Crusade

Publisher: Macmillan Children's books

Review

Elizabeth Laird has lived and worked in Lebanon, and her earlier novels have been instrumental in bringing to young readers an understanding of the complexities of the current wars in this area. She now turns to the ancient roots of these disputes and in this impeccably researched novel shows that the prejudice, distrust and misinformation, which continue to fuel modern wars, stretch back more than a thousand years.

Adam and Salim, both boys from impoverished backgrounds, one in England, the other in Palestine, find themselves part of opposing armies in the Europe-wide Christian crusade against Sultan Saladin's Islamic empire.

Each boy discovers that friendship, compassion and loyalty can transcend religious difference, and that there is more that unites than divides them.

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