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The Minstrel in the Tower
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The Minstrel in the Tower

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  482 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In this gripping medieval page-turner, Roger and his sister Alice are kidnapped and held for ransom in an ancient tower. To escape and find their uncle, the children must summon all their courage and imagination. "Designed as easy-reading material for middle-graders, this has the virtues of an attractive format and illustrations, a fast plot, and even a feminist fillip: Al ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 12th 1988 by RHUS (first published April 1st 1988)
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Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read with my 7 yo. Good story, great to talk about towers, castles, moats.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another historical fiction children's book that is impressively accurate about the time period in which it is set. This was a quick, simple read for my upper elementary student, but it was not so easy that the plot was simplistic and boring. It kept my attention as an adult and I was pleased with how it conveyed the sense of uncertainty for widowed women and her children in the Middle Ages. Also, the main characters are two resourceful and plucky children and so readily identifiable with the int ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an easy book for someone entering middle school. I used it for read aloud fluency for my son. It was simple, but he liked it. However, I do have a problem with it categorized as a history book. This was historical fiction and should have been classified as such. It lead to a conversation about how books are classified, so that was an unplanned teaching moment. Very easy intro to the Middle Ages. I think it could have been more complex.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I read this over a year ago and finally read it to the kids. I think it's a decent book, but not great. You don't learn a whole lot about the historical era (year 1195) which is one of my main reasons for seeking out historical fiction so in that aspect it fell short. The boy is portrayed as rather weak, but he does 'come into his own' later while the girl is very tom-boyish and strong. Being the mother of all boys I typically try to stay away from 'boys are weak' type books.

The boys thought th
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, juvenile
I wonder whether my opinion of this was affected by knowing it was written intentionally to be an easy read for middle-school students. I would've pegged it for a much younger audience. To me, the story line seemed to be oversimplified along with the language. It's a fine little story, but there's just not much to it. In the time of the crusades, sister and brother have an urgent errand to do because their mother is desparately ill, they run afoul of some bad guys, and the reader can pretty well ...more
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
A reader for young children set in the year 1195 during the time of King Richard the Lionheart. Their mother deathly ill and their father on crusade, a penniless brother and sister set out for Bordeaux to locate their uncle Raimond, a rich baron, who they hope will be able to rescue their mother from her illness. The only thing they bring with them is a prized lute decorated with a soaring eagle so they can sing for their food. On the way they make some shifty acquaintances.
Miss Amanda
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
gr 3-4 62pgs

1195, France. The Crusades have been over for a year and still Roger and Alice's father has not returned. When their mother becomes deathly ill, she tells them to take her lute to Lord Raimond, their mother's brother. Alice and Roger are shocked to learn they have an uncle and that he is a lord, will they be able to find him in time?

Interesting story.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was simple and quick to read. It wasn't the worst way to introduce the middle ages to children through story. It wasn't the most exciting and well written book we've read so far, but my kids enjoyed it and were able to follow the story. I personally would have liked to see more character development and smoother transitions from scene to scene.
JoAnne Styger
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschool
I read this to my girls as part of our history curriculum. Though not a great story or great history, it is a good, simple story about two children living in medieval times. I think it fits best to a 9-11 yr old reader studying the time period.
Kristine Hansen
Two children must travel across France in the Middle Ages to find their uncle. Full of adventure, you can't help but admire both plucky Alice and her brother Roger as they find their courage and learn from each other. My daughter really loved this one.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Takes place during the Crusades.
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
cool book it says its history i wonder if it really happened in the past
Kendra Fletcher
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
History Year Two
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fun quick read (we read it in about an hour!) it's a little adventure following a pair of siblings in the middle ages. We enjoyed this story very much.
Alison Treat
Jan 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this with the kids for their homeschool curriculum. It was a very simple story, pretty predictable, and definitely not as good as most of the read-alouds we enjoy. But the kids enjoyed it.
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quick read.
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-read-alouds
Kitty Tomlinson
In the year 1195, Alice & her brother, Roger, go to look for their sick mother's brother, a powerful baron.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Quick read. It's the first book we read for my six year olds book club.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the current read aloud for Clara and Max. It's short so we will finish it this week.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
A very short read, we read this as a read aloud together, but my kiddos truly could have read it themselves. It was an ok story, I think it makes a better reader than read aloud, in my opinion.
Jan 20, 2008 rated it liked it
The children in this book demonstrate love for their mother and each other. It's great.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sonlight-core-c
A good short early reader to go along with a study of medieval times. My daughter enjoyed it.
Jennifer Dunne
"It is a great book" says my daughter.
Katie Pinson
Loved the references to historical events.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable short chapter book suitable for kids 6 to 10 or so. I read it outloud to my kids to go along with our theme unit on Medieval times. Both my older and younger kids enjoyed it.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2011
Brendan Pittiglio
rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2017
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"May you live in interesting times."

That ambiguous wish was not meant to be kind, because interesting times can be difficult. You and I certainly live in interesting times - dangerous, challenging, and fascinating.

My parents were born just before the start of the twentieth century; my youngest grandchild arrived in this century's final decade. The years in between have been the most dynamic in the
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