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CROSSING TO PARADISE by Kevin Crossley-Holland Kirkus Star

CROSSING TO PARADISE

By Kevin Crossley-Holland

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-545-05866-7
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

In 1203, Lady Gwyneth sets out on a pilgrimage from Wales to Jerusalem to do penance and save her soul. With her travel eight others, including Gatty, a 15-year-old field hand and beloved character from Crossley-Holland’s Arthur trilogy. Dirty and illiterate, yet bright, wise and spirited, Gatty encounters both dangers and marvels along the way. Robbers, a dealer in severed body parts, storms, assassins and would-be rapists teach Gatty to be alert and responsible. From the stench of London to the wonders of Venice and Jerusalem, Gatty’s journey changes her, as she learns to read, write and sing and becomes the one Lady Gwyneth must rely on for the success of the pilgrimage. This classic odyssey, love story and coming-of-age tale is impeccably written, with rich sensory details, memorable characters and a well-orchestrated plot. Certainly, what Gatty learns about the wonders of the world and the possibilities of friendship and even marriage between Christians and Saracens speaks to today’s world as well. (glossary, author’s note) (Fiction. 12 & up)