few bits himself. I admit that I enjoyed Chaucer but that is because my teacher didn't assign a specific edition. I asked my mom to find one and she came back from her university bookstore with a prose edition that sold me on it while everyone else struggled with the language in their other editions--no one else had the one I had. What a blessing that my local mall bookstores didn't have any editions and Mom resorted to a campus bookstore. I still have it somewhere and used it side by side with the assigned text when I was working for my English degree and reading it yet again. I'm grateful to it for illuminating Chaucer when I was too young to struggle with the language. The edition was by translated by David Wright if you are interested. (And the reviewers seem to agree--the low rated reviews are for the Kindle edition formatting or about the third party booksellers, not the book itself.) I highly recommend giving both this new novel and a readable Chaucer to a precocious teen in your life although I haven't read the novel I would have devoured it as a teen as a tie-in.