Knightley Academy
  • Knightley Academy
  • Knightley Academy

Knightley Academy

4.3 45
by Violet Haberdasher

View All Available Formats & Editions

Henry Grim is a servant boy at the Midsummer School—until he passesthe elite Knightley Academy exam and suddenly finds himself one of the first commoners at the Academy, studying alongside the cleverest and bravest—and most arrogant—young aristocrats in the country. But someone is out to sabotage him from becoming a full-fledged Knight of the

…  See more details below


Henry Grim is a servant boy at the Midsummer School—until he passesthe elite Knightley Academy exam and suddenly finds himself one of the first commoners at the Academy, studying alongside the cleverest and bravest—and most arrogant—young aristocrats in the country. But someone is out to sabotage him from becoming a full-fledged Knight of the Realm, and soon Henry uncovers a conspiracy that violates the Hundred Years’ Peace treaty—and could lead to war! Full of (bloodless) battles and nonstop action, this page-turner will captivate readers as they root for Henry to save his school and country from their enemies.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amalia Selle
Against all odds, Henry Grimm, a commonly born servant's boy, gets the chance to take the entrance exam for the prestigious Knightly Academy, and unexpectedly passes it. By gaining entrance, Henry challenges centuries of tradition founded on assumptions that one's class, race, religion, and gender determines how one should be educated. Soon Henry and his two other fellow tradition breakers find that that someone within the school is determined that this social experiment fail. Henry realizes that the ramifications of his failure would extend beyond the walls of the school and into the country as a whole. For those longing for a new Harry Potter, Henry Grimm may be just the thing. Grimm's story of personal struggle against discrimination amidst the political intrigues of a boys' school of Knighthood, has all the excitement of Rowling minus the magic. Set in a Victorian age and yet not quite of this world, the tale of Henry and his friends runs up against centuries of discrimination that relegate some to be over looked and ignored based on class, religion, race, or gender. Their strong stand for what is right provides a refreshingly serious note to this book. Reviewer: Amalia Selle
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Haberdasher introduces readers to an alternate history in which a treaty among the nations of the Britonian Isles has made combat training illegal at Knightley Academy. Though electricity is commonplace, horse-drawn carriages are far more frequently used than cars, and weapons technology remains at the level of swords and polearms. Servant boy Henry Grim is the first commoner to be admitted to the elite academy, which trains police, detectives, and other protectors of the public. Negotiating his way through his classes is the least of Henry's worries, however. Someone doesn't want commoners at Knightley and is working hard to sabotage Henry and two other misfits. Add a brewing tension in the Nordlands, and the political sphere of Henry's world becomes far larger than the orphan boy ever believed possible. Beginning with a self-conscious narrator in the style of J. M. Barrie or Lemony Snicket, the story progresses with the same kind of school-story mystery that worked so well in the "Harry Potter" novels. However, there is no magic here—just classical knightly studies and political commentary written on a level that even reluctant readers should find accessible. The characters, particularly Henry and his early nemesis, Valmont, are well drawn. Henry's outcast roommates and the unconventional daughter of the headmaster are also appealing. Clearly set up as the beginning of a series, the book should do well with some "Harry Potter" readers, but is unlikely to have the same widespread appeal.—Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Publishers Weekly
Robyn Schneider (The Social Climber's Guide to High School), writing as the pseudonymous Haberdasher, delivers a cute novel that balances its simple plot with a solid lead character, witty dialogue, and a jaunty narrative voice. Henry Grim, a servant at the Midsummer School for Boys, is allowed to take the test to enter the prestigious Knightley Academy and becomes the first commoner to enter the austere school. Like the other groundbreaking commoners in his class—Adam, who's Jewish, and Rohan, who's Indian—he finds life among the elite daunting at first. However, his talent for languages and history, as well as the friendship of the headmaster's daughter, help him get by. There are the usual shenanigans involving mean classmates and teachers who appear to have hidden agendas, and the threat of war with the oppressive Nordlands looms as well. The nebulous historical setting and focus on military training and chivalry are a welcome change of pace from fictional academies that revolve around magic. If the story runs on a predictable path, Henry and his friends are lively and entertaining characters to follow. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Offering the comfort of familiarity, "Haberdasher" (aka Robyn Schneider) crafts an alternate-world boarding-school tale set in the loosely confederated Britonian Isles and featuring a trio of commoner lads admitted against all custom to the posh academy where Knights of the Realm are trained. Having met and bonded with each other and also with the obligatory spunky female sidekick (the Headmaster's willful daughter Frankie), orphanage-raised foundling Henry joins Adam, compulsively verbal scion of a clan of Jewish bankers, and Rohan Mehta, a dark-skinned adoptee raised in a refined ducal household, in sticking it out despite the sneers of classmates, anonymous threats and an underhanded campaign to get them expelled. Along with much discussion about defying both class expectations and blatantly sexist gender roles, the author sets her central characters up with an entertaining line of banter as they gradually learn that they're pawns in a broad intrigue in which seeming adversaries turn out to be allies and vice versa. With Henry's discovery that the neighboring Nordlands (think Scotland, with a Stalinist overlay) is secretly preparing for war, the author also crafts a continuing plotline for sequels to this pleasant if unambitious opener. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Read More

