||May 25, 2012
Join Prince Gavin, Philip, and Bryan in their quest to prove their friend The Wild Man is innocent of murder. An Arthurian adventure.
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Beyond Today Educator
2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction from Children's Literary Classics
The King's Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) earns the Children's Literary Classics 2012 Seal of Approval!
In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder.
Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.
Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Excerpt from Chapter 6
Gavin leaned close and whispered, “The throne room is just around that corner.”
Philip’s gaze followed his friend’s outstretched arm.
“We have to be quiet from now on. Even a whisper will give us away.”
Philip nodded. Silently he followed Gavin. Only slivers of light from between the wooden slats lit the dark passageway. As they rounded the corner, voices seeped through the walls.
“I don’t know whether he did it or not. We’ll keep the guard doubled until we know for certain.”
“Father, he had to have done it. The bloody knife was found in his blanket,” argued Sean,Gavin’s oldest brother. “We don’t know where he’s from or how he came to be here. Besides, how could he have gotten inside the castle if Aldred didn’t know him?”
“I’m not so certain he killed Aldred,” said Robert. “He’s pretty harmless from what I’ve heard and seen.”
“What do you mean ‘harmless’?” Sean asked. “He killed Aldred to cover up the theft and to keep him from spreading the alarm.”
“I’ve seen him with Gavin and his friends, Philip and Bryan.”
“The boys worship him. He often watches Gavin practice and gives him good suggestions for improvement. I’ve even seen him instructing Bryan in sword fighting. He’s handy with a sword. He also works for the friar and helps Philip with repairs around the church.”
“I don’t call a stranger who shows up out of nowhere and is good with a sword ‘harmless.’ And why’s a man like that passing time with a prince of Pembroke?” Sean asked.
“That has little bearing here,” King Wallace pointed out.
“I disagree. The people are angry over Aldred’s death. I’m afraid if we don’t convict this Wild Man, the people may take that to mean we are unwilling to prosecute a guilty man because of his friendship with Gavin,” Sean said. “Maybe that’s what he counted on.”
Philip gripped Gavin’s arm. What if the Wild Man had killed Aldred and stolen the King’s Ransom? What if he’d used Gavin’s friendship to do just that? What if the Wild Man had used them all?
Philip calmed himself and squeezed Gavin’s arm harder, knowing he was thinking the same thing. When Gavin turned, Philip shook his head and mouthed the word “No!” twice. Gavin nodded.
“The people do not enforce the law here. I do!” King Wallace declared. “I’ll decide if the man is guilty or not, and the people will live with my decision.”
“As you say, Father,” both sons replied, subdued.
“It troubles me that there was no sign of the King’s Ransom with this...this Wild Man’s things,” the King continued.
A chair scraped on the floor. The noise made Philip jump. He relaxed when someone, probably the king, paced.
“Why keep the knife and not the medallion?” King Wallace asked. “You two take a small contingent of knights tomorrow and search his camp. Find that medallion. He must have hidden it nearby, knowing it would be worthless around here. Probably planned on leaving the area after the uproar calmed down, never thinking we would be able to follow his trail so quickly. I bet he has a buyer for it.” The king pounded his desk with his fist.
Gavin and Philip jumped.
“That’s it! And I’d wager his buyer is King Edward,” the king said.
“Of Manorbier Castle?” Sean asked.
“Why not? You’ve heard him threaten often enough that he’d like nothing better than to buy
up all of Pembroke and get rid of us for good.”
“Why don’t we confront him? That might throw him off guard,” Robert suggested.
“No. Unless we have proof, King Arthur would have my head if I provoked a conflict. It
took him long enough to convince Edward to end his raids. Confronting him isn’t the answer.” The scraping of chairs startled Gavin and Philip again.
“Go out tomorrow. Search well. When you return, have the knights question the villagers. If
you turn up nothing, we’ll apply pressure to our prisoner.”
Both sons started to protest.
“I know, you want to question him now. However, some time without contact will put him
in a more agreeable mood. Might make him eager to tell us where he’s hidden the King’s Ransom.”
“What about King Arthur?”
“He will be here in four to five days. Either I have the medallion to present to him, or I give him the man’s head. Close the door behind you. I need to think.”
Gavin signaled Philip to return the way they had come. When they reached the tapestry, Philip let Gavin move ahead to make sure the way was clear.
Once outside, they sat on a shadowed bench across from the dungeon.
“If we can’t prove the Wild Man’s innocent, then your father, I mean the king, will have him killed,” Philip said.
Both boys sat quietly.
Finally Philip said, “Gavin?”
“Do you think the Wild Man would use our friendship?” Philip’s voice trembled. Gavin didn’t answer.
Another Arthurian Tale by Cheryl Carpinello
Children, parents, and educators will be delighted that Cheryl Carpinello, author of “Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend” is back with another King Arthur story for young readers. Like “Guinevere,” “The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table)” is a chapter book and also the first in a projected series of “Young Knights of the Round Table” novels.
While King Arthur and one of his greatest knights (to say which knight would be giving away the plot) make cameo appearances in the book, the primary story centers around Gavin, the Prince of Pembroke Castle, and his two friends, Philip, a young boy with secrets, and Bryan, a blacksmith in training, as they seek to save the life of their mysterious friend, the Wild Man, who has been training them for knighthood. The Wild Man has been accused of murdering and stealing the gold and emerald medallion, known as the King’s Ransom, which allowed its owner to wield enormous power. Convinced the Wild Man is innocent of the crime, Gavin and his friends are determined to find out who the real killer is before King Arthur arrives to watch that justice is done and the Wild Man put to death.
The adventures these future Young Knights of the Round Table experience in their quest to save their friend are filled with the fantasy and adventure story elements that children love to read. There’s a villain, secret passages in castles, swordplay, and even a witch. And with King Arthur’s appearance, astonishing secret identities being revealed, and a happy ending, what more could anyone want in a good read?
As a teacher, Carpinello has been teaching the legend of King Arthur to her young students for over twenty years, so she has a good sense of what children want to read as well as how to educate them through a story. At just seventy-seven pages, the book is divided into eighteen short chapters that keep the pacing of the book fast and readers interested. “Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom,” will teach young readers tolerance, loyalty, and courage as well as introduce them to the wonderful and thrilling literature of the Arthurian legend. While the book is best suited for readers in third through eighth grade, both young and old readers, boys and girls, as well as adults and King Arthur enthusiasts everywhere will enjoy this book. I only wish Carpinello had been writing her books when I was a child.
The King's Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) Earns CLC Seal of Approval
Children's Literary Classics is pleased to announce that the children's book, Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom, written by Cheryl Carpinello, has been selected to receive the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval. The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children's Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.
When youngsters, Gavin, Bryan and Philip join forces to clear the name of a friend who has been wrongly accused of murder and robbery, the three boys overcome numerous obstacles, including their own fears, to put matters straight.
This medieval story takes place in the fabled land of King Arthur and his royal knights. True to the legends of King Arthur, The King's Ransom sets the stage for grand adventure and includes many of the core elements present in other Arthurian tales, including honor, loyalty and friendship. Cheryl Carpinello's knowledge of medieval history is apparent in this timeless classic which is rich in historical realism and is as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Carpinello's telling of this heroic tale is sure to introduce young and even reluctant readers to the joy of reading. Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom is a literary treasure and earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Children’s Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in children’s literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic children's literature which appeals to youth, while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations. To learn more about Children's Literary Classics, you may visit their website at www.clcawards.org or www.childrensliteraryclassics.com
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