Morris, Gerald. The Adventures of Sir Balin the Ill-Fated, illustrated by Aaron Renier. 94 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012. $14.99. Content: G. Author Gerald Morris in his series The Knight’s Tales retells the stories of legendary knights in a lighthearted and charming way for young children who are just getting introduced to chapter books (his series Squire’s Tales is great for older children). The day of Sir Balin’s christening, an Old Woman from the Mountain comes to his home and gives a prophecy of his life. Balin will be known as the noblest knight in England, but he shall be followed by misfortune, strike a Dolorous Stroke, and cause the downfall of two kingdoms in one day. Balin grows to adulthood and believes in his ill fate and everything goes wrong. Finally he stops believing in the prophecy, meets a questing lady, and battles to the death (not really) with an unknown knight. Morris’s message is clear: you can be whoever you want to be, no matter what anyone says. The ink illustrations by Aaron Renier are detailed and action-packed without being too scary. A great book for young boys interested in knights and young ladies interested in questing. EL – ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.