This book makes me want to cheer. My 7 1/2-year-old has been ready to move into chapter books with a thicker plot, but thicker plot usually means chapters that are a bit too long. Enter this perfect book. There are knights and castle intrigue, a mute wise man and King Arthur himself. It’s exciting and engaging but on just the right level for him. Every chapter has an illustration, and the vocabulary was totally accessible for him as we read — except for the names. He had to ask a couple times about them, but there you go. I don’t really feel I can complain about that.
Anyway, I tried to get him to read a chapter or two a day, but some days he read three or even four. The choices and personalities of the characters led to some interesting moral discussions about loyalty and hospitality. I purchased a study guide to help me dig deeper, and while some parts were a bit too old for him, a lot of it was just right. I made him write some and dictate some, and I think it rounded out the experience a lot.
In the end, this was a great starter chapter book for my boy, and the story was interesting enough to keep me interested as well. With all the knights and swords you could hope for, I highly recommend it for children who are on the verge of breezing through Magic Tree House-type books.