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 5+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

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
Kid, 7 years old May 8, 2020

A Wonderful Castle Book

You should totally read it. It has a fun beginning to a great end! If you are looking a #2 in the Magic Tree House series then it is the Knight at Dawn.
Teen, 17 years old Written byJigmintalee12 October 8, 2019

Good MTH book, but not one of the greats.

This had a good storyline and I did certinly enjoy it, but the action was a little boring and after reading other books it definitely falls down in the rankings...

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

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