Saturday, March 7, 2009

a couple middle readers

Near the end of last month, when I was moaning over Wuthering Heights, I picked up a few early/middle reader books from the library. I love these types of books. They are usually creative and they never take long to read. Exactly what I needed.

I find that they are hard to review. So, I am cheating and doing a couple of short reviews stacked in one.

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great, by Gerald Morris

Many years ago, the storytellers say, the great King Arthur brought justice to England with the help of his gallant Knights of the Round Table.
Of these worthy knights, there was never one so fearless, so chivalrous, so honorable, so . . . shiny, as the dashing Sir Lancelot, who was quite good at defending the helpless and protecting the weak, just as long as he'd had his afternoon nap.

Did you know that Sir Lancelot was a French prince before joining the Round Table? I didn't.

This book is basically a collection of short stories. Each chapter stands fairly well on its own, making it a nice read aloud. My favorite story had to do with Lancelot being tricked into taking his armor off and hanging out in a tree for the afternoon. Silly stuff.

This would be a great addition to any knight-lovers library.

Ibby's Magic Weekend, by Heather Dyer

When straight-arrow Ibby visits her two troublemaking cousins in their chaotic country house, she learns of an old box of magic tricks they found hidden in the attic. Ibby thinks magic is nothing but sleight of hand...until her cousin Francis shrinks to the size of her thumb!

I didn't know anything about this book when I picked it up. I grabbed it because the title was written in silver shiny writing.

The story is fairly straightforward and very predictable, but I enjoyed it. Watching the kids figure out each trick (and watching Ibby lighten up!) was fun. I love the contrast between the adults who all say that magic is just slight of hand, etc and the kids who figure out that magic is really, real.

I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as Lancelot, but it was still an enjoyable quick read.

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