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King Arthur and Camelot


Castles and dragons and knights, oh my! In the wonderful body of literature known as Arthurian legend, knights on horseback galloped through the Middle Ages in Europe jousting, saving damsels in distress, and trying to prove both their courage and their honor. Fire-breathing dragons threatened villages, kings schemed and battled over vast lands, and sorcerers and wise men like Merlin made things even more interesting.

With our round-up of books on King Arthur and his kingdom, which was known as Camelot, you can travel back to these days of chivalry, adventure and intrigue --- and find plenty of reading excitment!

   --- Shannon Maughan


THE LAST GRAIL KEEPER
by Pamela Smith Hill
Holiday House
ISBN: 0823415740
Ages 11-up
288 pages

Felicity is sure her summer is going to be dull when she accompanies her archaeologist mom on a dig in England. But when a fascinating piece of history (and magic?) is discovered at the site --- the Grail, the cup that gives eternal life --- all bets are off. Felicity learns she has a mysterious connection to the Grail and her summer ---- and life --- are changed forever.


WEBSITE OF THE WARPED WIZARD
by Eric A. Kimmel
illustrated by Jeff Shelly
Dutton/Puffin
ISBN: 0141311673
Ages 7-10
128 pages

In this totally twisted fantasy, Jessica downloads herself into a world of knights, wizards, centaurs --- and surfer dudes and motorcycle gangs. Huh? Find out what all the fun is about in this quick and funny read.


PARSIFAL'S PAGE
by Gerald Morris
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN: 0618055096
Ages 10-14
240 pages

Piers jumps at the chance to leave the difficult and dirty work of his father's blacksmith shop behind. Piers goes off to be a page to a knight on a quest. Soon, Piers's master is slain by a man named Parsifal and Piers finds himself as a page to this new boss and on a new and dangerous quest. He learns that being a knight is not all that it's cracked up to be --- and that some men never live up to the ideal image of a noble knight in shining armor.


PARZIVAL: The Quest of the Grail Knight
retold by Katherine Paterson
Dutton
ISBN: 0525675795
Ages 128
10-up pages

In this beautiful, pocket-sized hardcover, Newbery-winner Paterson recasts a 13th-century poem as a powerful and thrilling read. Set in the time of King Arthur, Paterson’s story introduces Parzival, a sheltered boy ignorant of chivalry and the ways of the world who eventually becomes a great knight who finds the holy Grail, the secret to eternal life.

Though he’d never heard of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and their exploits, Parzival is a quick learner. With training from Prince Gurnemanz, Parzival soon gains a reputation among Arthur’s court as one fearless in battle and protective and respectful of women. Unfortunately, Parzival also becomes labeled a fool, as he fails to utter the compassionate words which would heal the ailing Fisher King and earn the Grail. When he realizes his grave error, Parzival wanders the land hoping for the chance to set things right and obtain the sacred Grail.

Paterson’s fast-moving text will keep readers on their toes. Though many of the characters have names which are difficult to pronounce, the drama of their adventures keeps kids interested. Her writing sparkles bright as new armor.

Aficionados of Arthurian legend will gobble up Paterson’s latest and those new to this body of literature will be encouraged to explore other works about the mythical kings, knights and ladies.


KNIGHT'S CASTLE
by Edward Eager
Harcourt Brace
ISBN: 015202073X
198 pages

 

 

 

 


THE KNIGHTS AT DAWN
(Magic Tree House #2)
by Mary Pope Osborne
Random House
ISBN: 067982412X
Ages 6-9
72 pages

Hear ye! Hear ye! It's back to the Middle Ages and the days of knights and castles. Jack and Annie attend a feast where whole pigs and peacocks are being served. Ewww.

 


KNIGHTS OF THE KITCHEN TABLE
(The Time Warp Trio)
by Jon Scieszka
Puffin Books
ISBN: 0140346031
Ages 7-11
55 pages

When Joe receives a magic book for his birthday, he and friends Fred and Sam are transported to a time when evil knights, fire-breathing dragons, and vile-smelling giants roamed the lands.



DEALING WITH DRAGONS
by Patricia C. Wrede
Scholastic
ISBN: 0590457225
Ages 10-up
212 pages

You'll find humor and adventure in the age of knights and dragons in this first book about a rebellious princess who would rather be in the thick of the action than be a proper lady within the castle walls.

 


CAMELOT: A Collection of Original Arthurian Stories
edited by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Winslow Pels
Philomel
ISBN: 0399225404
Ages 9-up
198 pages

Yolen gathers 10 short stories and one song by such authors as Anne McCaffrey, Terry Pratchett, as well as adding two of her own creations, in this collection of original works starring Arthur, Merlin, Gawain and other inhabitants of Camelot. Pels provides a crisp full-color painting for each.


CASTLE: An Interactive Guide to Castles
Dorling Kindersley Publishing
ISBN: 0789404567
Ages 7-up
16 pages

This Action Pack provides a hands-on look at castles. The boxed set includes a 16 page booklet done in crisp photographic style and fun activity materials focusing on castles, knights and medieval times.


EXCALIBUR
by Hudson Talbott
Books of Wonder/Morrow
ISBN: 0688133800
Ages 7-up
40 pages

Arthur leads his knights in glorious battle and takes on heroic quests to prove himself. After Arthur nearly dies facing the devastating strength of Pellinore, Merlin introduces the king to the Lady of the Lake who presents him with the magical, all-powerful sword, Excalibur.


