Books about the Middle Ages for Kids

suggested by members of the SCA-Librarians mailing list.


Castle. By David Macaulay.

Cutaway views and careful line drawings describe the design, building and use of a Welsh border castle in Britain.

-- recommended by Jadwiga


Picture Books:

The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie DePaola

"It is a lovely little picture book with a happy ending brought about by the castle librarian!"

-- Recommended by Branwen

"I love the Knight and the Dragon for story time."

--Cassandra of Wyndhaven

Teaching Guides:

A Webquest in Conflict Resolution For 2nd Grade:

Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl, Charles Scribner Sons, 1955.

"Also the 'duchess' ... books by Krahl, from the early seventies, picture books about a duke and duchess with lots of daughters. Pleasant little stories in rhyme. "

There is also 'Plum Pudding for Christmas' and another one 'How many Dragons are behind the Door' and 'The Habits of Rabbits'. All about the Duchess and her family.

-- Recommended by Branwen

Brave Knights to the Rescue (a Great Adventures lift-the-flap play book by Fisher-Price). Matt Mitter, isbn 1-57584-219-x

My mom picked this one up for me somewhere - it's great for the really little kiddles.

-recommended by Carowyn


Slightly older readers:

Adventures of Rinaldo. by Isabella Holt.. With pictures by Erik Blegvad.[1st ed.] Boston, Little, Brown [1959] 142 p. illus. 22 cm.

A knight returning from the "wars" to a dilapidated castle..

Cue for Treason, by Geoffrey Trease. Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1973.

It's a mystery set in Shakespeare's time. It's pretty old (my parents read it when they were in school), but it was a good intro to Shakespeare and made me want to read more about the time period.

-- recommended by Medb

The Earthly Knight. by Janet McNaughton. HarperCollins, 2004.

(Ages 9-12)

Retelling of Tam Lin set in 12th century Scotland.

-- Recommended by Katerina

Edge on the Sword. by Rebecca Tingle. Penguin, 2001.

(Ages 9-12)

-- recommended by Rennewief Grunewald

Pearl in the Egg: a tale of the thirteenth century by Dorothy Van Woerkom. HarperCollins Children's Books.1980.

Tale of a serf girl who runs away with a troupe of traveling players to stay free a year and a day.
The author at the back cites some references to Maltilda (I think it's Makejoy) who was a female storyteller listed in the pay rolls of a royal wedding.

- recommended by Cassandra of Wyndhaven

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver. by E.L.Konigsburg. Simon & Schuster Children's. 1977.

One of my absolute favorite fictional treatments. A fictionalized version of the life of Eleanor of Acquitane. In the fantasy sequences around the story, Eleanor of Acquitaine is waiting in Heaven for her second husband, Henry II of England, to be allowed out of Purgatory. She and various close acquaintances from her past pass the time by telling the story of her life. Humorous, pungent, and capturing the flavor of Eleanor's life. Interesting side comments on William the Marshall, the building of cathedrals, Norman run, Thomas a Becket, taxes and so forth in the Middle Ages:

"Her name is Eleanor, and she is well educated."

"Does that mean, dear Abbot, that she embroiders beautifully and knows the proper order in which to hand armor to a knight?"

"Yes, it does." I smiled. "But in this case, fortunately, it also means something more. She can read Latin, and I am told that she knows a great deal of music and poetry. She comes by those talents naturally; her grandfather was a poet as well as a knight."

- recommended by Jadwiga

Other Reviews: The Green Man Review:

ALA's Book Links:

Reading Guide:

Shakespeare's Stealer, Shakespeare's Scribe and Shakespeare's Spy. by Gary Blackwood. various publishers, 2000-

(Ages 9-12)

-- recommended by Rennewief Grunewald


Doublet Affair: Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court. by Fiona Buckley. Scribner, 1998.

-- recommended by Rennewief Grunewald

King's Swift Rider: a Novel on Robert the Bruce. by Mollie Hunter. HarperTrophy, 2000.

Young Adult

-- recommended by Rennewief Grunewald

The Knight of the Bow by James L. Meagher. Bruce Publishing, 1949.

"My absolute favorite juvenile book set in the Middle Ages . . . I'm afraid it's probably no longer in print. Every once in a while you can find it through Interlibrary Loan. Its hero was Edmund, a member of the lower English nobility who, although knighted, was also an archer. It was a very exciting novel about the Sixth Crusade in 1228-1229 and was set in England, France, Italy and Palestine and was my first introduction to historical fiction. I've been hooked ever since." -- recommended by Eithne ni Cheallaigh ThirChonaill

The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple.

"A terrific book for tenth grade and up. A young girl and the disillusioned crusade-veteran she's espoused to are sent on pilgrimage by their parish priest to bring healing to their village. The story manages to bring in a vast number of disparate medieval themes, is solid in its history, and is a great "read". Come to think of it, I think I'll read it again when I get home from vacation."

-- Recommended by Branwen.

Additional Reviews:

The Squire's Tale. by Gerald Morris. Houghton Mifflin/Laurel Leaf 1998.

A fantastic tale based on an alternate reading of Gawain and The Green Knight. A foundling teen becomes Sir Gawain's squire and travels with him on his adventures. Sequel: The Squire, the Knight and His Lady.

-- recommended by Rennewief Grunewald and Jadwiga Zajaczkowa