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Crossing to Paradise

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  577 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Gatty is a field girl on a manor. She has never seen busy London or the bright Channel, the snowy Alps of France or the boats in the Venetian sea. She has not sung in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem or prayed at the manger in Bethlehem -- or been kidnapped, or abandoned, or kissed, or heartbroken. But all these things will change. As Gatty journeys with Lady Gwyneth and a ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,175)
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Oct 16, 2008 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, but read the Arthur trilogy first
Recommended to Fiona by: the bookcover!
I loved Gatty from the Arthur trilogy and so having a whole adventure all to herself made my reading day.

Gatty was introduced as a young girl who worked hard on the land of the Caldicot's. She and Arthur were peculiar friends - the lord's son and a peasant wasn't really what you would call a conventional friendship.

Arthur went off to the Crusades, leaving Gatty alone. When her father dies she is left alone. Lord Caldicot feels sorry for her and perhaps affected by his son's friendship with her
May 03, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came to this immediately after Stephen King's Duma Key and it did everything that Duma Key so signally failed to do. It engaged, excited, moved me; it taught me a little more about what it means to be human, and to be an artist. It's a wonderful book, a worthy successor to the Arthur trilogy, and Gatty is an unforgettable creation. Crossley-Holland's language never fails to impress for its precision and solidity - it's poetic when needed, and only then; the research is lightly-worn, the sense ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Jellybean6401 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which is in a genre that I don't usually read. I really like how the main character in a female protagonist. The only down-side is that it was a touch too long. But over all a great book and I would recommend it to people who want to give historical fiction a go.
Mar 29, 2016 Bridget rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy historical fiction
Words cannot adequately express my love for this book. It's a childhood favourite of mine, but even now every time I read it I find something new to delight in. Gatty is the most wonderful heroine - she makes mistakes and she's rough and often foolish, but the heart of her is so good and honest I don't actually think it's possible to dislike her. Crossley-Holland really does an incredible job of making you laugh, cry and love right along side her. But beyond Gatty, every character is remarkably ...more
Jan 19, 2015 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ap-english-list
Gatty is a poor, Welsh girl who works in the stables of a noble-man, and is one day heard singing while cleaning the stalls. Upon hearing her voice, the nobleman demands that she should accompany a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bring God's graces on the traveling group with her beautiful voice, and will have lessons from a teacher on the way there. The crazy adventures of the small group and tricky situations of traveling in foreign countries was interesting to read about, especially as a woman tra ...more
Mar 30, 2011 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gatty's Tale is a spin-off of the Arthur & the Seeing Stone books. This book follows Arthur's friend Gatty as she heads off on a pilgrimage for Jerusalem.

A compelling book, and just as in the Arthur books, the writer paints a great picture of living in the period without overwhelming the reader with heavy handed history. That said, some of the writing in this book is downright strange... sort of an attempt to be poetic that just ends up sounding oddly nonsensical.

I also occasionally wondered
Apr 07, 2011 Alicia rated it it was amazing
I did this in Children's Literature at university, because it is a book for younger people. If I remember correctly, I was the only one who liked it.

It took me a few chapters to get into it, but now I love it. I think the main thing for me was the location changes. Crossley-Holland writes the climate as part of the story and this makes the journey they go on more exciting and adventurous.

Crossley - Holland also brings a sense of reality to it. It's easy to forget that it is a book for young chil
Jun 26, 2010 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sequel-slash-parallel to the King Arthur trilogy by the same author. Except I liked this book much, much better. Perhaps it was that I knew what to expect. Perhaps it was because, having read the trilogy, I was set up mentally for Crossley-Holland's world. Perhaps it was because the story was allowed to flow, without being chopped up with interruptions from legend. Perhaps it was because the heroine was such a plucky, likable gal. Whatever the actual reason, this book spoke to me moreso than t ...more
Jun 15, 2009 Jess rated it liked it
It's been a while since I finished this one, so I'm trying to pull up the impressions that stuck with me. The sense of place and culture was strong without being overly descriptive. Simple things like Gatty's use of language compared to more sophisticated characters said a lot quickly. Which isn't to say that the book doesn't indulge in rich descriptions of teeming cities or mountain passes or sea voyages - something which may disappoint readers reading for plot. The characters are pretty great, ...more
A solid but not amazing book. (Reading the author's bio, it turns out that this is connected to an earlier Arthur trilogy he wrote, which makes me wonder if prior knowledge of the characters would have made it a better read. More on that in a minute.)

