4 out of 4 stars
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Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer by John Powell is a humorous fantasy story for children in the 6-11 age range.
England is overrun by monsters but never fear, George can save the day! Sure his armour is rusty and he isn't anywhere near as wise as Merlin the Whirlin, but he alone holds the secret to taming the monsters. Sure it puts him in danger sometimes, but he is willing to do the job as long as he gets his 3 shillings and 6 pence a week (don't even think about messing with his armour-off week).
I enjoyed reading the stories in this book. They are just plain old fun without any lessons to learn or educational merit. While those types of books certainly have their place, I think it's great for kids to just sit back and enjoy reading. The characters have fun personalities, there is plenty of action, and lots of humor. Children will get a kick out of the silly things the characters say and do, like taking a bath in a full suit of armour and sleeping a whole week through. I'm sure parents who read this to their kids will also get a laugh out of it.
Each chapter introduces a new adventure for George, so it is easy for children to read one chapter at a time without losing track of where they left off. The book also contains a few illustrations. This will help younger children who are making the transition from picture books to chapter books.
Because the book is set in England, there are some jokes and references American children may not understand. For instance, one chapter is about a game of cricket. Having never seen a cricket game, there are a few things I didn't quite understand. In my opinion, this does not make the book any less enjoyable. In fact, it made me interested to find out more about British life. I plan to look up how cricket is played, so I can reread the chapter and see what I missed.
As far as parental guidance goes, this book does contain one use of mild language and there is a joke made about suicide which may not be suitable for young children.
Overall, this is a really cute book. If its purpose is to entertain and make children fall in love with reading, then it has succeeded. I can definitely see myself reading this book with my son when he is older. For that reason alone, it has earned 4 out of 4 stars. It is also well written and I did not notice any grammatical errors.
Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer
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