by Gerald Morris, published 1999
“Humans are just different. No other creatures have the capacity for such evil and such folly. That is why the rare human who is truly good is so remarkable. And the rare human who acquires true wisdom…is so magnificent.”
What a treat to come across Gerald Morris and his commitment to providing inspirational children’s books about King Arthur. Yet again, he has taken a classic, Arthurian literature, and made it perfect for contemporary children. This time, his source material is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a fourteenth century epic poem. The story that Morris brings us is filled with the bravery, excitement, and uplifting values that the we associate with the Knights of the Round Table. It’s done in a way that allows children to step into the world of chivalry and faeries, goodness and evil, and learn for themselves what makes a great person great.
The message of Gawain in this one is quite interesting, and one I don’t often see in a children’s book. It is not just about humility, for in the end Gawain and Terence embody that. It is also about integrity. If one has committed one’s life to a value, such as honor, then one must never waver from that.
Above all, the book is about overcoming the human tendency to put oneself first. Terence is rewarded in the end because he truly learned selflessness and dedication. What a great model for young boys.
There’s nothing namby-pamby about the characters in this inspirational children’s book. The heroes truly engage in difficult, life-threatening battles. But never do they lose their innate worthiness. Along the way there’s some romance, which might make the boys a little squirmy. However, this is such a good ‘boys’ book that I hope they can make it through. I do recommend it for older boys, at least 11, if not 12, as some of it will go over the heads of the younger ones. For adults who love King Arthur, this is equally suitable
Find this children’s book on Amazon:
The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady (The Squire’s Tales)