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The Badger Knight

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  75 reviews
National Book Award winner Kathryn Erskine presents a unique novel about a sickly boy's epic journey through England and Scotland at the height of Medieval times.
Adrian is small for his age, even for an almost thirteen year old. It doesn't help that  he has albinism, which makes those he meets wonder if he's an angel or a devil. His father is a bowyer, and all Adrian want
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  342 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Cat Lazaroff
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of THE BADGER KNIGHT in exchange for an honest review. Turns out to have been an excellent bargain.

As always, Kathy Erskine has created a layered story that rewards both the fast pleasure reader and a lengthier, in-depth exploration. THE BADGER KNIGHT stars Adrian, the young son of a bowmaker in a medieval England on the brink of war with Scotland and France. Adrian dreams of glory in battle, but he's hobbled by an accident of birth: he's an albino, with skin and hair that make
Nacho Schnapacasse
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was a pretty good book. I liked how it was set in medieval times more specifically the mid 1300s. The book has so much to it that is why it would make you want to read it. Overall I thought it was a good book with a good story.
Alana White
Northern England, 1346. Twelve-year-old Adrian wants to follow the men of his village into battle against the Scots, who, it is feared, mean to pour over the border and terrorize the English. Though secretly a fine archer, Adrian is small for his age. He is also, the narrative suggests, albino. This marks him as a devil in the minds of some, and a target for the village bullies.

To prove he is neither “addlepated,” nor useless, Adrian slips off to beat back the enemy. On the way, Adrian learns to
Martha Meyer
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I couldn't wait to read this because of Kathryn Erskine's wonderful reputation. It was good, good for Upper Elementary boys and girls who love medieval adventure. Ms. Erskine does convincingly portray growth and change in Adrian (The Badger Knight) and it is growth towards understanding others and recognizing the enemy as someone we can care for and protect. However, this book did not transcend its age range -- it is not compelling enough for most 7th - 8th graders, High School or adults. Howeve ...more
Janet Johnson
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The Badger Knight" by Kathryn Erskine

I enjoyed every minute reading this wonderful book ... until I became so worried about the protagonist that I was afraid to read more! But I came back to the book time after time. I couldn't stay away.

Adrian, a.k.a. The Badger, lives in a village where he is scorned simply because of his appearance and his ailments. When Adrian's best friend, Hugh, heads off to locate his father in the war, Adrian knows he must follow and contribute to the English side as a
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, historical
I enjoy a good medieval tale, so I picked this one up off of my new book display and took it home. This book could definitely have appeal to the modern child. Adrian, the main character, longs to become a knight and fight for England against invading Scots. But he is small for his age and, even worse, an albino, so people fear him as some sort of devil. His father is the bowyer for their small village and he has been practicing archery his entire life. He is an expert marksman, and knows he can ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free review copy of this book.
I enjoyed this coming-of-age tale, as friends who grew up together start to develop their sense of self, and find a place in the world. The horrors of battle are addressed, but not in particularly graphic or disturbing ways. I was intrigued to learn more about attitudes towards albinism in the 1300s!
Adrian is a strong, brave character, but his strengths don't necessarily lie where he thinks they do. He and his cousin Bess deal with prejudice at home. It
Anjenic Gibson
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020reads
I love a good young historic fiction read. I enjoyed finding out just how courageous Adrian was, how he ventures out into the world to find out just who he is in this world. The adventures in this story is fun, dangerous, and with many laughable moments. Adrian will be test along with it his family and friends. I would love to see this story made into a book series. What happens when he succeeds in his mission, what happens to his family and best friend. What happens to the friends he makes alon ...more
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This turned out to be a really good book! At first it was a little boring because the main character was really annoying. However, I loved how he grew up and matured throughout the book and the later adventures were thrilling! I only wish the ending hadn't stopped where it had. I need more information!
Well-written, well-researched MG novel set in the post-Braveheart Middle Ages. Ms. Erskine delves deeper into the past than she has before to deliver an interesting story with well-defined characters that should make young people reconsider what it means to be different.
Kelly Meacham
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good book and great to know what it was like back in the 1300's Adrian was an albino and everyone thought is was the devil and was small and week. He proved himself as a smart person and great archer. Very smart.
Otto Domes
I enjoyed the book, especially since it was about a young boy growing up. Adrian is one of the most dynamic characters I have ever seen.
Tracy Bailey
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Adrian wants nothing more than to be a bowyer, like his father. He dreams of the glory of going off to battle against the Scots and win victory for England, so he runs away to join the fighting alongside his good friend Hugh. Little does he know that his journey is going to be littered with other adventures that point his life down a different path.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

