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Ten-year-old Ben and twelve-year-old Joseph discover strange things happening in the woods behind their house. A large man in full black armor and holding a crossbow appears out of nowhere. When an arrow strikes a tree right above their heads, Ben and Joseph are forced to run deep into the woods, only to discover an old castle and none other than King Arthur, who offers them refuge. In fact, King Arthur has come forward in time in order to find new Knights for his Round Table — Knights who will fight against evil and choose the right. However, defeating medieval black knights, ogres, and dragons won’t be what gets the boys “knighted.” Instead, the real test comes by the choices the boys must make when faced with peer pressure. Finding the courage to do the right thing earns the boys a piece of magical armor (one piece of armor per book) and ultimately makes them Knights of Right! Ideal for children ages 6–10.
- Reading level: 9-12
About the Author
The Black Knight
Ten-year-old Ben excitedly climbed the fence in his backyard. He turned around to see if his twelve-year-old brother, Joseph, was following him. They had lived in their new house a whole month and they still hadn’t explored the woods behind it. Mom and Dad were on vacation, and Samantha was their babysitter. Sam was pretty cool for an eighteen-year-old girl. She had known Joseph and Ben forever, because she was the daughter of their parents’ best friends. At the moment, she was busy playing games with their little sister, Katie. Sam thought the boys were in the tree house. It was a perfect time to check things out.
“I don’t think this is a good idea, Ben. We probably shouldn’t be out here,” Joseph whispered, glancing around nervously at the huge trees. Ben smiled to reassure his older brother and ran off into the woods, motioning for Joseph to follow. They soon found a squirrel to chase, and Joseph forgot to be worried.
They chased the squirrel into a hollow log. Ben stood at one end while Joseph stood at the other, hoping they could catch it when it came out again.
“I told you that you would like it out here,” Ben said, but Joseph wasn’t listening. He was staring at something behind Ben, and his jaw dropped. He pointed and began stammering. Slowly, Ben turned around to see what Joseph was looking at.
Standing between two trees about fifty feet away was a large man in shiny black armor. He looked like something straight out of a history book—a really scary history book. The sun glinted off the knight’s helmet, and Ben had to shield his eyes.
“Okay, that’s . . . weird. M-maybe he’s some guy getting ready for Halloween,” Ben suggested in a shaky voice.
“Getting ready for Halloween in August?” Joseph squeaked. “I think we should run.” As the knight raised a slick, black crossbow loaded with a very real-looking arrow, Ben agreed. In a panic, both boys took off running, forgetting which way they had come. Ben stumbled and almost fell as an arrow struck a tree right above his head.
“He’s really shooting at us!” Ben yelled, looking up at the arrow above him in the tree.
“This way!” Joseph cried, running to the right.
For once Ben didn’t complain about being bossed around. The whole forest seemed against them as they tried to get away. Roots reached up to trip them, branches blocked their path, and the sun shone hotter and hotter as they ran. Soon they couldn’t see the knight behind them. Finally, Ben had to stop to catch his breath. “Hold up, Joseph. I can’t run anymore.”
Joseph stopped and stood panting by his brother.
“If I’m sweating this bad, imagine how stinky that guy is in full armor.” Ben laughed nervously at his own joke as he stared into the trees behind them. He couldn’t see or hear any sign of the knight. Maybe they had just imagined it.
“Do you think we lost him?” Joseph asked hopefully.
Just then the Black Knight stepped out from behind a tree. He was closer than he had been when they’d first seen him.
Frightened, the boys ducked behind a huge fallen log. “You’d think that armor would slow him down a little,” Ben gasped.
Joseph pointed at something in the distance. It looked like a stone wall, but they couldn’t see much of it through the trees.
“Let’s head for that wall and see if we can find somewhere to hide,” Joseph whispered nervously. They crept slowly away from the knight, making sure he couldn’t see them. When they thought they were far enough away, they ran quickly toward the wall.
The two boys had almost reached it when they skidded to a stop before a wide stream. Up close they could see that the wall was actually part of a crumbling old castle. First a knight in armor, then an old castle. What kind of forest was this?
“Hey! This is the moat for that castle!” Ben motioned toward the still water that circled the wall. “Do you think there are alligators in it, or could we swim across it to get away?”
Joseph pointed across the water. A drawbridge was lowering not far from where they stood.
“What do you think?” Joseph asked.
“This could be the Black Knight’s castle, and we’re running straight into his trap!”
An arrow whistled into the ground at Joseph’s feet. “We don’t have a choice. The knight’s shooting at us out here. Let’s get in there!” They raced across the drawbridge. On the other side, Joseph found the crank, and both boys pulled with all their might to turn the handle and raise the drawbridge again. Ben caught sight of the knight’s black helmet and his fist raised in anger as the drawbridge closed.
The courtyard looked deserted, but then, across the square, the large doors of the castle began to creak open.
by Customer - reviewed on January 02, 2010
Great book! Fun adventure and not too scary. My 8 and 10 year old boys thought that they were a fun read and hope that there will be more volumes! They also thought that it was cool that these books were written by a 17 year old!
I can't wait to share this with my grandchildren!
by Joyce - reviewed on September 21, 2009
I'm a huge King Arthur fan, and I like that the author uses him to help teach modern day values to Ben and Joseph. I'm excited to read the second one and share it with my grandchildren too. Great book to add to your childrens libraries.
Great for boys
by Stacie - reviewed on March 25, 2010
My son loves this series. It is a perfect adventure for young boys with good, clean, and real life adversities. What a brilliant idea these books are! Thank you!
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