In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
I love when a student comes up at the end of lunch recess and asks me to find him/her a book about …. Recently, one of my very quiet reserved students came and whispered to me that he’d like book recommendations to look at that have either wizards or knights in them. What fun! Since he had to return to class and I knew I’d see him for library the next school day, I asked if he would like a selection waiting for him at borrowing time… his face lit up. Wonderful.
Here’s what I pulled for him. He’s a fifth grader, pretty mature reader:
Sir Gawain & The Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman – Classic, fun, good quick read- it is the end of the year… Goodreads Summary: “It’s New Year’s Eve in Camelot, where King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and all their good Knights wait breathlessly for an extravagant feast to begin. Suddenly, a strange and frightening Knight bursts into the hall — a giant of a man, green from head to toe, who mockingly challenges the Court to a shocking game. Only the chivalrous Sir Gawain dares to take on the hideous Green Knight. But over the unexpected course of his test, will Gawain prove as brave and honest as he’d like to believe? Welcome to a medieval world full of sword fights and shape-shifting, monsters and magic, and timeless characters both gallant and wonderfully human.”
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain) – Such a great series to begin with wizards and knights mixed in… Goodreads Summary: “Taran dreams of adventure, but nothing exciting ever happens to an Assistant Pig-Keeper—until his pig runs away. A chase through the woods leads Taran far from home and into great danger, for evil prowls the land of Prydain. With a collection of strange and wonderful friends whom he meets on his journey, Taran finds himself fighting so that good may triumph over evil, and so that his beloved home will not fall to a diabolical fiend.”
First Test by Tamora Pierce – Book 1 of the Protector of the Small Quartet – Knights galore, sure there is a female main character, all the better for a boy to read! Goodreads Summary: “In the medieval and fantastic realm of Tortall, Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits females to train for knighthood. Up against the traditional hazing of pages and a grueling schedule, Kel faces only one real roadblock: Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He is absolutely against girls becoming knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on probation for one year. It is a trial period that no male page has ever had to endure and one that separates the good natured Kel even more from her fellow trainees during the tough first year. But Kel Is not a girl to underestimate, as everyone is about to find out…”
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve – Learn the true story of Arthur… Goodreads Summary: “Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard – a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrdin transfroms her – into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all – and turn the leader of a raggle-tagglear-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.”
The Wizard of Rondo by Emily Rodda – Humor mixed into the selections plus: Deltora… Goodreads Summary: “The fantastic world of Rondo can be perilous, but Leo and Mimi know they can’t keep away. They have to play their part in the continuing battle to keep Rondo safe from their deadly enemy, the remorseless Blue Queen. Plunging once more into the magic world within the antique music box, they are determined to stay out of trouble. But Rondo’s spell soon draws them in, and their quest to find a missing wizard becomes something far more dangerous as they try to track the Blue Queen’s henchman, Spoiler, and confront an ancient terror lurking in the skies of the north.”
Deltora Shadowlands Cavern of Fear by Emily Rodda/Rowan of Rin – Introducing fantasy writer Emily Rodda… Goodreads Summary: “The Shadow Lord’s evil tyranny over Deltora has ended. He and the creatures of his sorcery have been driven back across the mountains. But thousands of Deltorans are still enslaved in the Shadowlands. To rescue their friends and families, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine, heroes of the quest for the Belt of Deltora, must find a weapon powerful enough to combat the Shadow Lord’s magic on his own ground.”
Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson/Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson – Couldn’t resist including this selection, great series, solid adventure. Goodreads Summary: “When Alcatraz and Grandpa Smedry make a pilgrimage to the Free Kingdom city of Crystallia, the Smedry home base, Alcatraz is shocked to see that he is, in fact, a legend. When he was a baby he was stolen by the Evil Librarians, and his mother, a Librarian herself, was behind the whole scheme. Now, with his estranged father, who is acting indeed strange, Bastille, who has been stripped of her armor, and Grandpa Smedry, who is, as always, late to everything (that’s his Talent), Alcatraz tries to save a city under siege. From who? Why, the Librarians of course!”
The Amulet of Samarkand – The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – Another can’t resist solid series. Really enjoy. Goodreads Summary: “Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the “ultimate sacrifice” for a “noble destiny.”
If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn’t tough enough, Nathaniel’s master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy’s only saving grace is the master’s wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.
Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.”
Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor – If he doesn’t grab this one, I will, sounds fantastic! Sorcery, history, folklore and more! Goodreads Summary: “Obadiah Demurral is a sorcerer who is seeking to control the highest power in the Universe. He will stop at nothing. The only people in his way are Raphah, Kate, Thomas and the mysterious Jacob Crane. This work takes you into a world of superstition, magic and witchcraft, where the ultimate sacrifice might even be life itself.”
Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager – I adore this series, this one is another humorous selection thrown in. Goodreads Summary: “Roger, Anne, Eliza, and Jack find a magic way to go back into the time of Robin Hood, Rebecca, and Ivanhoe.”
Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques – Sure, animal knights can occur as well!
Goodreads Summary: “As a child, Martin was brought to the stronghold of Badrang the Tyrant, forced into enslavement behind its massive walls. But he was strong. He was brave. And mere escape was not his plan as long as his father’s sword rested in Badrang’s ruthless fist…”
The Magician- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott – Part of the series but good to know about, introduce. Goodreads Summary: “Ashes to ashes…California:In the hands of Dr. John Dee and the Dark Elders, the book of Abraham the Mage could mean the destruction of the world as we know it. The most powerful book of all time, it holds the secret of eternal life — a secret more dangerous than any one man should ever possess. And Dee is two pages away from the knowledge that would bring the Dark Elders into ultimate power.
His only obstacle? Josh and Sophie Newman — who are eight thousand miles away.
Paris: After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris. The City of Lights. Home to Nicholas Flamel. Only, this homecoming is anything but sweet. Niccolo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He’s in hot pursuit, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenelle. Every day they spend without the book, they age one year: their magic becomes weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophecy is growing clearer and clearer. It’s time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic.
Fire Magic. And there’s only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel’s old student the Comte de Saint-Germain – alchemist, magician, and rock star.
Josh and Sophie Newman are the world’s only hope. If they don’t turn on each other first.”
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – I love this book, brilliant front to back. Hoping he notices this as well! Goodreads Summary: “THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end. In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.”
The Road to Camelot edited by Sophie Masson (collection of Tales of the Young Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot, and More) Goodreads Summary: “The heroes and heroines of Arthurian legend have never ceased to fascinate us. But what were they like before they knew their destiny? How did they cope with the idea that, one day, they’d be on the road to Camelot, and immortal fame? Fourteen of Australia’s best writers of fantasy have imagined what it’s like to be a child of destiny with stories of the adventures and life-changing moments that help to make each of these characters the legends they become.”
Which book did he choose?
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – I love this book, brilliant front to back. Hoping he notices this as well and wants to read the rest of the series!
Pulling these books reminded me of the fact that I must purchase the T.A. Merlin series for this library collection. It is an incredible series and I’ve missed having it to recommend to students these past two years.
Oh, if you’re wondering about the big book pile after only one was selected, I created a new “Wizards and Knights” book display on a special shelf in the library. I love when students inspire me!
What would you recommend?
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.
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