“Each of us has a unique destiny, sire,” said Merlin, “There’s much to be gained by understanding your role in life and much to be lost by ignoring it.”

Merlin is speaking to King Arthur of course in this book by Hudson Talbott. Arthur has grown bored with merely ruling a kingdom and he is yearning to go on quests and adventures like the rest of his knights.

There is much wisdom here.  We all do have a role ordained by God and understanding it is crucial to happiness here.

Merlin again imparts wisdom to his young protege:  “Sooner or later we must all face a defeat.  Greatness lives in one who knows how to learn from victory or defeat and goes on to carry out his duty.”

For me, I face little defeats every day.  But it’s the ability to keep trudging along, keeping in mind our life’s purpose, that defines me.

And if I had to guess, probably the same goes for you as well.

Great kids book.  I love the classics and King Arthur is one of my favorites. Hudson Talbott has a few of these gems (we just finished Lancelot) that are beautifully illustrated and short enough to read in one sitting.  My favorite page has a picture of a Questing Beast and he’s so cute!  I’ve always had a soft spot for dragons (Remember my Puff the Magic Dragon post?) and this guy is part dragon, part deer, part cheetah.  But very friendly!  Highly recommended.

The Magic Tree House Series

I have been completely remiss in talking about this series by Mary Pope Osborne–I guess because it’s just so popular I assume everyone knows about it.

My 7 year old was reading Eve of the Emperor Penguin out loud to me when I heard a part that I had to share with you all.

For those who don’t know, The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne follows the adventures of a brother-sister team called Jack and Annie as they travel through time around the world in their Magic Tree House.  They are sent on Missions by Morgan Le Fay and Merlin of King Arthur fame and frequently have adventures in Camelot.  They are officially classified as chapter books but the later ones are much longer.

In this book, Jack and Annie are searching for the fourth secret of happiness, which is summarized in the end.  The third secret that spoke to me was this, “Every day he (speaking about Leonardo da Vinci–a previous book) felt happy when he learned something new.”

This is me.  Definitely me.  I’m like a kid in a candy store when I learn something new and every time I read one of these books I learn something.  The time periods are all historically researched and sometimes with real people such as Leonardo da Vinci.  You learn facts in the midst of history.

I guess this is why I love to read historical fiction too.  I like stories with characters that take me back to a period I would have liked to have seen, lived in, and experienced.

I guess this is why Isaiah speaks to me so much: a real person in a historical time.  And combined with God it creates an insatiable appetite within me to know more.

The website is amazing as well.  You can create an account and go on more “Merlin Adventures”, where you are asked questions and facts from the books.  My daughter loves this.  I’m not a fan of computer games but this site I allow my children to use.  I always help them with it but it’s fun, easy, and emphasizes facts from the books.  Learning doesn’t get any better when these elements are combined.

My daughter can’t get enough of this series and as a parent I cannot recommend these highly enough.  We always get the newest one from the library and we also devour the non-fiction Research Guides that accompany the series.

I wish I had these when I was a little kid (amongst many other things!).  Good thing I still get to be one.  This probably explains why I spend hours each day reading kids books with my kids.