S: Journeys of the Children's Crusade By Tom Schlechter and Darsh Patel
BC: Authors Page | Darsh Minesh Patel is a 12-year old student in the 7th grade at Eyer Middle School. This is his 9th written book after the 4 book infamous series of Sonic Ride and Dinosaur Dictionary. He really enjoys writing as well as all other subjects in school and really likes to play different sports. | Darsh Minesh Patel | He plans to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of and obtain a degree in Aerospace Engineering. | Tom Edwin Schlechter Tom Edwin Schlechter is a 13-year old in the 7th grade at Eyer Middle School. He enjoys writing stories and poetry and is also a dedicated swimmer. He plays the Alto Saxophone in marching, concert, and jazz band. | He plans to go to Harvard University and obtain a degree in Quantum Physics. He also hopes to make it to the Olympics for swimming.
FC: Journeys of the Children's Crusades | By:Tom Schlechter & Darsh Patel
1: This book is dedicated to all the children who lost their lives for something they strongly believed in. | May You Rest In Peace
2: What You Need To Know Before Reading This Book | The Crusades were a medieval military expedition, one of a series that were made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. The overall results of the Crusades was that the First Crusade was somewhat of a success and while the rest were not successful, including the Children' s Crusades of France and Germany. The story is a basic synopsis of fake and somewhat factual information from the Children's Crusade of Germany, which will show the hardships and travels of these courageous children. Before this Children's Crusade there was one in France lead by a kid named Stephen, but it failed too. Enjoy!!
3: Our story begins with a young German peasant, Nicholas, in the Rhine Valley of Germany. | Nicholas struggled up the rough face of the mountain as the blood drained from his face. He had been climbing up th mountain for hours trying to find good firewood for his family to burn for warmth. Life was tough at this time for peasants in Germany, especially in the winter, when there was a shortage of food and a scarcity of supplies for entire villages. As Nicholas climbed up the rocky terrain, his hands aching and bleeding, he lost his grip and luckily, if any luck was present for him at all, he fell back-first onto a rugged cliff-head off of the northern side of the mountain.
4: Groaning and squealing, Nicholas slowly stood up, with a sharp pain crawling throughout his back, and swiftly whisked away the remains of gravel and soot ingrained between the threads of his trousers. Nicholas repeatedly blinked to get the soil out of between his eyelids and just as he was going to begin to start up the mountain he saw a small, bright white light deep inside the cave's mouth. Nicholas stepped towards the light. He had never seen something quite this remarkable in all of his lifetime. The small ball of light was changing colors, emitting from deep within the cave. Suddenly, the ball of light floated toward Nicholas and turned into a bright shadow of a person.
5: The shadow rose up to Nicholas and a gleaming angel resonated before him. She spoke in a soft voice, almost to quiet to be heard, "Free the Holy Sepulchre from the Saracens, and if you do you will find your destiny". In a flash, and a quick whip of wind, the angel was gone, without a trace. It took Nicholas a while to recall what had just occurred and to justify if what he saw and heard had been reality. He realized that this all had, in fact, been true, forgot about the firewood and swiftly climbed back down the mountain to tell his village. | The next couple of days, Nicholas began to get followers who believed in his story and thought that it could be done. Even his best friends, Judith, Tomas, Constantina, and Herald bought into the idea. The parents of the children who wanted to take the journey also bought into the idea of having a children crusade because opposing forces may feel empathy, unlike when their are battling with knights on horseback with brutal swords and shields.
6: The following day, Nicholas led thousands of unarmed children through the Rhine Valley. A large downpour of rain began to start flooding the valley, and Nicholas yelled, "Get underneath the valley walls." All the children ran into the shadows and then began to head back on their journey when the rain began to cease. A light mist then engulfed itself into the valley, making it almost impossible to see. The mist stayed for 3 days and when the children finally thought they were lost, they saw light seeping in from outside the valley ahead of them. Everyone rejoiced and cheered, but Nicholas did not break a smile."If they had almost lost hope while getting through the valley, What will happen when things got even tougher?"
7: The children soon reached the Swiss Alps a group of treacherous mountains, with slippery snow and ice. Nicholas knew this may be the end for most of them, but as they made it to the peak he decided to make a stop. He realized that many of his troops behind him had died in the alps, falling from cliffs on the face of mountains and from starvation and hypothermia. By that point he had only about 5,000 children left in his command.
8: He quickly went to check on his friends to make sure they were doing fine, when he saw Judith screaming in pain. Nicholas scowled, "What happened here, and why was I not notified?". "It had just happened. She slipped on the ice and fell onto jagged rocks within a crack in the mountain," replied Constantina. Nicholas did not know what to do with her. He was not prepared for this kind of situation. "Just let me die here. Go on and accomplish your journey," cried Judith. At that moment she let out her last breath and left the world.