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Violet Haberdasher, the alter ego of Pulse author Robyn Schneider, was a lonely child who could always be found with her nose in a book. As soon as she was old enough, she left for the big city, where she attended an elite school for young ladies and enacted such shocking and improper misdeeds as becoming a stage performer. She currently resides in Manhattan.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Knightley Academy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Time_Stand_Still More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much that I bought a second copy and gave it to my son's principal (she likes similar middle grade books) for her to read and then donate to the school library. I felt this book had a lot of good moral undertone to a very well written plot. I am also excited to read more in this series. I really like the fact that Robyne did not use her real name so these younger readers would not search on her name and find her other books that would not be suited for middle grade readers. It says alot about this author. Henry is a relateable character and is face with teasing and bullying that many young kinds (unfortunately) can relate to. I feel his approach to dealing with it shows how he matures using the guides of the code to maintain his self worth and make him a better knight. Frankie, Adam and Rohan made the perfect companions and the author draws them with a fine tip detail. The several antagonist in this book are equally intriguing and well written. Read it and see what I mean.
FL-MOM-andbookworm More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great story, with just the right amount of humor. I didn't realize it was a children's book until I was nearly done. Good for kids and adults. Great lesson in doing the right thing, and winning in the end. LOVE the unexpected twist too!
Bonnie_W More than 1 year ago
Bookworms, I'll tell you upfront: I'm going to have a lot of trouble reviewing KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY for you. I'm not sure how to describe the magical way the story snuck beneath my skin and consumed me. I feel like if I describe it one way, I'll pigeon-hole it and you'll think it's a book that it isn't. Even though it's similar to other works in some ways, it's also unlike anything I've read, in a class of its own. Unputdownable. A perfect blend of reality and fantasy for children, teens, and adults alike. Ignore the title of this book: If KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY brings up images of knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, you're WRONG. You're also not alone: That's the type of novel I thought I was getting, too. I thought this novel was going to be about a school that taught students how to be a knight. I was hoping for the next RANGER'S APPRENTICE by John Flanagan or SONG OF THE LIONESS (or PROTECTOR OF THE SMALL) series by Tamora Pierce. While this novel IS about knights, it's not about *knights.* When I first started reading and saw the word "car," I thought, "What.? Dashing knights in our world?" And then I kept reading. It takes place at the turn of the century, when electricity is still new and cars are used only by a select few. I grew even more confused. But then I realized how brilliant author Violet Haberdasher (nom de plume) is. Because this world is our world, but it's *not* our world. At one point, there were real knights of old. Eventually, the various countries signed The Longsword Treaty with one another, creating peace and eliminating the need for combat and true knights. Instead, Knights of the Realm now train to be detective knights, police knights, and secret service knights. They might also work in prestigious office positions or for famous families. KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY also holds a vague similarity to HARRY POTTER, albeit without the use of any magic. The novel centers around an orphaned boy named Henry Grim who has dreamed of one day attending Knightley Academy. Alas, without a proper status or position in life, he has no chance of getting in...until the entrance exams allow all residents at the school where he works to apply. There are a couple of characters reminiscent of beloved members of the POTTER family, as well as a few nuances here and there. Haberdasher wrote a particularly lovely guest post earlier this year on about her goals in creating KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY. She wanted a series to fill in the hole left when the POTTER series concluded for fans such as herself who grew up with the novels, something with a similar texture to them. But she didn't want the magic, or a boy who knew nothing about the school he was about to attend, and resolutions that never occurred in the best-selling series. In the guest post, she states, "The hero is the cleverest scholar in his year, hopeless at sports and destined for nothing. And yet.there is something undeniably Potterish about my storytelling." The result is a series with a similar flavor, but different enough that the two truly can't be compared to one another.
