Max & the Midknights

Max & the Midknights
Written and Illustrated by Lincoln Peirce

Publisher’s Summary:
Max and a group of friends dubbed the Midknights go on a quest to rescue the Kingdom of Byjovia from the mean King Gastley!

Primary Source Pairing:
Max & the Midknights is a hybrid genre with paragraphs of texts and panels of illustration in a graphic novel format. Together these two text types tell the exciting story of Max and her group of friends who save the Kingdom of Byjovia and restore King Conrad to the throne. Max’s uncle Budrick is a troubadour. According to Max’s descriptions:

“Here’s how this troubadour thing is SUPPOSED to work. You roll into some random town. A crowd gathers. You put on a show. The crowd applauds and throws money in a basket. You take the money and use it to buy food and avoid starving to death” (Chapter 1, page 4).

Except as Max explains, Uncle Budrick is not good at the second part of collecting money and using it to buy important things like food. As the story unfolds, though, Uncle Budrick’s troubadour skills do pay off.

For this primary source pairing, invite students to listen to a traditional troubadour melody credited to a thirteenth century troubadour named Raimbaut de Vaqueiras or Vaqueyras. The melody is called estampie and is one of the few melodies from the thirteenth century that has survived. Invite students to study the sheet music for this melody and consider how reading and writing music has changed over centuries of musicians playing and creating music.

For more information on Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, visit

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you hear.
  • What do you notice first?
  • Do you know the song, or do you recognize any instruments?
  • What other details can you hear?
  • Does this sound like a tune Uncle Budrick would play?
  • Do you see anything on the page besides

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Anonymous estampie from the Robertsbridge Codex, performed by Ulrich Metzner, Wikipedia:
Codex Robertsbridge sheet music: