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MOXIE meets A KNIGHT’S TALE in this funny, poignant YA contemporary novel. Rescuing everyone, especially her family, is seventeen-year-old Kit Sweetly’s greatest aspiration. It’s a heroic impulse, but her schemes usually make things worse. Working as a wench—i.e. waitress — at a cheesy medieval themed restaurant in the suburbs of Chicago fuels her fire for glory, and Kit dreams of being a knight, like her brother Chris. She knows the moves, she’s capable on a horse, and she desperately needs the raise that comes with Knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Defying company policy, Kit takes her brother’s place as knight one evening. When Kit reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets herself into internet fame and a whole lot of workplace trouble. But when Chris gets seriously injured at work, Kit has to find a way to monetize her fame in order to pay his hospital bills. Not to mention navigate a changing relationship with her best friend and longtime crush, while galvanizing the company into changing their sexist policies.
If she can’t figure out how to save the day in time, she’ll lose her job, her family’s house, her spot at her dream college, and the guy she loves.
Praise for The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2021
“A rousing, funny, feminist workplace fantasy that also takes a frank look at modern poverty.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Debut author Pacton has a light touch, deftly balancing details of the real Middle Ages and the fake Castle version, and setting up Kit’s feminist battle with the higher-ups through the teen’s entertaining first-person narrative.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Jamie Pacton’s pitch-perfect debut novel has nerves of steel beneath its mischievous exterior…A fantastic blend of frankness, feminism, and pure fun.” — BookPage
“Kit is passionate about history and gender equality, and her enthusiasm carries this quirky tale of a modern battle set on an old-timer stage.” — NPR
BookPage’s “15 Most Anticipated YA 2020 Debuts”
The Nerd Daily’s “48 YA Book Releases to Look Out for in 2020”
“A smart, fun, feminist romp with lots and lots of heart. You’ll be cheering for Kit Sweetly all the way on her quest to be seen and heard as she is.” – Brittany Cavallaro, New York Times bestselling author of A Study in Charlotte
“The perfect read for every girl who’s been told she can’t, and shows them all that she will. This fun and feminist book stole my heart from the first page.” – Sonia Hartl, author of Have a Little Faith in Me
“For anyone who’s ever had a roadblock to their dreams. A funny, fierce, inclusive story that will leave you feeling ready to draw your own sword and ride into battle. Kit is my champion!” – M.K. England, author of The Disasters and Spellhacker
“Kit Sweetly is a heroine that is a joy to follow as she throws a wench in the sexist policy at her workplace. With wit, charm, and low tolerance for unnecessary rules, Kit’s story will make you cheer until you are horse. Curl up with a blanket and some cocoa, for reading this book in one sitting is certain to be a knight to remember.”—Rachel Strolle, Teen Services Coordinator, Glenside Public Library District
“Jamie Pacton’s debut novel is both a sharp comedy and a poignant, unflinching portrayal of the working poor that will have you laughing one moment and determined to change the world the next. Kit Sweetly’s on an epic quest for gender equality at the medieval-themed dinner theatre that employs her as a “wench,” and she’s not going to let anything get in her way – not her alcoholic father, her uninterested boss, or the crush she absolutely does not have on her best friend. She’s determined to joust her way to victory at any cost, if the secrets she’s keeping and the family drama don’t stop her first. Clear your schedule before picking this up, because you won’t be able to put it down until you see if this Lady Knight comes out on top.”—Melissa Posten, The Novel Neighbor Bookstore
“Kit Sweetly always has a plan, whether it’s for convincing her boss to let her ride as a knight at the Medieval Times-esque restaurant where she works or helping her mom pay the mortgage and get the lights turned back on. When some of her plans start to crumble, she can’t bring herself to tell the friends who have been supporting her and chasing their own dreams of becoming Knights. This mix of workplace comedy, working class struggle and gender equality activism is sure to please YA fans, whether or not you’ve ever picked up a sword or ridden a horse.”—Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop
“Full of high-octane sass, girl-power, quirky historical tidbits, and just the right amount of delicious romance. A fun, page-turning delight.” – Joy Preble, Brazos Bookstore
“The story of a girl who wants more for her family, friends, and herself regardless of what the rules, or corporate, says. Hilarious and heartfelt, Jamie Pacton’s debut is not to be missed.” – Mike Lasagna, The Barking Goose Bookstore
Here’s a Twitter thread about why I wrote KIT
Cover design by @novellapixel
Cover illustrations by @theminaprice