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The Trumpeter of Krakow Paperback – April 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reissue edition (April 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689715714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689715716
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric P. Kelly, a student of Slavic culture for most of his life, wrote The Trumpeter of Krakow while teaching and studying at the University of Krakow. During five years spent in Poland he traveled with an American relief unit among the Poles who were driven out of the Ukraine in 1920, directed a supply train at the time of the war with the Soviets, and studied and visited many places in the country he came to love so well. A newspaperman in his native Massachusetts in younger days, Mr. Kelly later wrote many magazine articles and several books for young people. He died in 1960.

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Customer Reviews

If you want to hear the ending, read this book yourself.
Rose
I read this book in sixth grade, and though I am now twenty-six years old, it is still, in my opinion, one of the best books I have ever read.
Anthony Spinelli
Fantastic writing that keeps you spellbound and wanting more.
L. Jaworski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Ebeling on January 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In the 13th century (1241), a Polish boy was killed by the arrow of an invading Tartar from the East, silencing his trumpet a few notes short of completion of the "Heynal," the Hymn to Our Lady, as he stood on a little balcony of the Church of Our Lady Mary in Krakow, Poland. Ever since that event subsequent trumpeters have stopped at the same point in the Heynal as it is sounded four times on the hour, all day and night as a signal that all is well. This legend is based in history.
The story of Joesph Charnetski-Kowalski, set in 1461, is fictional. Joseph's father, Pan Andrew Charnetski is the guardian of the Great Tarnov Crystal, which has been in his family's safekeeping for over 200 years. When Tarnov fell to the Tartars, the gem was entrusted to a Charnetski to hide until such time as its whereabouts became known, at which time it was to be given to the the King of Poland (Kazimir Jagiello in the story).
Pan Andrew, his wife, and son Joseph are driven from their farm in the Ukraine by Tartars who burned their home and destroyed their fields. Fleeing to the city for safety, they assume a new surname in Krakow and Andrew becomes the new church trumpeter. The family lives in a house with alchemist Nicholas Kreutz and his niece Elzbietka. The crystal, a stone of tremendous importance and power, is the object of pursuit by Bogdan the Terrible (Peter of the Button Face). When he discovers the Charnetskis' location and tries to steal the Crystal from them, one-third of Krakow burns to the ground.
Danger and intrigue follow the Charnetski family; readers of all ages will enjoy this story. That there is a basis in fact/history for the novel makes it even more fascinating. Treat yourself or a pre-teen/teenager to this award-winning book!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Brzostek VINE VOICE on January 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Trumpeter of Krakow," by Eric P. Kelly, is historical fiction set in Poland in the early 1460s. A family flees their estate in the Ukraine, then part of Poland, after being attacked by Tartars and takes refuge in Krakow. The Charnetski family is followed to Krakow as a bandit believes they hold a valuable treasure.

The father, Pan Andrew, takes up employment as a trumpeter at the church that is known for its trumpeter that plays at each hour. Joseph learns from his father how to play the heynal with the broken note. Some two hundred years prior, when the Tartars were invading Krakow, the trumpeter played this song in the tower, but was cut short by the arrow of a Tartar. To this day, in honor of this trumpeter, at each hour the same heynal is played and even cut short much as it was in the 13th century.

Joseph befriends an alchemist and his niece Elzbietka, who help them find a place to live in the city, on the floor just below theirs. As the story unfolds, the Charnetski's are sought out by the terrible Tartar bandit and unknowingly influenced by the world of alchemy.

"The Trumpeter of Krakow" is categorized as a children's book (ages 8-12), but the vocabulary level of the book would make me think otherwise. A motivated reader should not find this to be a problem. The story is entertaining, so I would not dismiss it simply because it is labeled a children's book.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Raymond on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the exciting story of Joseph Charnetski, a teenage boy in medieval Poland bound by an ancient oath to protect the Great Tarnov Crystal at any cost. The Great Tarnov Crystal at first seems to just be a huge diamond, but it has a secret I will not tell or it will spoil the story. In the story, a Tartar chief is after the jewel and will stop at nothing to get it. This story gives two ideas of what things were like back then: how dangerous life was, and what alchemists discovered while searching for a way to change base metals into gold. I liked this book so much I didn't care that it was history!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rose on May 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is so good! I loved it! It's about a boy named Joseph Charnetski whose family is forced to live in medieval Krakow,homeless. An alchemist and his niece Elzbietka let them stay with them. However, the alchemist begins to have studies with a hypnotist that drive him mad. Joseph's father becomes the trumpeter at the Church of Our Lady Mary, forcing Joseph to practice the Heynal, a hymn that ends with a broken note. Then, a horrible man, known as Peter of the Button Face, comes to the alchemist's house to steal the Great Tarnov Crystal, a crystal that Joseph's family has been protecting for many years. He doesn't succeed, so he goes to the church tower to threaten Joseph and his father. Joseph made a deal with Elzbietka to add more notes to the Heynal when he plays it if he's in trouble. Will he? I won't tell you the ending. If you want to hear the ending, read this book yourself. This is a great book. I recommend this book to anyone.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lenore S. Schellinger on June 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The Trumpeter of Krakow is a multi-generational favorite in my family. My mother read it back in the 1940s; I read it in the 1960s; and my son read it in the 1990s. This adventure tale of 15th century Poland is one of the best of the Newbery Medal winners.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Normally I don't like adventure books, but this one is one of my favorite books! It is funny, exciting, and so suspensful you can't put it down!
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