The Baghdad Mission

The Baghdad Mission

by Sidney Rosen, Dorothy Rosen

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Set in 800 A.D., this story begins as the basic Hamlet plot, but turns quickly to a journey motif, both literally and figuratively. Alan's father has died unexpectedly, and Alan is sure that his cousin Hugo is responsible. When he overhears Hugo's plans to murder him as well, he stows away on a merchant ship in Marseilles bound for Baghdad, captained by Issac the Jew. (Hugo also has plans to denounce the captain and, with other insurgents, to attack Charlemagne's forces). On the voyage, Alan learns to live with the sailors, growing in strength and ability both at sea and, later, in the desert. The experience allows him the time he needs to become a man before returning to Marseilles to confront Hugo and to come to the aid of Charlemagne, the newly crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Unfortunately, the book's language is stilted and unreal, and the dialogue often sounds false and hollow. In addition to this, statements that announce Alan's feelings make the work even more awkward. Finally, the authors' use of questions is annoying. ``Did the seasickness stop because of his imaginary riding? Or had he simply gotten used to the ship's motion? Perhaps being ashamed of being different did the trick. But who cares what the reason was?'' By the end of a paragraph like that, readers certainly don't. The historical background is flimsy at best. The issues of the Christian and Jewish conflicts of the time are largely ignored, and Alan, a Christian, casually thinks, ``My God''-a blasphemy of the day, and a mortal sin. Although primarily an adventure tale, the narrative is underdeveloped and inadequate in meeting readers' needs.-Sandra J. Langlais, Providence Public Library, RI

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Adventures in Time Series
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >