Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village is a gorgeous, thoughtful book. It contains 19 monologues and 2 dialogues, each from the perspective of an inhabitant (child) of a medieval village. Will, the plowboy. Isobel, the lord's daughter. Nariot and Maud, the glassblower's daughters. Giles, the beggar. Pask, the runaway. Jack, the half-wit. Simon, the knight's son.... When needed, the author includes background information on subjects such as falconry and the three-field system. This time around, we are treating it as a read-aloud, but I would love nothing more than to have a group of kids each choose a monologue and put on a simple production. I hope to give that a try on our next history rotation. Fabulous book!
The Making of a Knight follows a boy from 7 year-old page, through 14 year-old squire, and onto knighthood at the age of 21. This is a beautifully illustrated picture book for younger children.
I'm not sure how, but I came across a series of books by Gerald Morris, retelling the Arthurian legends. I started with The Squire's Tale and am looking forward to proceding through the others. The writing is surprisingly effortless, fresh, and witty. I was quite drawn in. I think my boys will particularly enjoy this series when we revisit Medieval history on the next go-around.
A Knight's Tale is one of our favorite family movies. I'm happy to have it finally fit in with our lessons, so we can watch it during school hours (grin). (Warning: some language, nudity, and romance. There is one scene in particular that I fast-forward through for the boys.)
Castle Diary is one of my favorite books on medieval life for children. Do try to find the oversized hardback edition for the full-page color illustrations. They are fabulous. The story itself is humorous and chock-full of details about life in a castle over the course of a year from the perspective of an eleven year-old boy.
While at the library the other day, I stumbled upon this most excellent retelling of Don Quixote. It is a hefty 350 pages, but very straightforward prose with hilarious illustrations. Levi and Russ were laughing out loud as I was reading. Extremely entertaining, the humor particularly resonating with boys (small and large). (Speaking of the illustrations (brilliant, I tell you), something about them felt very familiar. It suddenly dawned on me that Chris Riddell also illustrated the above Castle Diary.) I realize that Don Quixote is not set in medieval times, but there are so many references to the 'age of chivalry' and 'knights errant' that I certainly think it qualifies!