Knight’s Castle

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Edward Eager, who lived from 1911 to 1964, was a playwright and lyricist. In 1951, while searching for books to read to his young son Fritz, he began writing children’s stories similar to the fantasy books of Edith Nesbit. In Knight’s Castle, the father of Roger, age eleven, and Ann, age eight, is ill and has to cancel their summer family vacation to the Rocky Mountains so that he can go for an operation to a hospital in Baltimore, MD, where the family moves in with their Aunt Katherine and their two boring cousins, Eliza, age eleven, and Jack, age twelve. Roger brings along his set of two hundred and fifty-six model soldiers, including the one he calls “The Old One.” The children end up having an exciting summer after all when this old toy soldier comes to life and they are magically transported back to the days of Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Rebecca, Rowena, Robin Hood, Prince John, and King Richard, taking part in the siege of Torquilstone. Those who object to any mention of “magic” in stories will not like this book; however, it is not the magic of witchcraft but of “fairy tales.” I enjoyed the book, and the story is quite entertaining. I have always wanted to read Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, and this book increased my desire even more.

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