Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gatty's Tale” as Want to Read:
Gatty's Tale
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gatty's Tale

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  698 ratings  ·  93 reviews
In the year 1203, nine companions set out on a pilgrimage. The journey - on foot, on horseback and by sea - is fraught with danger. Not all of them will come safely home.
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published October 5th 2006 by Orion Children's Books (first published January 1st 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gatty's Tale, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gatty's Tale

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  698 ratings  ·  93 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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!

Aug 04, 2008 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 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really liked the character of Gatty and felt the plot was an interesting premise. However I felt everything moved far too quickly - the pilgrims arrived at a location and before you could really get a feel for the place something dramatic happened or they moved on. We seemed to jump days/weeks at a time in a page or two. Not sure if this was due to it being middle-grade or if it's the style of Crossley-Holland's writing; there was little world building or description, Gatty and some of the other ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Crossley-Holland, Kevin Crossing to Paradise, 400 p. Scholastic, September 2008.

Gatty expects to finish her life as an uneducated village girl, barely scraping out a living for herself. Her family is all dead and her best friend, Arthur is earning a name for himself off on Crusade; he is destined to marry a local lord's daughter upon his return. First her lord wants to give her to the church, but they want too much "dowry". Then her lady finds that her cousin to the north is setting
Joy Norman
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved the book.The writer was able to bring in each person in such a way that I remembered who was who. I am definitely glad that I didn't live in those days (So much for the good old days!) it was not only a story of physical health but also of spiritual and emotional thoughts and feelings. The amount of heathen fear of spirits, omens,and strange phenomenon that was going on along the side of people making a spiritual pilgrimage to Bethlehem.Even the age of Gatty at 15 having to have that huge ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I started listening to this as an audio book with my family, but the beginning was slow and chaotic, so the rest of the family lost track of the characters and their interest waned. By the time the pilgrims arrived in France, I was on my own. It was only later there were more interesting parts. I liked the historic descriptions, but there were also substories that I think could have been left out; I didn't understand what their point was. I liked the ending, it was not too obvious.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A first I was mad when I finished the Arthur trilogy and discovered a fourth book existed. However, I have to say it was the best one. I fell in love with all the characters. There were countless twists and at the end I hugged the book. Beautiful end!
Reader Girl
Journey books are always good. It's amazing to think about how well-traveled some people were so long ago.
Patricia Ash-Vildosola
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Vivid, heartbreaking, sweet. Gatty is a phenomenal heroine. I like this book even better than the Arthur trilogy it is companion to.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually liked this book better than the Arthur series, it's really nice that Getty gets her own tale. A lovely tale of a medieval pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the time of the crusades
Jessie Bingham
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. I've read it four or five times. The characters are well built and believable, and the plot is really gripping. It's an excellent coming of age tale of a Welsh land girl who ends up on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Not a difficult read in the slightest but definitely a worthwhile one. Highly recommended :)

Reviewed in full at
Apr 22, 2015 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
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
Jun 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
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 av
Mar 30, 2011 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 al
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
[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
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 lyrics to the s/>Crossing
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 already be fam ...more
Mike Steven
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.

Feb 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.)
Wayne C
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Saree
  • Found
  • Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories
  • The Thing about Prague: How I gave it all up for a new life in Europe's most eccentric city
  • Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies (Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies, #1)
  • Here Lies Arthur
  • Black Radishes (Black Radishes, #1)
  • My Faith in Frankie
  • On Two Feet and Wings
  • Boris
  • Gate 7, Volume 3 (Gate 7, #3)
  • Freedom Ride
  • The House at Bishopsgate (The Aviary Gate #3)
  • The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj
  • Cry of the Giraffe
  • The Third Kiss
  • Yu+Me: dream Volume 1
  • The Storyteller and his Three Daughters
See similar books…
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 retelling of Arthurian legend.
“You can teach someone a skill but you can't teach them spirit.” 8 likes
More quotes…