FAVORITE MEDIEVAL TALES
by Mary Pope Osborne
illustrated by Troy Howell
Scholastic
ISBN: 0590600427
Ages 8-12
96 pages

Respected author Mary Pope Osborne brings nine European tales to life in this exceptional collection of retold classics. Each story, from King Arthur to Sir Gawain to Beowulf to Robin Hood, begins with a passage from an earlier source, written in its original form. Then Osborne brings the tales into focus for children with a more modern perspective, using contemporary language. Howell's signature, richly-hued oil paintings are the perfect icing on the cake.


HERE THERE BE DRAGONS
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by David Wilgus
Harcourt
ISBN: 0152017054
Ages 10-up
160 pages

Master storyteller Jane Yolen celebrates dragons --- all kinds of dragons, from tender to ghoulish --- in this collection of short stories. And illustrator David Wilgus brings these medieval beasts to life, with his evocative, distinctive pencil drawings.


KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE
from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur
edited by Sidney Lanier
Grosset & Dunlap
ISBN: 0448060167
Ages 9-up

This adaptation of the classic text is part of the Illustrated Junior Library collection, featuring a still-wonderful design and full-color paintings from the 1950s. From Arthur's boyhood to his last days, all of the great legends are included here.


KING ARTHUR: The Sword in the Stone
by Hudson Talbott
Books of Wonder/Morrow
ISBN: 0688094031
Ages 7-up
40 pages

In this vividly detailed account, young Arthur upstages his older brother Kay in a grand tournament. During one of the challenges, Arthur is the only one who succeeds at pulling a sword from an anvil, proving he is the rightful successor to the throne of Britain. He also meets the great wizard Merlin, who will help teach him what he needs to know to be ruler.


MERLIN AND THE DRAGONS
by Jane Yolen
illustrated by Li Ming
Puffin
ISBN: 0140558918
Ages 6-up
40 pages

When the young King Arthur has disturbing dreams, he seeks the advice of his magician and advisor, Merlin. Merlin tells Arthur about his own childhood and about the future-telling dream he once had about the battle between a red and a white dragon. Merlin also tells the young king about his true heritage and his late father, King Uther, who ruled before him. The boy takes comfort in his new knowledge and sleeps easier than ever before. Ming's sweeping oil paintings put kids right in the middle of the colorful action.


STEPHEN BIESTY'S CROSS-SECTIONS: CASTLE
by Richard Platt
illustrated by Stephen Biesty
Dorling Kindersley Publishing
ISBN: 1564584674
Ages 5-up
27 pages

In this oversized picture book, Stephen Biesty's intricate drawings offer a view of a 14th-century castle, inside and out. His cross-sections show how the castle was built, all its unique features and how people lived in it. A fascinating volume.


THE LOST YEARS OF MERLIN
(Lost Years of Merlin, No. 1)
by T. A. Barron
Publisher
ISBN: 044100668X
Ages 9-up
284 pages

A boy who washes up on the shores of Wales and is taken in by Branwen, a mysterious woman who claims to be his mother. But the boy soon leaves the only home he's known and ventures to the enchanted isle of Fincayra, eager to discover his true identity, which unbeknownst to him, is Merlin, future wizard/advisor to King Arthur.


THE NEW KID AT SCHOOL:
Dragon Slayers' Academy #1
by K. H. McMullan
Grosset & Dunlap
ISBN: 0448415925
Ages 7-10
96 pages

Young Wiglaf's first day of school at the Dragon Slayers' Academy is one he'll never forget. Beginning readers go along for the ride as Wiglaf meets dragons, a fairy princess, wizards and even a pig who speaks Pig Latin --- all while he worries about getting an F in slaying class.


YOUNG ARTHUR
by Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by Jamichael Henterly
Dell
ISBN: 0385322682
Ages 6-10
32 pages

The boy who will become medieval Britian's great king discovers his destiny when he alone proves worthy to free a sword from its place imbedded in a huge stone. Yet again, Henterly's paintings capture all the excitement and beauty of the Middle Ages.


YOUNG GUINEVERE
by Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by Jamichael Henterly
Dell
ISBN: 0440412919
Ages 6-10

As a girl, the willful and impulsive Guinevere sneaked out of her father's castle to explore the woods. She met unicorns, dragons and all sorts of adventure. She also meets her future husband, King Authur, when she asks him to help defend her father in battle. Girls, especially, will relish this strong heroine.


YOUNG LANCELOT
by Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by Jamichael Henterly
Doubleday
ISBN: 0440414598
Ages 6-10

Lancelot, the most famous knight of the round table, wasn't born with a sword in his hand. He was, instead, raised by a powerful enchantress, the Lady of the Lake, and grew to be handsome but cold. This insightful book explores how even though young Lancelot was an expert warrior, he had a great deal to learn about the power of the heart.


YOUNG MERLIN
by Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by Daniel Horne
Dell
ISBN: 0440411599
Ages 6-10

Through lyrical text and dark-hued dramatic paintings, San Souci and Horne introduce Merlin, a wonder child who can see the future. Merlin discovers his powers, slowly but surely, and grows up to be the wise magician/wizard who serves the legendary leader of medieval Britain, King Arthur.


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