Best children's books about the Normans
The Normans ruled England after the Anglo Saxons and are famous for battles and conquests, kings and knights and for building some of our most well-known castles, such as Windsor Castle and the Tower of London! Chosen by primary teacher Scott Evans, these tales, some based on true events and some mythological, travel back to a time of towers and tapestries...
The Secret Diary of John Drawbridge: Medieval Knight in Training by Philip Ardagh(£6.99, Nosy Crow)
Ardagh's Secret Diary of... series strikes gold again with a "diary" of a knight in training. All powerful, brave and strong (or so you might think)... however all may not go to plan for John in this fantastically-factual and illustrated must-read offering, filled with more Norman knowledge than you can shake a sword and shield at.
Knights' Tales (The Knight of Silk and Steel; The Knight of Spurs and Spirits; The Knight of Sticks and Straw; The Knight of Swords and Spooks) by Terry Deary(£4.99, Bloomsbury)
The master of historical fiction, Terry Deary, returns with tales that will take you right back to places like 13th-century Germany and 15th-century England with every turn of the page. Based on the lives of real medieval knights, these historically exciting stories ignite a passion for the past in young readers.
Crusade by Elizabeth Laird(£5.99, Macmillan)
Set in the time of the Third Crusade, this fast-paced adventure story focuses on two boys of different faiths who find themselves in the midst of one unholy war. One that older readers will enjoy and based on real, historical facts from the Crusades, you'll be wanting to explore plenty more of Elizabeth's books after this one.
Norman the Norman from Normandy by Philip Ardagh(£6.99, Barrington Stoke)
Written as part of the Little Gems series from Barrington Stoke, Norman the Normandy will appeal to all readers. He may be tiny but my is he mighty! Packed with all of Norman's troubles, laughs and full-colour illustrations, this is a sure-fire winner. There's a second book coming soon too!
1066 (I Was There...) by Jim Eldridge(£4.99, Scholastic)
Step back in to the battlefields of Hastings with this series that strongly places readers at the heart of history. Short enough to read in one sitting, these books are richly concise and packed with accurate historical detail and facts that ensure you'll be able to imagine you were really there!
The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World's Worst Knight by Tim Collins(£6.99, Jolly Fish Press)
Laugh, shriek and giggle yourself silly at this most secret-est(!) of diaries of the 'world's worst knight' as he recounts his victorious quests and heroic battles... erm, or not! Could things be any worse for this troublesome knight? You'll also find 'Get Real' boxes intermixed with the text that provide all the information you'll need when learning about the Normans.
Arthur: The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland(£6.99, Orion)
Growing up in a medieval manor and dreaming of becoming a knight, Arthur receives a magical stone. From this, his life changes forever in ways he could never have imagined. Kevin Crossley-Holland is not deemed the father of historical and mythological fiction for nothing and it's not difficult to see why this title is bestowed upon him! Captivate your child with this one; if they enjoy it there are three more to devour in this trilogy too.
Knighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan(£6.99, Oxford University Press)
Known for her picture books, Elys Dolan brings her wonderfully weird, illustrated magic to this chapter book. Follow Dave the dragon as he dreams and dares to be different in his very dragony way... With plenty to interest and amuse young readers, a chapter a day or a chapter a night at bedtime will be sure to make your family big Elys fans. They'll be asking for more!
Outlaw: the story of Robin Hood by Michael Morpurgo(£6.99, Harper Collins)
The story of Robin Hood is well documented, well told and well known in many readers' minds. However do you know the true story of Robin Hood? In this re-imaging from renowned storyteller and multi-award winning author Michael Morpurgo, you'll go on a gripping, vivid adventure that'll hold every reader's attention.
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Marcia Williams(£7.99, Walker)
These classic stories of a dozen of the Arthurian legends get a new lease of life with the characterful illustrations of Marcia Williams. Presented in a cartoon, almost comic-book style, there will be plenty of young readers reaching for this one!