libramom More than 1 year ago
IF YOU ENJOYED J K Rawlings harry potter books, the characters and events of this story will probably appeal.the story length and detail might be a little on the lighter side.Suffice it to say I will be purchasing the sequels as they come up for advance sale.
Amajorbibliophile More than 1 year ago
"Knightley Academy," by Violet Haberdasher is a fast-paced, exciting adventure! Packed full of suspense, mystery, and humor, this book is unlike any other and is sure to enthrall anyone who reads it! It has fun, unique characters and an imaginative plot, with surprises around every corner! It absorbs the reader so much that they never want to put it down and are actually able to feel apart of the story! Praised by wonderful authors Kaza Kingsley, Dean Lorey, and Tamora Pierce, "Knightley Academy" will surely leave all readers eagerly awaiting the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an awesome prequel to the secret prince. it keeps you turning the pages till the end. As a 9 year old reader i was amazed at the vivid descriptions that she wrote. I think she did an outstanding job
Jaina_ireadtilldawn More than 1 year ago
Delving into this book for the first time years ago, I had no idea what I was reading - a boarding school was involved, I knew that. A smart commoner who rubs shoulders with the elite. Danger, excitement, and intrigue. And really, I was hooked before I even knew anything else. Henry is an orphaned servant at the posh Midsummer Academy. On the outside he is indistinguishable from any other servant, with a rough childhood and no foreseeable prospects. Dishes and dirty chalkboards are the only things in his future – or so it seems. You see, a professor at the academy, Professor Stratford, has been teaching Henry things far above his class. Henry can speak at least five languages, knows how to do math, and science, and all those other fancy rich-people subjects. But it’s not until he gets a chance, that these skills will ever do him any good. You see, the most elite school of all is Knightley Academy, a school that draws the best students from each of the best schools. Henry takes the entrance exam through a loop-hole (they never said entrants had to attend the school, just that they had to live there!), and lo and behold, he gets accepted! In fact, they even let in two more students from a pool of commoners, just because of him. And so the adventures begin.  Knightley Academy follows Henry and his fellow misfit friends Adam and Rohan as they navigate their classes in fencing, etiquette, and medicine and train to be knights. Oh, I forgot to tell you, didn’t I? Yeah, it’s a school to train to be knights. But knights don’t actually fight, or kill, or go to war. A treaty was signed decades ago between the three countries of Britain (each independent), promising they would never train for battle or go to war against each other. Instead, Knightley Academy trains students to be knight protectors, knight police, knight medics, etc. All is right and peachy, until Henry, Adam, and Rohan realize that someone is out to get them expelled. And then Henry discovers something that shows their peaceable neighboring country (which happens to be communistic) might not be as peaceful as they thought, and things take a spiral toward excitement. Before I get any farther, I have to talk about the fact that this book is a sort of tribute to Harry Potter, a parody, as it were. Except maybe I shouldn’t use the “p” word in connection with this book, because then people might not read it. Before you either quietly slip away rolling your eyes in distaste, or you run out and buy a copy just because I said the magic words (no pun intended!), no, this is not a laughably bad parody about a kid with parent in a coma who didn’t know he had the ability to tap dance while standing on his head. And it’s not a commentary about the good/bad things in the Harry Potter books. Pure and simple, it’s a work of love by an author who enjoyed Harry Potter so much she took the basic outline, twisted it, and then put it back together a bit skewed. There is no magic, Henry’s far from being a famous celebrity (try infamous, by dint of being the poorest), and his sporting abilities are pretty appalling. It’s a lot of fun to catch all the parallels to Harry Potter in this book, but even if I’d never read Harry Potter in my life I’m convinced I still would have heartily enjoyed Knightley Academy and its sequel (still waiting for the third book, Ms. Haberdasher!). Anyway, back on topic. I get the feeling my first book review might wind up a little long. Bear with me here.  