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Crusade in jeans by Thea Beckman
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Crusade in jeans (original 1973; edition 2003)

by Thea Beckman

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6571514,646 (4.14)28
Member:avatiakh
Title:Crusade in jeans
Authors:Thea Beckman
Info:Asheville, N.C. : Front Street, 2003.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:young adult, fiction, Dutch, time travel, crusades

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Crusade in Jeans by Thea Beckman (1973)

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English (7)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (2)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
READ IN DUTCH

Misschien wel dé klassieker uit de Nederlandse jeugdliteratuur. Een absolute must-read. De zestienjarige Dolf uit Amstelveen komt via een foutje in een tijdmachine per ongeluk midden in de kinderkruistocht terecht. Deze helse tocht werd ondernomen om met een heilig leger van kinderen de stad Jeruzalem te bevrijden. (Een idee dat natuurlijk gedoemd was te mislukken).
Het verhaal vond ik zelf heel mooi opgebouwd, de verschillende fasen in het boek zijn allemaal goed uitgewerkt, maar mijn favoriete deel is toch wel de kruistocht zelf, voor ze eenmaal aan de Middelandse zee komen.

Ik zou dit boek echt aan iedereen aanraden die het nog niet gelezen heeft! ( )
  Floratina | Jan 23, 2014 |
Originally published in 1973, as Kruistocht in spijkerbroek, this classic Dutch children's novel follows the story of Rudolph Hefting, a twentieth-century boy who finds himself transported back in time to the year 1212, and caught up in the events of the fabled Children's Crusade. Not sure that he can ever return to his own time, Dolf, together with Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa - the young mathematics student he meets upon the road - decides to accompany the poorly organized crusade, hoping to help the children survive. So begins a monumental journey south, across the Karwendel range of the Alps, toward Genoa, and the sea.

The children believe that their nominal leader, Nicholas the shepherd boy, has had a vision from God, and (when they come to Genoa) will divide the sea, and lead them to the White City of Jerusalem, there to put to flight the Saracens. Dolf, with his twentieth-century skepticism, believes otherwise, but finds that he must accommodate himself - in public, anyway - to the customs and beliefs of the times. When treachery is revealed, and the true purpose of the crusade becomes clear, will Dolf, Leonardo, and their group of dedicated friends, be able to save the children from a terrible fate? And even if they do... what then?

Crusade in Jeans is not a book without flaw. To begin with, I sometimes found the language a little awkward, although I understand, from reading reviews by Dutch-speakers, that this is owing to the poor translation. It irked me, moreover, to see that the translator is not listed anywhere on (or in) the book! I also found some of the "history" questionable. Leonardo Fibonacci, for instance, would have been forty-two years old, in 1212, rather than a young student, and would already have published his famous Liber Abaci (in 1202), which did so much to bring Arabic numerals (to which Dolph supposedly exposes him, in the novel) to Europe. Then, of course, there is the question of the Children's Crusade itself - an apocryphal event (events?), now largely discredited by historians.

Still, Beckman's theory of how reports of such an event may have been started, made for fascinating reading. More importantly, her general grasp for the times - the importance attached to social class and position, the omnipresence of faith, both in internal decision-making, and overt practice, the appalling ignorance of geography, but surprisingly good hygiene (Dolf had always been taught that all people in the Middle Ages were dirty) - was top notch, and I came away from the story with the feeling that, like Dolf, I had truly stepped back in time. I also came away with a true attachment to the characters, and a desire to know more. I wanted to know what happened with Leonardo and Maria, later on - did they ever figure out where Dolf came from? I wanted to learn more about the boy who took Dolph's place, in the (then) present, and what happened to both of them, when they returned to their "correct" times.

This attachment points to another great strength, in Beckman's narrative: her character-building, and engaging storytelling style. This wasn't just historical fiction, or time-slip novel, but an exciting adventure, peopled with characters I had come to love. I had no idea how it would all be resolved - or if it would be resolved, in terms of Dolf returning to his own time - but was completely engrossed in the here and now: how would the children get across the Alps? How would Dolph rescue the fifty little crusaders kidnapped by the knights of Count Romhild of Scharnitz? What would happen, once the sea refused to part?

I was riveted! It's a shame that this is the only one of Thea Beckman's many children's books to be translated, thus far! I would definitely read more, if I had the chance! ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 30, 2013 |
When I read this book in an early edition, I was taken away on a journey with the children. Back then the movie had not been made and I just made the imaginary journey all in my head with my own pictures.
I loved it, and when I had the opprotunity, it was the second book from my childhood, that I got for my son. A real MUST read!

Seeing the movie didn't surprise me at all. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before: the movie was as good as the in-head movie the book gave me.
( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
The frame is a little awkward and the narrator feels a little obtrusive, but on the whole this is an excellent time travel story. I liked it a lot. If I was younger I might have loved it. Much of the information about the Children's Crusade was exciting and interesting, I think its a great choice for the incident in history that the main character time travels to. I also really liked that he wanted to go so he could see knights in armor and tournaments and he ended up spending most of his time with children and ordinary working people. Nice touch.

I guess I'm not giving it more stars because some of the time the places and people felt a little generic. They stopped in a village, or a town, but there was nothing to make that village or town much different from any other village or town. Some of the characters kind of felt like extras or spear carriers in an opera - sort of interchangeable. I guess I could have done with a little more vividness in the settings and characterizations. Still, a very good book, and recommended. I'm glad I read it. ( )
  bunwat | Mar 30, 2013 |
One of the most popular children's writer in the Netherlands, I'm somewhat surprised that this novel doesn't immediately show up on the search results, as it has been translated into numerous languages, including english (though I've heard that the English translation is lacking in awesomeness). It centers around the protagonist, Rolf, who is transported back into the time and setting of the Children's Crusade. A wonderful, fast-paced adventure, full of plots and intrcacies that adults can genuinely enjoy too, I definately reccomend this read if you can get your hands on it. ( )
  Vossof | Nov 21, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 188691026X, Paperback)

Rudolf Hefting of Amsterdam thought he was engaged in an experiment that would take him back to the Middle Ages to a tournament of knights. But by a miscalculation of the computer, he arrives in the Rhineland at the exact time that the Children's Crusade is passing through. A stranded traveler in time, Rudolf joins the immense children's army -- almost 10,000 strong. With Rudolf, the reader struggles to understand how it was possible that children between the ages of 6 and 15 thought they could travel across Europe, then cross the sea to drive away the Saracens from the Holy Land. They had no weapons, transportation, or money; they experienced hunger, epidemics, and death. The dreadful conditions he encounters compel him to use his 20th-century knowledge to try to create order out of chaos. In spite of himself, he becomes a leader and organizer. And along the way he also experiences loyal friendships, courage, and devotion to God. This wonderfully rich story is a winner of the Golden Pen, the most prestigious Dutch national award for children's books.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:36 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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