Today's book from the 2021 Bluestem Award Nominee List is Max and the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce. (Book is available as an ebook from the Digital Library of Illinois. Access through Bloomington Public Library.)
This book was written by Lincoln Peirce, the author of the Big Nate books. In this medieval tale, Max and her uncle Budrick are traveling the countryside as minstrels. When they visit the kingdom of Byjovia, the evil King Gastly kidnaps Max's uncle, making him the court jester. Max also learns that King Gastly is imprisoning all orphans and not allowing anyone the chance to follow their dreams, including Max's dream to become a knight! With the help of a wacky wizard, a lost knight, and some orphan friends, Max rescues her uncle and brings peace to Byjovia.
I loved this hybrid novel which is part comic and part chapter book! It is very humorous and Max is a entertaining and delightfully sarcastic storyteller. There are lots of unpredictable twists and turns in this tale that kept me engaged. I was also delighted to see that this is the beginning of a series. The second book is Battle of the Bodkins.
Interview with author Lincoln Peirce