Adrian is nearly thirteen, but you wouldn't know it if you looked at him. Asthmatic, small for his age, and with albinism, most people in his village see him as useless or at the very least, sent from the devil. Even his father, a bowyer, doesn't think Adrian is strong enough to be a bowyer's apprentice. When the Scots invade England though, Adrian sees his opportunity to prove his worth. He follows his best friend Hugh into battle, bow on his back,
Rachel Speakes
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read an ARC of this book, and it will be released on August 26, 2014.

I would recommend this book for ages twelve plus.

This book is set in 1346 Northern England and follows Adrian, a boy who suffers from albinism. Other than Adrian’s friend Hugh, everyone in town thinks that he is possessed because of his pale face and light hair. Adrian and Hugh both have dreams of going into war against Scotland as “Master Archers.” The only problem is, they are both too young to enlist and everyone is afraid
Hannah Fjeld
The Badger Knight by Kathryn Erskine
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: Fiction, middle grade, historical fiction
Estimate of age level of interest: 4th-8th grade
Estimate of reading level: 5th grade +, guided reading Y

Brief description: It’s 1346, there’s a war coming between England and Scotland, and Adrian is determined to fight despite the fact that he is only 12. Adrian has albinism, and he is convinced that his poor health is the reason his father makes him attend school
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
The lines between good and evil and friend and enemy are blurred in this new novel about a young boy seeking adventure during the Middle Ages.

Adrian of Ashcroft (aka Badger) is smaller in size than most, has white hair, and requires treatments for his “coughing fits." Because of his appearance (what today we would know as albinoism) he is often seen as a bad omen and sometimes even possessed of the devil. He is bullied by the bigger boys in the village and his Good Aunt sees him as nothing more
The Styling Librarian
Imagine being born with something that distinguishes you from others. Something that others think might make you evil. Can you escape this thing you’re born with? No. Can you get others to look beyond? Not most people… Then you learn that you can’t trust family members and avoid getting to know them, even ones you’ve never spoken with you avoid because you assume they will treat you poorly…

I sat and thought about this as I read The Badger Knight by Kathryn Erskine. Kathryn created an incredible
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I have to admit that as I started THE BADGER KNIGHT, I was a little disappointed. Given all of the positive reviews, I expected to be wowed and engrossed from the first page. It took me quite a while to get into this book. One of the reasons was that I felt Adrian, the main character, was supremely whiny.

What bothered me most in the beginning was that I didn't understand why Adrian wanted to be an archer. I know he wanted glory, but given how much he tries to get out of his chores and let people
LCPL Teens
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Adrian faces a great deal of challenges in his life. His mother died, and his father allows his aunt to run their a great deal of their lives. He is small and sickly-- often has trouble breathing-- and he is albino, which makes it hard for him to blend in. Indeed, the people in his Medieval town have never quite gotten over his appearance and believe he is possessed by the devil.

Adrian's father is the town bowyer, and Adrian longs to be apprenticed to him. Indeed, the attitude of the townspeopl
Sharon Lawler
Small and somewhat sickly, Adrian has the unfortunate fate of being born in the Middle Ages, when albinos like him, are scorned, bullied and considered useless. His mother's dying wish was that Adrian would never be an archer, and for this reason, Adrian was not allowed to learn craft of bowyer from his father, the preferred bowyer of the king. For all time, kids have been going against their parents' wishes, so Adrian has practiced with his best friend Hugh, and is now an archer of incredible a ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings about this book. I love historical fiction, and since this book is set during a time that most young adult books glance over (or ignore) I was excited to see how it turned out. The fact that Adrian "The Badger" is pretty much an expert archer also added a fun bit of interest for me since I am a lover of Robin Hood influenced stories.

