Wintergirls is a children's novel by Karen Cushman. It tells of how a homeless girl becomes a midwife's apprentice—and establishes a name and a place in the world, and learns to hope and overcome failure. This novel won the John Newbery Medal in 1996.
Mary Beth Dunhouse, chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee, wrote of the book, "The reader is drawn in from the first sentence when the author speaks of a 'rotting and moiling heap. 'And this is when the reader meets the central character, Brat--'unwashed, unnourished, unloved, and unlovely... who dreamed of nothing, for she hoped of nothing and expected nothing.' This homeless waif becomes the midwife's apprentice--a person with a name and a place in the world. Medieval England is well-evoked, and readers will find this world so compelling that they will keep turning pages to see what happens next."