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Little Sir Galahad Review by Erin Slocum

Lillian Holmes
Lamplighter Publishing
Lamplighter Ministries International
23 State St.
Mount Morris, NY 14510

Little Sir Galahad evokes memories of days gone by. Upon first glance at the cover, I thought I was looking at an antique book. Old things hold a special place in my heart, so this book made my heart beat step up a notch. But wait! This is not an antique book! It is, however, a classic brought back to life. I admit I fell in love with the book at first sight and knew it was a good one to add to our house.

Lamplighter Publishing, founded by Mark Hamby, is striving to bring back books from yesterday edited with a Biblical theological perspective. Each book is to help with character development and is enhanced with footnotes and Scriptures. You will not find these enhancements in other publishing of these works.

Little Sir Galahad is geared toward ages 6-11. It currently retails for $15 on the Lamplighter website. I had several of my children read this book while it has been in our house. My older children, ages twelve and ten, were the first two who grabbed this new book to read.

Written in 1904, there are definitely some phrases and such that might need explaining to young readers. My older two children were very good about trying to find out the meaning of words and phrases before asking my opinion. I loved watching them use reasoning skills to figure out what was happening in the story. We call this detective work. The footnotes also offer explanations for certain words and phrases.

Who should read Little Sir Galahad? In our house, it has been entered on the shelf with the character training books. I really enjoy the Charlotte Mason style of teaching, and this book easily fits that description. It’s a book with a lesson after all.

What lesson might children learn from this book? For us, we’re taking away that strength of character and pureness of heart are worth so much more than strength of body. Our main character Davey likes to listen to stories of David from the Bible and Sir Galahad from Arthurian legend. He himself was involved in an accident and is not as strong as the other children. Because of this, he stays with his aunt(his parents have passed) while the other children are at school. From her, he learns a piece of poetry about Sir Galahad that really shapes the book.

“My strength is the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure.” This is the quote that little David uses to shape this life. Because he learns how to have patience and strength, he can then help other young boys. I really like the lesson it teaches of pushing aside anger and responding in kindness as well. The idea of having a club of sorts where all try to act like Sir Galahad and change themselves for the better is admirable. After reading this book my ten-year-old boy has been devouring other books about Sir Galahad and the adventures of King Arthur.

The reason this book is so poignant and touching is due to little David’s circumstances. His parents are dead. He lives with an aunt who is rather poor. After an accident, he is lame and cannot walk. Though he will regain that strength, it is his challenge to bear. It shapes him. Through this, he cannot go to school but wants to learn so he does so with a drive of his own. I highly recommend this book to all parents.

As Davey grows, he keeps a journal of the lessons he is learning. His disability makes him slow down and really focus on what is going on in his life. As he grows, he does gain back the use of his leg but is left with a limp. I won’t give away the whole story, but he also gains an uncle he didn’t know he had who can then use his journal and lessons in his own life as a preacher.

Not only do I recommend this one book, but the whole Lamplighter collection. This is one of three books that we have in our small collection. They all offer great works that I never would have come across with lessons to be learned. Add on to my recommendation that of my children. After my older two had read this on their own, we decided to use it as a read aloud.

Read alouds are very common in the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling and happen several times a day in our house. We like to read one chapter and then discuss it; however, we can often read several chapters at a time. This book is only 88 pages so did not take us long to finish.

Grab your blue ribbons and pin them on your shirts to help remind you to be patient and kind. Sir Galahad and David want to watch you succeed in your trials and come out stronger in heart and spirit.

-Product review by Erin Slocum, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017