However, the overall plot and speed of the story left much to be desired, and is the main thing that brought the rating of this book down
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: tristate
An asthmatic albino, Adrian dreams of being a bowyer like his father and going to war against Scotland, even though he is small and sickly. When his best friend Hugh goes to do just that, leaving him behind, Adrian embarks on an adventure to return his friend, who is a perfect physical specimen and a genuinely good human being, even though he has developed a fondness for Adrian’s cousin which both confuses and irritates Adrian, who cannot see what his friend sees in his cousin and resents the ti ...more
C.C. Thomas
I just loved this book! Everything about it was delightful. The book itself was an art form--the cover was captivating and I would flip to it often, mesmerized by the play of colors on the pale cheeks of the boy. The pages had that deckled edge that I love. The front page of each chapter was unique and designed in such a way as to feel old and put the reader under a spell.

Lest you think I am shallow and only look at the outer appearances, I will also say the inward guts was might fine as well. T
Andy Starowicz
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kathryn Erskine has done is again! She has delivered a story with adventure, intrigue, interesting historical information, and a message that every young reader needs. Badger, the main character, takes the reader on a journey through the Middle Ages as the English and Scots fight for control of land and power. Badger finds himself in a cathedral, castle, and priory while searching for knights and battle. His sickly appearance and stature does not make him a good candidate as a soldier, but he is ...more
American Mensa
Dec 17, 2014 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Kids in 3rd-7th grade would enjoy this book.

The Badger Knight is a fictional book about a boy named Adrian, and he's twelve years old. It takes place in 1346 which is a long time ago. In this story he practices archery and goes off to battle. His family doesn't really want him to do that. His dad only wants him to go a little bit. He doesn't really get along well with Good Aunt because she says bad things about him. So he deals with some conflict with his her. Adrian is special because he's an
This middle-grade novel has a multitude of strengths and weaknesses. As historical fiction, it is an excellent introduction to the medieval world, mindset, and vocabulary, especially for younger readers. However, the book has a slow start. As a character, Adrian 'the Badger' discovers his own worth and learns to question his own opinions and perceptions. Erskine's choice of the marches between Scotland and England during the Battle of Neville's Cross is a perfect backdrop for Adrian's transforma ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Adrian is small for his age (13) and frail; his pale coloring also sets him apart. Teased by other kids in the village and undervalued (or perhaps overprotected) by his bowyer father, Adrian's days are not happy ones. He loves archery more than anything else, and is good at it. When his older friend Hugh goes off to join the fighting against the Scots, Adrian resolves to go too, and sets out to have the adventure of his life. Along the way he learns that he has some mettle and ability to think o ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Badger Knight by Kathryn Erskine is a great look into the life of Adrian. He is thirteen, but because of his size, often confused for much younger. He is often accused of being a devil because of the albinism.
The book begins with a messenger visiting Adrian’s father, a famous bowyer, and telling him that the pagan Scots are coming to invade England and all men are called to fight. Hugh, Adrian’s friend, decides to sneak off to war to protect his father. Adrian decides to sneak after Hugh an
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Set in 1346 Penrith, England, Adrian is an albino boy in a village that doubts his true strength. He is a brilliant (secret) archer, quick witted, and holds big dreams. When the Scots invade England and war is brought to their village, Adrian wants to fight. Chasing after his best friend, Hugh, sets him on a quick-paced adventure where Adrian learns not to judge people simply because of how they look.
I highly recommend this book for 6th and 7th grade students who enjoy realistic medieval advent
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Kathryn Erskine spent many years as a lawyer before realizing that she'd rather write things that people might actually enjoy reading.
She grew up mostly overseas and attended eight different schools, her favorite being the Hogwarts-type castle in Scotland.
The faculty, of course, did not consist of wizards, although... how did the headmistress know that it was the wee redhead who led the campaign

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