Title: The Sword in the Tree
Author: Clyde Robert Bulla
Major Themes: Knights, King Arthur, Castles
Synopsis: When Shan’s father disappears after a hunt with Shan’s uncle, Shan and his mother must flee the castle.
Clyde Robert Bulla wrote a number of Easy Readers that children love. I remember loving some of his books, such as Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims, and Viking Adventure, when I was young. Now, my boys love The Sword in the Tree. I have some very reluctant readers among my boys. I assigned one of them to read this one recently, and it turned out to be the very first book he ever really got into that he was reading himself—he didn’t want it to end! He was enjoying the story so much that he was upset to discover the last page was missing (and happy when I was able to find the text and replace it!).
As the story opens, Shan’s father goes to the door of the castle to help a wounded knight who has just arrived. As the man recovers, it is discovered that he is Shan’s uncle, and he stays on and on, along with a number of his disreputable friends. Then one day, the uncle and his friends take Shan’s father on a hunt—but Father does not come back! When Shan’s uncle starts making more and more changes in the castle, Shan and his mother realize their lives are in danger and flee. Will they ever be able to get their home back?
The Sword in the Tree is a lovely, easy-to-read story of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. Any boy who enjoys stories of knights and castles will enjoy it, and as I said above, it even sucked in a reluctant reader!
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 5 – 6, 7 – 9