Gatty's voice is fabulous. I mentioned in a review the other day that I dislike tongue in cheek historical fiction, where the author gives their characters knowledge they would not have had at the time, and Crossley-Holland completely avoids that. G
Wayne C
Jul 01, 2015 Wayne C rated it it was amazing
What an endearing character we have in Gatty. I first encountered Crossley-Holland as translator, so I wasn't sure how to receive his fiction. As I've read four of his novels now, I find myself hoping for more. It's not the high prose of Dickens, but I found I couldn't help but fall in love with this character's innocence and determination. From the lowly Marches of England all the way on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, it's a journey of change the reader will make along with Gatty herself.
Aug 11, 2011 Erin added it
[NB: Crossing to Paradise is also listed as Gatty's Tale.] Gatty, the field girl from Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy gets her own adventure in this rich YA novel. As he does in the trilogy, the author transports readers into an accessible lush medieval world. This novel stands alone from the trilogy (though readers will get to reconnect with some of the characters introduced in those books) and does not include the same sort of fantasy Arthurian legend interactions of its companions.

Gatty is
In medieval times, European Christians would go on pilgrimages to holy sites. Some sites, such as Canterbury, Tours or Compostela were fairly easy for Europeans to get to. But Jerusalem, the best pilgrimage site of all, required a long journey, bravery, good luck, and a large amount of money.

Gatty, a field hand on a manor near the English/Welsh border is chosen by Lady Gwyneth to accompany a diverse group on the journey to Jerusalem because of her loyalty and excellent singing voice. Crossing to
Coleen Dailey
Dec 02, 2014 Coleen Dailey rated it liked it
I bought this book for my niece as it is a story of a young girl on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I try to read the books I give my nieces and nephews and quite frankly was not overly impressed with the story. Perhaps it is because it is written for a younger audience or perhaps it is because the story did not really seem to flow well. It was an interesting read but not one I would read again.
Jul 16, 2013 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The beginning of this book really didn't grab me. All of the seemingly well-researching tidbits about daily life in Medieval England were fascinating, but I didn't really like our heroine. She seemed so flaky, so willing to bounce around at other people's will, and yet to still mess up. (In fact, it reminded me very much of children's books from a century ago.) Plus, even though religion was clearly integral to the characters' lives (after all, they're going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land), I ...more
Candy Wood
Of the two books set in the time of the Crusades and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2008, I prefer this one. It’s set a bit later than Laird’s Crusade, after the siege of Acre that makes up part of that novel’s plot, and the focus is on pilgrimage, not war. Gatty, who is 15 but seems younger because there is so much she doesn’t know, travels to Jerusalem first as a servant and then almost alone after the lady she serves has died. Readers of Crossley-Holland’s Arthurian trilogy will alread ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
It has been years since I've read anything by Kevin Crossly-Holland, and I can't understand why! The excuse "I forgot about him" though lame and embarrassing, is the truth.

Crossing to Paradise is companion to his fantastic Arthur trilogy, and follows Arthur's earthy friend Gatty on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land and back. As always, Crossley-Holland's deep scholarship is well in evidence, his characterization flawless, his pacing divine, and his lyrical skills showcased nicely in the poetic lyr
Mike Steven
I read this as I read all of the Carnegie shortlist this year. It has a very nice cover and dustcover which makes it look good on a shelf. Sadly, I don't judge a book by it's cover and I simply found this book to be mediocre. It was pleasant enough but lacked any excitement at all for me. Maybe Crossley-Holland wanted to give the reader the impression of the slow, plodding journey to Jerusalem by making his novel have a similiar pace but it simply didn't work for me.

I've not read the original Ar
I liked this story, the adventure was huge, exciting, and a lot of cool events took place along the journey! It was a very longggggg crusade though, but I was happy to find out that when they did get to Jerusalem, the story didn't end there and kept on going, showing more of the city and such. I really liked that, because other crusader stories I've read in the past stops there, and we don't even get to see much of Jerusalem. But Gatty's Tale wasn't cut short at all, and I liked that!

