The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman

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How is Alyce smart in The Midwife's Apprentice?

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Alyce shows herself to be smart by quickly picking up the rudiments of midwifery. Not everyone can be a midwife, but Alyce shows herself more than capable of mastering this age-old profession. Although there are setbacks on the way, such as when Alyce is unable to deliver a mother's baby, she's smart enough to learn from her mistakes, as well as tenacious in picking herself up and dusting herself off.

Like most people of her time, Alyce is illiterate. Nevertheless, she has the intelligence to learn how to read. While working at the Darks' inn, a patron teaches her how to read. As well as giving her an important new skill, this boosts Alyce's self-respect. She's gone through her whole life being treated like dirt, and yet now she feels that she matters and that she can handle just about anything that life throws at her.

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