Friday, 14 February 2020

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 14th February 2020: "Max and the Midknights" by Lincoln Peirce (Macmillan Children's Books)

We've long been interested in fab books that successfully bridge the gap between picture books and lengthier chapter-based stories, and our Chapter Book of the Week this week is a cracking example of something that could almost end up being a genre all of its own.

"Max and the Midknights" by Lincoln Peirce is almost like a mini graphic novel spliced with an early middle grade reader, but essentially the sort of romping adventure that's perfect for newly confident solo readers who want to move on from illustration-heavy / text light picture books.

This is the opposite, but features glorious monochrome illustrations woven into every page, like some of the middle grade awesomeness we've seen in books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dog Man (ironic then that the two cover quotes are from the authors of those books!)

So what on earth is it all about? A grand quest of course, undertaken by diminutive Max - who wants to become a knight more than anything else in the world.

But he's a tiddly little chap, and the adventure he's about to embark on might be too much for this little fellah - who soon realises he might need a friend or two along on a quest to defeat an evil king - King Gastley in fact.

The brave adventurers set off to free Max's awesome uncle Budrick, forming themselves into "The MidKnights", ready to rescue uncle, and restore Byjovia to its former glory, while putting King Gastley firmly in his place.

As you can see, the way the book is laid out is almost like a set of interlocking comic strips, instantly digestible by kids who are daunted by huge walls of text in their books - but with a ton of style and humour about them that makes them stand out. What a great idea!

Sum this book up in a sentence: A truly awesome romp for a new Knight-in-training and his gang of brave pals, tricked out in a format that makes it immediately accessible to a wide range of reading abilities.

"Max and the MidKnights" by Lincoln Peirce is out now, published by Macmillan Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).