Georgette spends her time caring for her father and quick-tempered brother; her dearest friend is the village priest, who nurtures her inquisitive mind by teaching her to read and write.
Robert is an orphan brought up in the care of monks – his extraordinary intelligence makes him invaluable to life in the Abbey, although his life is lonely.
Seeking escape from their lives, both teenagers are drawn to follow a charismatic young man who is leading a Children’s Crusade through France to the Holy Land. Life on the Crusade is harsh and becomes harsher when Georgette and Robert are abandoned by their unscrupulous leader but the pair fall in love and find a way forward together.
This fascinating novel is based on a real Children’s Crusade that took place during the thirteenth century; the themes it encompasses, from first love to religious tolerance, should strike a chord with twenty-first century teenagers too.