Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Crusades

If you have a copy of Thea Beckman's 1975 Crusade in Jeans, dust it off and give it to one of your Surcliff-loving history buffs. My daughter is reading it right now and loves it. Basic story: A young boy who volunteers to travel through time to the Middle Ages arrives during the Children's Crusade and is caught in its momentum. I learned a lot, and the time travel is only at the beginning.

Catherine Jinks' Pagan's Crusade, the first of a four book series, is also rich in period details and has a spin on it-- the main character is a Muslim boy raised in a Christian orphanage and who becomes the squire to a crusader. The series covers his whole life.

Michael Cadnum's The Book of the Lion (three book series)follows Edmund as he serves as squire to a knight on his way to join Richard the Lionheart.

Jane Elizabeth Goodman's Winter Hare and Peregrine are very dense but also informative. Best read in this order, the first follows Will, who is training to be a knight, and the second follows Lady Edith, who travels to the Holy Land.

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