cover image Rules for a Knight

Rules for a Knight

Ethan Hawke, illus. by Ryan Hawke. Knopf, $19.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-307-96233-1

Actor and author Hawke (Ash Wednesday) pens a heartwarming, medieval tale on ethics. Written in an epistolary form, Hawke writes from the perspective of his imagined ancestor Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke, a knight who knows he is about to die in war. Sir Thomas teaches his children the 20 rules of knighthood, using examples from his own life to prove their validity. Each chapter begins with a drawing by Hawke’s wife, Ryan, and a short aphorism. Sir Thomas states that “luck is the residue of design” to explain the importance of dedication. To explain courage, he asserts that “anything that gives light must endure burning.” In addition to the more obvious notions one might instill in a child, Hawke touches upon subjects less-often addressed, such as speech, solitude, and death—“in silence we can sense eternity sleeping inside us.” Hawke’s joust against injustice and fear is an easy and endearing read, perfect for young and old children alike. [em](Nov.) [/em]