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In 14th-century England, Stephen de Beauville dreams of becoming a knight—not a promising ambition for a contemplative boy with a talent for drawing. Quiet and solitary, Stephen must endure the bitter torments of his brothers and cousins until he finds his first true friend; through that friendship Stephen gains courage to endure the lack of kindness in his life. But believing that Stephen will never possess the valor to be a knight, his father abruptly sends him away ...
In 14th-century England, Stephen de Beauville dreams of becoming a knight—not a promising ambition for a contemplative boy with a talent for drawing. Quiet and solitary, Stephen must endure the bitter torments of his brothers and cousins until he finds his first true friend; through that friendship Stephen gains courage to endure the lack of kindness in his life. But believing that Stephen will never possess the valor to be a knight, his father abruptly sends him away to spend the rest of his life in a monastery.
After a harsh apprenticeship in the monastery, Stephen realizes he must flee its confines. In a twist of fortune, he becomes squire to a wise knight and then attains knighthood himself. The death of his own young squire causes the twenty-six-year-old Stephen to re-examine his ambitions. In doing so, he makes an important discovery: His journey through dangerous times has instilled in him the strength and self-confidence to find his true place in the world. One is One portrays a man ready to heed his mentor's maxim: "Do not be afraid to do what you want to do."
Several of Barbara Leonie Picard’s many books, including One Is One, have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Britain’s oldest children’s book award.
Praise for One Is One and Barbara Leonie Picard:
"Her narratives have the ring of tales told by skald and bard, and her choice of words would fill great halls. Her literary fairy tales are lushly romantic, with poetic language and an almost other-worldly knowledge that informs and enriches them. Open one of her books and read it aloud. See how her words will still echo in the storytelling rooms and libraries that have become our great halls."—Janice M. Del Negro
"In One is One there is a large cast of entirely credible characters and a good contrast is pointed between fourteenth-century courtly and monastic life. The strength of this book derives from its concern with important themes—loneliness, loyalty, courage and love; above all, self-knowledge."—The Spectator
"Miss Picard has been bold in choosing for her hero a weakling and a coward. The final resolution of Stephen's doubts, though not unexpected, is most beautifully handled."—The Times Literary Supplement
Barbara Leonie Picard (19172011) was the author of over twenty-five books, all of which have received praise for the mature and thought-provoking fare they offer young readers. Her first book was published in 1949. Her works include five historical novels for young adults, many retellings of myths and epics—including the Odyssey and the Iliad, the story of King Arthur, and legends of the Norse gods—and collections of fairy tales. Several of her books have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the oldest children's book award in the UK. Paul Dry Books also publishes Picard's book Ransom for a Knight.
Posted July 20, 2013
This book, as a coming of age novel, mirrors the search of many for who they really are and how to exist in the midst of a society that does not welcome those who it deems misfits. This book changed my outlook on life when I read it decades ago and still reassures me as I reread it again and again that there is a place for each person who can be true to his own personhood. It is truly one of the most meaningful, encouraging and validating books I have ever read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.