Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











{February 23, 2011}   The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True, by Gerald Morris

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has been so gracious as to allow me review an ARC of this novel, through Netgalley, prior to the novel hitting bookstores April 18th!  So, without further ado, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads: “In the third installment in the Knights’ Tales series, Gerald Morris tells the laugh-outloud tale of King Arthur’s most celebrated knight, and nephew, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. With lively illustrations by Aaron Renier, Morris creates a captivating and comical medieval world that teems with humor and wonder.  This chapter book is sure to set young readers on another rollicking and hilarious Arthurian adventure!”

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This is a great coming on age novel for middle grade readers, and it is most enjoyable.  The novel is illustrated, which helps bring the story to life right on the page.  Yet, the illustrations do not overpower the imagination of the reader; they are tastefully done and evenly interspersed.

Any MG readers interested in the knights of the realm, or historical mythology in general, will enjoy this story.  The storyline flows easily and each chapter offers humorous insight and action, all leading up to the suspenseful conclusion.  Although this novel is the third in a series, it stands alone and does not need any prior background knowledge—the novel explains itself. 

Sir Gawain is a respectable knight who learns the value of courtesy through the events within the story, and this overarching theme is one our children can never hear too much.  I highly recommend this novel for younger children as it is fast paced, interesting, easy to read, and easy to understand.  I think it would also be a good choice for struggling readers in higher grades.  For any reader that enjoys this novel, I also recommend Morris’ book The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady, which takes the same story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and fleshes it out.  It focuses more so on the yearlong adventures of Sir Gawain and his Squire as they make their way to the Green Knight, whereas The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True focuses on the first few weeks after the Green Knight’s appearance.  I highly recommend reading both!  Three stars!

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