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The Silver Cup
     

The Silver Cup

by Constance Leeds
 

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It's the year 1095, and fifteen-year-old Anna longs for a different life in her small German village. But as the seasons turn, the year proves anything but ordinary. Her beloved youngest cousin disappears, and another cousin, Martin, runs away to join a murderous army of renegade Crusaders. When Anna risks everything to rescue Leah, an orphaned Jewish girl whose only

Overview

It's the year 1095, and fifteen-year-old Anna longs for a different life in her small German village. But as the seasons turn, the year proves anything but ordinary. Her beloved youngest cousin disappears, and another cousin, Martin, runs away to join a murderous army of renegade Crusaders. When Anna risks everything to rescue Leah, an orphaned Jewish girl whose only connection to her former life is a silver cup, the two girls forge a friendship that defies the intolerance of their time.

Filling her story with fascinating period details, debut novelist Constance Leeds paints a rich, colorful picture of an eleventh-century life marked by courage, will, and most of all--hope.

Winner of the 2008 IRA Children's and Young Adult Book Award in the Intermediate Fiction Category.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 6-9
Sixteen-year-old Anna and her widowed father, Gunther, lead the life of a trading family in 11th-century Germany at the outset of the First Crusade. When her father takes her with him on a journey to the Jewish quarter of Worms, the teen encounters Leah, daughter of the spice merchant. Anna is intrigued by the differece in their lifestyles despite the prejudicial viewpoint of many of her fellow villagers, including her aunt and naively ignorant cousin, Martin. In search of excitement and glory, the boy runs away to join a Crusader army unit, while a renegade group of soldiers storms through the Jewish area in a rampage of destruction and massacre. Anna discovers Leah as the sole survivor, hiding and clutching her father's silver cup, used to bless wine for the Sabbath meal and other holidays. Ignoring the jeopardy she will cause herself and Gunther, Anna takes the girl home and eventually helps her to seek a new life in a distant Jewish community. This well-crafted novel juxtaposes historical events and the cruelty of religiously based politics with the human qualities of courage, fortitude, and, most of all, hope. Leeds provides mystery and authenticity about the period's lack of tolerance for the misfit or imperfect child through the disappearance-and implied murder-of Martin's mentally slow, mute younger brother while on a walk in the woods with his mother, who had "often scared him into tears." An intriguing and suspenseful portrayal of Europe's early medieval days.

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
—Rita Soltan

Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen-year-old Anna lives in a small German village in 1095, a year that will bring great changes. Her cousin Thomas disappears mysteriously and Anna suspects her Aunt Agnes of foul play. Then her cousin Martin joins an army of Crusaders that destroys the Jewish community in nearby Worms. Eight hundred lives are lost in three days, but Anna discovers one little girl who survived the horrific violence, and they become friends. Debut novelist Leeds's rich, sensory prose captures a time and place in a wealth of particular details, from everyday domestic life to the violence directed at the Jews along the Rhine, depicted quite graphically. Anna seems a girl of her times, with what feels like an authentic medieval outlook on her world. The motivations of the Crusaders and the excesses possible in a holy war are related clearly. Seasons change and friendship grows, and Anna's story becomes one of courage, kindness and hope in her corner of the medieval world. (author's note, historical note, glossary, foreign phrases) (Fiction. 12+)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440621529
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/05/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
618 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Constance Leeds (1950 - 2012) was also the author of The Silver Cup, winner of the IRA's 2008 Children's and Young Adult Book Award in the Intermediate Fiction category. She lived in Boston, Massachusetts.

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