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Crusade [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Laird

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Book Description

June 8 2007
TWO BOYS. TWO FAITHS. ONE UNHOLY WAR... When Adam’s mother dies unconfessed, he pledges to save her soul with dust from the Holy Land. Employed as a dog-boy for the local knight, Adam grabs the chance to join the Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem. He burns with determination to strike down the infidel enemy... Salim, a merchant’s son, is leading an uneventful life in the port of Acre – until news arrives that a Crusader attack is imminent. To keep Salim safe, his father buys him an apprenticeship with an esteemed, travelling doctor. But Salim’s employment leads him to the heart of Sultan Saladin’s camp – and into battle against the barbaric and unholy invaders...

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Childrens; 1 edition (June 8 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330443119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330443111
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 13.4 x 4.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #887,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Expertly researched, vividly told."  —Publishing News

"As notable in its way as James D. Forman's historical novels of the late '60s and '70s, A Little Piece of Ground deserves serious attention and discussion."  —School Library Journal on A Little Piece of Ground
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird has been nominated four times for the Carnegie Medal and has won both the Smarties Prize and the Children's Book Award. She and her husband divide their time between Richmond, Surrey and Edinburgh.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure and great history June 8 2008
By S. Jones - Published on
My son selected this book on a layover in London. He's 11 and has a hard time finding books are are interesting and engaging (he basically would rather be playing outside with friends, than read). I was worried he would not like this book; that it would be too long, or the topic to 'hisorical'. He LOVED this book, and I read it too, and found it to be a great read. On the cover of my book (the UK version), the subtitle reads, "Two boys, Two Faiths, One unholy war" and on the back, it says, "He looked into the enemy's eyes.. And saw a normal boy just like him..".

I enjoy reading historical fiction--the human story is great, and you get the added bonus of learning a bit of history too. The story is written from the boys' perspective, but has interesting adult characters as well: and my daughter, an avid reader, also enjoyed it. The timeless themes of family, friendship and the humanity of war are well thought out by the writer. It portrays an adequate representation of the times: both the good and bad.

It is too bad that this type of literature is not more widely available to our children. This book talks honestly to them, about people who are different, but maybe not so, .. and about tough situations people get into by circumstance and by history. It does not talk down to them, or spare them some of the realities of life; and, while there is warfare, it is neither gory nor sugar-coated. This was the essence of its appeal to my son.

I highly recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS IT GETS March 24 2013
By James Cornwell - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a YA medieval fiction writer myself (watch for the novel STEPHEN'S SWORD in the near future), I love reading this stuff as much as writing it, and this title is about as good as this genre gets. A grand plot, exciting adventure, a huge amount of historical detail, and a hugely satisfying finish made this book just shine. A blast to read, and it'll be a tough work to top--the bar's been raised!
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Perspective on Crusades Nov. 25 2012
By andrewd - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Took a quick read as I was looking for a book to get a nephew interested in history. This was it. Good characters and the view points and lessons of the book are thought provoking and current in todays world. The nephew read it in a weekend and reported back how much he enjoyed it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Crusade Nov. 10 2012
By atg - Published on
Very good story. Nice interesting tale about two boys from two very different backrounds, put together because of the famous Crusade.
4.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Account of a Dark Period June 29 2012
By Sir Furboy - Published on
Two boys from two cultures are at the heart of this wonderful work from this first class author. Rich in hostorical setting, we see the crusades through the eyes of an Arabic boy who works for a Jewish doctor, as well as a peasant boy from England eagre to earn the indulgence from the pope to work off his mother's lack of confession to a priest on her deathbed.

Elizabeth Laird does a wonderful job of creating a sense of place in this narrative, and I found myself imagining all the hot arid dustiness, the filth and disease as well as the mre salubrious settings for this book. She also spends a lot of time on the history, and to my inexpert but not totally uninformed point of view, it all seemed spot on.

None of that would matter if the story was lifeless though. Fortunately this book delivers on that score too, and was enjoyable, with plenty to keep the reader interested, including treachery, love, battles and such like. It was perhaps not the best story I have ever read, and for that reason I give it 4 stars. The target young adult audience can enjoy this book very much, but not all would necessarily make their way through it. All the same it rewards everyone who does, being a great story that finishes well and good history too.

Just occasionally I felt that modern attitudes maybe coloured the thought processes of the characters in the books - but that would probably help young adults to enjoy it, rather than hindering.

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