Knight at Dawn: Magic Tree House, Book 2

Book review by
Megan McDonald, Common Sense Media
Knight at Dawn: Magic Tree House, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Predictable -- choose other books in this series.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language

Jack uses the expression "I'm going to kill her!" in reference to his sister. When faced with three scary guardsmen from medieval times, Annie calls them "Dummies!"

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's nothing of concern here. Time travel is fascinating to the young imagination, set here in a story with plain, repetitive language and short sentences, sprinkled with facts about castles and knights.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bybec45 January 28, 2010

Good idea, but the role models need better character!

I think it's great that this series is trying to get kids interested in non-fictional items (science, history) through adventure books, but the reading lev... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 year old Written byChefMom April 9, 2008

Not for my five year old.

I began reading this book to my five year old son who is interested in fantasy. I had to explain a lot to him in the beginning about the Middle Ages; which was... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymkalv November 9, 2009

Meh time travel adventure.

This book isn't one of the best in the series, but its educational, I guess.
Kid, 8 years old June 23, 2009

preety bad

its not a very fun book

What's the story?

Eight-year-old Jack and his 7-year-old sister Annie recap their first adventure with the dinosaurs. Upon finding a blue leather bookmark in the pages of a castle book, they wing their way via traveling treehouse to the Middle Ages.

Here, they witness a feast in the Great Hall. When they are questioned, \"Who art thou?\" the two run for cover, finding themselves caught in a room full of armor. Three unsavory guards corner them in the dungeon, until Annie pretends her flashlight is a magic wand and stuns them.

A trapdoor provides easy escape into the moat filled with crocodiles, when along comes a knight on horseback, delivering them to safety. At home, Jack notices an M on the bookmark, and concludes that the same person who dropped the coin in the first adventure also owns the books and is responsible for the magic in the tree house.

Is it any good?

The Middle Ages fascinate kids, but this is one flying tree house adventure with a ho-hum plot that never really gets off the ground. Jack does his usual observing, and Annie her characteristic disappearing act, but witnessing the Middle Ages from doorways and through windows is not enough.

Still, kids will find a dash of humor to enjoy, such as eating peacocks, the silly names of the three guardsmen -- Squinty, Mustache, and Red (who ask them if they are "Spies? Foreigners? Egyptians? Romans? [or] Persians?") -- not to mention the moment when the two central characters discover the meaning of precipice and tumble into a moat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the medieval background. How much of this is true, how much made up? If they read other books in the series, they could talk about what they like best, and what about the main characters stays true throughout.

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate