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A Perfect Gentle Knight by Kit Pearson


Ever since their mother's death, the six Bell children have been a tightly knit group. They have an ongoing game where they act as the knights of the round table, and it seems to be holding their family together. At the same time, though, the game is tearing them apart. Fourteen year old Roz is growing up, and no longer wants to participate in the game, while fifteen year old Sebastian seems to be living his entire life as Sir Lancelot - in a fantasy world.


AGE RANGE INTERMEDIATE

Suggested for ages 10+


THEMES

Depression

Death

Greiving

Family

Canada

Vancouver

Knight

Historical

Coming of Age


OVERALL RATING 10/10

A Perfect Gentle Knight masterfully explores the process of grieving a loved one, and how the grief can present itself differently in different people. Each child (and their father), are processing their Mum's death in a different way, which causes tension. Meanwhile, woven into the story of loss, is the story of an eleven year old girl finding her independence in life, and discovering who she is outside of her family. I think this is a very important book for all readers - middle grade and older.


PROS Children act realistically

Deals with difficult topics

Beautifully written

Feels authentic to childhood

Violence and Scariness 1/5 Mention of deadly accident. Child beaten at school. Boy with bloody nose after being beaten up. Sex and Romance 2/5 Boy has a girlfriend. Mention of breast-size and bras. Boy naked. Girls going shirtless.

CONS Boy not accepted because he has long hair


Emotional Intensity 4/5 Mother is dead. Children being neglected and left raise each other. Severe bullying and depression. Sibling goes missing. Drinking and Drugs 1/5 Adults smoking.


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