Saturday, May 2, 2020

Book Review: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Kit works as a wench, aka a waiter, at a Medieval Times restaurant. Her older brother works as a knight, which is a much cooler job, and, more importantly, it pays a heck of a lot better (after all it's highly skilled and dangerous.) One night, just before showtime, he gets in a fight with a fellow knight and his eye is swelling shut, so he encourages Kit, who practices with him every week after all and therefore knows his entire routine, to go on in his place. No one will know, he argues, due to the armor. However, another friend at the restaurant who knows about the switch, films Kit's performance in the ring. And at the end, in a moment of defiance, Kit whips off her helmet and her long hair flows behind her, revealing the fact that she's a girl to everyone. The video is uploaded and goes viral.

Kit decides to use this moment to fight the corporate policy. After all, when better to fight sexism and patriarchy, than when the whole world is on your side? And she does really need the money too--their family is living on the financial edge. Since their father took off and hasn't paid child support, their mother has barely been able to keep up. Her brother's been going to community college and even though Kit has gotten into her dream college, she might have to defer that dream too. But she doesn't have to defer this one! She can be the first girl knight at the restaurant chain! And she'll do what she has to do, to make that happen.

This is a fun and empowering girl-power YA novel, with a satisfying ending, although everything isn't wrapped up with a bow (which is a good thing in my opinion!)

This book is published by Page Street Kids, which is distributed by Macmillan, my employer.

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