Gatty herse
Jan 05, 2010 Brooke rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-reads
Enjoyable young adult book set in medeavil times. Field maid Gatty finds herself a companion to a lady making her way to the Holy Lands on a crusade. Set in a primarily correct historical fiction background, Gatty helps her companions survive the long journey - although not everyone lives to make it to Jerusalem. Just a hint of the mystical is in the background as Merlin (aka Arthurian legends)makes a brief appearance, providing encouragement to Gatty in one of her trials. Crossley-Holland has w ...more
Feb 11, 2016 Cuty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that makes you want to go on a pilgrimage just like gatty and her companions did!!!!
Mar 01, 2008 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of 2007. Lovely language, even in translation. If Thanksgiving dinner consisted of words, this would be a star dish at the table. Wonderful, bittersweet, hopeful yet meeting-disappointment-in-the-eye, miraculous book! I felt especially Gatty's hopes and disappointments. The all-is-lost feeling of despair before the miracle. Kneeling in the church in Jerusalem at night with Gatty, when she stripped away all down to the deepest, realest feelings she had to pray. She went t ...more
Oct 25, 2008 Rose rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Gatty from Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy is the main character in this one. It's the 1200s, and Gatty is asked to accompany a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It's one of the few fiction books about the middle ages where I felt the faith was genuine, not just another quirky character trait. And there are some key emotional points that the author totally nailed as well. Lovely.

(I might add that this is the American version of Gatty's Tale.)
Sep 11, 2008 Karin rated it really liked it
Recommended to Karin by: deb & susie
Shelves: historical, teen
Super-cheesy cover, but good medieval adventure story inside. Farm-girl Gatty (minor character in author's previous Arthurian trilogy) gets chosen to accompany a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem. Lots of interesting period detail and a very likable protagonist.
9/11/08 - after more thought, i think i want to downgrade to 3 or 3.5 stars. the plot kinda dragged, it was hard to keep characters straight, i'm kinda annoyed thinking back on it.
Bianca Islington
Jul 10, 2015 Bianca Islington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling, heart warming tale about a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Gatty, the heroine is a fierce, independent yet innocent girl that is a delight to read about. There is adventure, sadness, peril and intrigue all tied up in a beautifully written novel that will thrill all it's readers.

I grew close to all the characters, and when it was done I was sad to see them leave, Gatty especially. Definitely a book I will visit again.
Oct 31, 2008 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book with a wonderful story told by a great storyteller of a girl's journey to Jerusalem. The language was poignant and delightful and I felt at times I was on the journey alongside the characters.

Kevin Crossley-Holland's poetic language haunted me even after I finished the book - 'Rain-ghosts arching thier backs and long-legging it across pearly fields; sopping, pale, green frog, cool sunlight, telling it slant.'
Mar 01, 2009 Melissa rated it did not like it
Eh. Got halfway through, stalled, and just tried to pick it up again last night. Gave up and read the last two chapters instead. The details of the journey are great, but to me the writing and the pacing were a little choppy. And! My pet peeve! There were too many exclamation points! :) Perhaps this book is best for those who read and loved this author's Arthur trilogy, as Gatty is a character from those books.
Dec 16, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Another lovely, strong female protagonist who learns and grows throughout her travels. Crossley-Holland is simple in his tale, with plenty of showing not telling; it feels nicely medieval to me, without any apologies to the reader for some of the ugliness of the period. I love his language: he hangs on to some of the flavors of the old Saxon: "seething, thieving London," "the many-tongued sea," "muddy-dark sand."
Dec 26, 2014 Jacqueline rated it did not like it
I got this book from the library. It seemed semi-interesting, so I got it. But I just kept putting this book down. I was about halfway through the book, but I had to return it to the library. To say the least, I returned it willingly. I feel bad for only giving it one sta because I didn't get to finish it. But I read it halfway and didn't even attempt to finish it.. Well, it is what it is.
Oct 31, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Superb novel, a sequel of sorts to the Arthur Trilogy, following the adventures of Gatty, Arthur's earthy, spirited field-worker friend as she is taken on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. A coming of age tale as she blossoms into maturity, learning to read, write and sing, this is a marvelous story, stirring and sad, full of pageantry and colour, ultimately heart-warming.
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Kevin Crossley-Holland is a well-known poet and prize-winning author for children. His books include Waterslain Angels, a detective story set in north Norfolk in 1955, and Moored Man: A Cycle of North Norfolk Poems; Gatty's Tale, a medieval pilgrimage novel; and the Arthur trilogy (The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing-Places and King of the Middle March), which combines historical fiction with the re ...more
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