9: "We are all deeply sad with the empty space in our hearts, but we must continue onwards under all circumstances," said Nicholas. "Agreed, we shall not let Judith die in vain. She believed in us and we will accomplish her final wish," replied Tomas. So they went onward and made it out of the Swiss Alps with many major casualties. More troops soon died of hypothermia and Nicholas was left with just about 4,000 children, but they journeyed onwards. After many hard and cruel days and nights they made it to the wondrous city of Genoa, Italy.
10: "What a wonderful and marvelous city this is. Look at all of the amazing feats of architecture and art!" exclaimed Tomas. "I agree," said Nicholas. As they entered the beautiful city many troops left to look around to adore the extraordinary craftsmanship in the city. "WELCOME!! Please come into my unique shop. I sell and make authentic sculptures," said a mysterious shopkeeper. "Wow! These are fantastic," said Tomas, walking in to the shop. "You like? I guess so. You are a lover of the arts?" asked the shopkeeper. "I am. I used to make my own sculptures back home," replied Tomas, matter-of-factly. "You want job?" asked the shopkeeper.
11: "No he does not," said Nicholas quickly. "Quite frankly, I do want the job and I will take it! Goodbye, good friend, Nicholas." said Tomas "Great," replied the shopkeeper. "Bye! I can not believe you would just abandon me like this," yelled Nicholas. Nicholas stormed out of the shop and called his troops to leave immediately. He was thinking about Tomas on his way out, so much that he did not realize that nobody else was following him.
12: "Hey, I am coming!" said Herald. "Well, I am leaving! This has been enough and I am going home!" yelled Constantina. "Fine go home and give up! Live with regret till the day you die!" shouted Nicholas. At that, Constantina and about 3,000 others turned back the way they came. Then Nicholas, Herald, and about 1,000 troops went further south to meet the pope. As they journeyed downwards, children were lured off into jobs and such, so in the middle of their journey to Rome, only about 700 troops left. "So many of kids are committed," mumbled Nicholas sarcastically. "Do not worry. We will get to the pope soon," reassured Herald.
13: A few days later they made it to Rome. As they found the Pope's home they were declined to have an audience with him. "What! We have done this all for nothing! I will not let this happen!" ranted Nicholas. As he said that he spotted a sharp piece of hardened clay on the ground. | Nicholas picked the shard up and put it into the position to stab himself in the heart. "WAIT! Do not do it, please!" pleaded Herald. "I must. I have no other choice. This life has been nothing but disappointment for me. Goodbye my good friend and goodbye cruel world," said Nicholas. "Goodbye Nicholas, my good friend," cried Herald. At that moment he surged the shard of clay at his heart. His eyes then opened wide and a tear in pain let out of his eyes. Next he fell over and never stepped onto the earth again. Herald burst out crying.
14: As Herald was balling his eyes out a shady guy put his hand over his mouth and snatched Herald. After a couple of minutes he regained his sight and a saw that he was on a ship with the 23 children that were left. He was also chained to all of them by his ankles and knew he would never see home again. He was a slave on his way to Arabia and that he would never have a another choice. Now back to Constantina........ | Just as this was happening Constantina and 2,000 others made over the Swiss Alps and back the Rhine Valley. As they made their parents embraced and scolded them for going on the trip. Constantina was wailing when she had to tell her friends parents that they had died or left them. It was very bittersweet for Tomas' parents. They were depressed that he will never see them again, but was happy that he got his dream job. Constantina also knew that tomorrow she will have to be present at the beheading for Nicholas' father.
15: The very next day Constantina and the rest of Rhine Valley gathered in the center of the village. The parents of Herald, Judith, and Tomas are holding Nicholas' father hostage. They dragged him to the guillotine and laid him down against his will. It happened in the blink of an eye. The parents cut the rope, the blade swooshed down and the man was beheaded. Dead from the world and hated for eternity. | Overall the Children's Crusade was a complete fail and in our story only Constantina and 2,000 others made it home. A tragic time, hopefully never repeated.
16: Disclaimer The guillotine was not invented until the 18th century so Nicholas' father was probably hanged. Also Herald ended up as a slave in Arabia like many others. All characters were made up except for Nicholas. Any resemblance is completely coincidental. Nicholas' end is unknown so we made it up that he committed suicide.
17: Thank You!
18: Vocabulary Words Holy Sepulchre - The tomb in which Jesus Christ was laid in after his death upon the cross. Saracens- People of the desert; in this story the people of Arabia. Resonated- Produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound. Empathy- The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Hypothermia- The condition of having an abnormally low body temperature, typically one that is dangerously low. Vain- Without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless. Authentic- Not false or copied; genuine; real. Audience- Opportunity to be heard; chance to speak to or before a person or group; a hearing. Bittersweet- Both pleasant and painful or regretful. Guillotine- A device for beheading a person by means of a heavy blade that is dropped between two posts serving as guides.
19: Works Cited Holden, Matthew. The Crusades. London, England: Wayland, 1973. Print. Knight, Judson, and Judy Galens. Middle Ages: Almanac. Detroit: UXL, 2001. Print. Thompson, John M. The Medieval World: An Illustrated Atlas. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2009. Print.