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THE ADVENTURES OF SIR GAWAIN THE TRUE by Gerald Morris Kirkus Star

THE ADVENTURES OF SIR GAWAIN THE TRUE

From the Knights' Tales series, volume 3

By Gerald Morris (Author) , Aaron Renier (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: April 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-41855-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Continuing the masterful reboot of his Squire’s Tales for younger audiences, Morris takes his favorite knight from “Sir Gawain the Undefeated” to “Sir Gawain the Once Defeated” and thence to the titular moniker. All the while, he delivers wry and perceptive commentary on both the hazards of reckless vows and the profound importance of courtesy. It all begins when the self-absorbed Gawain slays a dragon and shrugs off the gratitude of the damsel he has just rescued. Shortly thereafter he’s tricked into agreeing to let a huge green giant knight cut off his head in a year’s time and just after that finds himself locked into a battle (supposedly) to the death with a good friend who is also “undefeated.” Being a quick learner, Gawain survives both challenges thanks to his discovery that common sense, good manners and a dash of humility go a long way toward solving problems and minimizing the body count. Enhanced by Renier’s lighthearted medieval scenes—including two notable views of the heavily armored Gawain in bunny slippers—Morris' yarn weaves clever turns, knightly violence and chivalric (i.e., human) values in action into an ingeniously integrated retelling of “Gawain and the Green Knight” and other episodes from the Arthurian canon. Worthy reading for all budding squires and damsels. (Fantasy. 9-11)