Children of the Knight
Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler is a young adult book.

In the city of Los Angeles, violence is rampant and gang issues are an everyday occurrence, leaving the police and city officials struggling to maintain order. The children born into this time know no other way and easily fall into trouble, with many treated as adult offenders without regard to their age. Lance is one of the lost children who has no family and lives by his wits on the street, but he has dreams of one day using his skateboarding abilities to prove his worth. One day, Lance is being threatened by the local drug runners when a man in full armor defends him. The man invites Lance to stay with him and he agrees but stays on guard in case of any funny business. They go to an underground area filled with items of war that you could find in a museum. Lance in stunned to learn that the man is King Author from England and he plans to reform his Round Table with Lance as his First Knight. After gathering children from many of the less affluent areas, the city officials begin to wonder who this "crazy" man is. The children begin to train as knights and learn the arts of chivalry from King Author and Lance as they take up the challenge of setting their city to rights, but will they succeed before the government interferes?

If you can imagine an important figure from the past suddenly appearing today and all the confusion that would ensue then you would have a good understanding about how this incredible book unfolded. It was fascinating how differently King Author looked upon how the children of today were treated and it made me reappraise the plight of disadvantaged children. I never thought about how kids are expected to follow the rules after being exposed to so much violence and then being tried as adults with little to no legal help, unless their parents have money! Even with all of their problems, the kids took up Author's cause as their own, gaining the love and family they were seeking all along. This book covers many social issues of crime, drugs, gangs, and childhood prostitution from a child's point of view, allowing the reader to understand how they see things and why they respond differently than adults. This book should be mandatory reading in school, not only for the look back into King Author, but also for the insight of today's children.

Reviewed by: Teresa