Jennie Bishop tells a delightful tale about a young boy who has recently become a squire in The Squire and the Scroll. The king has sent the squire, along with a knight, on a quest to retrieve the Lantern of Purest Light, which has been stolen. Many other knights have been sent to rescue the lantern, but none have returned.
Before his journey begins, the squire’s mother and father give him a copy of a scroll. It has five rules on it by which the squire and his family have patterned their lives. The knight and squire encounter many dangers and temptations on their quest for the lantern. Each time, the squire remembers a rule from the scroll and uses it to guide his path.
Although the word God is used only once in the story, this tale is appropriate for a Christian audience as the rules of the scroll are Biblical in nature. One example is: “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” This verse comes from Psalms 4:25 [NIV]. Another rule, “Listen only to words that are pure,” is similar to a verse from Psalm 119:9 [NIV] that reads, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” The author cites this verse at the end of the book.
The illustrations by Preston McDaniels are vivid, life-like paintings, full of color and charm; they lend much to the tale.
What I Like: Everything, but especially the language. The writing is so smooth and lyrical it’s almost like reading poetry.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: The publisher suggests 4-8 as the target age group, but I think that although this age group would enjoy the story, the language is more appropriate for an older audience, more like 9-12. Adults will enjoy it, too!
Publisher Info: Warner Press, 2004; ISBN: 1593170793; Hardcover: $12.99.