Children's LiteratureA boy from a noble family starts on the route to knighthood by becoming a page and then a squire for another noble family. Between the ages of 18 to 21, the squire generally is dubbed a knight. After the stages of becoming a knight are outlined, there is a copy of a letter to a sister from a brand new knight describing his own knighting and the festivities that followed. Unfortunately there is no attribution to show whether the letter is authentic or imagined. In fact, the book lacks any kind of bibliography. Armor, weapons, heraldry, tournaments, chivalry, family life, battle action, the Crusades and military orders each rate a two-page spread. Another two-page segment describes the Samurai, the Japanese equivalent of knights. Famous Medieval warriors are discussed and the book concludes by describing how changing battle techniques made knights obsolete. The book, with many excellent illustrations, includes background on the Middle Ages, a glossary, a timeline, and an index. As I said in my review of Crabtree's Life in A Castle, other books cover this subject along with the story of castles as well or better and they do it in a single volume at a smaller price. That said, a librarian recently told me she enthusiastically purchases Crabtree books because of their readability and reasonable price and that they are very popular in her library. 2004, Crabtree Publishing Company, Ages 7 to 14.
Janet Crane Barley