Sunday, May 9, 2010

Children's Book Review: Roland Wright Future Knight

Having grown up as the youngest, trying to keep up with or exceed the exploits of my older three brothers, I felt for Roland's plight in Roland Wright Future Knight.

For Roland Wright, dreaming of being a knight is an impossible dream since he's just a little guy whose dad is a craftsman. Craftsman's kids never get to be knights. Never ever ever. But when Roland's dad designs a superior suit of armor that saves the king's life in battle, Roland learns that the reward is that either he or his brother will be allowed to become a page, the first step to knighthood.

Since older brother Shelby has never expressed an interest in becoming a knight, Roland is certain he will be chosen. The dream that seemed impossible will finally become reality. His hopes are squelched when Shelby declares that he as the older son will be the page that lives in the castle, while Roland will live out his days as a nobody building suits of armor. Roland's wise father steps in and declares a contest to find who will become the future knight and who will become the future armorer.

Tony Davis has created a character worth rooting for in Roland. Boys will love the action of sword fights and humor (mostly in the form of Roland's pet mouse). I loved the clever contests devised by Roland's father which revealed not only the physical strength and agility of the boys, but also their character and compassion. The outcome is close, but I won't tell you who the victor is. (Not even if you throw me in the dungeon.)

If you get a chance to pick it up in the bookstore or at your local library, I hope you enjoy sharing Roland Wright Future Knight with your middle-grade readers as you discover together what it takes to truly be a victor.

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