The characterization in this book is not the best I’ve ever seen, and sometimes I felt like Henry was just a little too perfect. You know, good grades, speaks about five languages, always ahead on homework (speaking of Harry Potter, I’d actually put him closer to Hermione – without the know-it-all-ness), and still humble, kind, and a great friend. Really, I just want to wrap him up and make him my best friend/homework helper. You’d think that you would come to not like Henry, but I think because of all the odds stacked against him (and his great sense of humor) you really just commiserate with him and cheer when he gets any form of acceptance or praise from the snobby students around him (who aren’t really all that bad – most of them, anyway). As for setting, well, the book is set somewhere around the Industrial Revolution. I think. Sorry, I’m taking so much AP European History right now, it’s all slushed around in my head. But they have primitive automobiles, and watches (signs of the Industrial Revolution), but it’s set in an alternative Britain where each of the three countries (Ireland, Scotland, and England) have completely different names and histories, and each is independent.  I have to say that I fell in love with Knightley Academy from the first description of its rambling grounds and mismatched buildings. Whether it’s overused or not, there’s something about a rather eccentric boarding school (and the rather eccentric new headmaster who let Henry attend) that just makes me curl my toes, snuggle up in my blankets, and wish for some hot chocolate to sip while I read. Not that I ever have any, however, because making the hot chocolate would entail getting out of bed. So do I recommend this book? Yes. In fact, both Knightley Academy and its sequel, The Secret Prince, made it onto my Christmas wish list this year. It’s the perfect book for people who don’t want to/aren’t allowed to read Harry Potter, but who don’t want to miss out on all the good parts. It’s also a book for people who have read Harry Potter, because if you like Harry Potter, odds are you’ll love this book . . . well, not just as much, because really. That’s just not possible. But maybe, I don’t know. Three-fourths as much as Harry Potter. Which really, in my book, is pretty much true love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great for people who like to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I greatly reccomend this book it's just like harry potter and that's why i fellin love with this bool I Greentee (sorry i can't spell today) that you will love it to PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has a dick with one ball. XD <br> &#1492 ,Yours truly <br> &#1492 Jordan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have ever read. It is well plotted, and if you like adventure and fantasy, you will most likely love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An awesome book for a anybody who like fantasy and adventure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant pay attention in class and fudgets thinking urgently about something
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and i love it SO much.
Shanella More than 1 year ago
Henry Grimm is an orphan who works in the kitchens of a prestigious boarding school for boys. As a commoner, he is not allowed to take Knighley Academy entrance exam, but, after finding a loophole in the rules, he is admitted as the first commoner to Knightley Academy - a school for Knights. Knightley Academy follows Henry and his friends and the troubles and truimphs they experience during their first year at Knightley. Initially, you might think that Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher, is just another Harry Potter knock-off. There¿s an orphaned boy gaining access to a special school, who is mentored by adults who want him to succeed. A teacher who seems to dislike said boy on sight, a nemisis much like the pointed-chin Malfoy. Even the way the story is written is reminiscent of Harry Potter. However, that¿s where the similarities end. While the stories do share a lot of similar elements, they are not the same. The idea of a young, unfortunate boy finding out that he¿s special in some way (or in this case, attending a special school), finding friends in unlikely places and over coming a difficult situation - against all odds - is not a new idea. It¿s been written and rewritten for years. It¿s the execution of the idea that makes a story stand out. I¿d venture to say that Knightley Academy can stand on it¿s own. There were times when I found the prose a little awkward and the situations a little unrealistic. One of the conflicts in the story was related to a political treaty and politics is a main theme that runs through the entire narrative and sometimes reads a bit dry. As the story progresses, it comes into its own, and even though it started slow, the end had me rooting for Henry. While I wouldn¿t call it original, I think that it is a fun read for young readers. I¿m looking forward to seeing how this story develops.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Lets just get that straight. The characters were completely believable and the plot was amazing. The book was extremely, like Harry Potter, which for me wasn't a problem: servant boy, big school, Henry=Harry, Valmont=Voldemort, Professor Snape=Mr. Havelock. But I recommend this to anyone who likes Harry Potter and to those who haven't. Anyone who reads this will fall deeply obsessed, like i am with Frankie. Please read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago