Crispin the cross of lead

by Avi, 1937-

Format: Kindle Book 2004 2020
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Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gr. 5^-9. In his fiftieth book, (see interview on p.1609) Avi sets his story in fourteenth-century England and introduces some of his most unforgettable characters--a 13-year-old orphan, seemingly without a name, and a huge, odd juggler named Bear. At first, the boy is known as Asta's Son, but when his mother dies, he learns from a priest that his name is really Crispin. He also quickly comes to realize that he is in grave trouble. John Acliffe, the steward of the manor, reveals himself to be Crispin's mortal enemy and declares the boy a "wolf's-head," which means he is anyone's prey. Clutching his only possession, a lead cross, Crispin flees his village into a vast new world of opportunity--and terror. At his lowest ebb, Crispin meets Bear and reluctantly swears an oath to be his servant. Yet Bear becomes much more than a master--he's Crispin's teacher, protector, and liberator. Avi builds an impressive backdrop for his arresting characters: a tense medieval world in which hostility against the landowners and their cruelties is increasing. There's also other nail-biting tension in the story that builds to a gripping, somewhat confusing ending, which finds Crispin, once weak, now strong. Readers may not understand every nuance of the political machinations that propel the story, but they will feel the shifting winds of change beginning to blow through a feudal society. --Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Set in 14th-century England, Avi's (The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle) 50th book begins with a funeral, that of a village outcast whose past is shrouded in mystery and whose adolescent son is known only as "Asta's son." Mired in grief for his mother, the boy learns his given name, Crispin, from the village priest, although his presumably dead father's identity remains obscure. The words etched on his mother's treasured lead cross may provide some clue, but the priest is murdered before he can tell the illiterate lad what they say. Worse, Crispin is fingered for the murder by the manor steward, who declares him a "wolf's head" wanted dead or alive, preferably dead. Crispin flees, and falls in with a traveling juggler. "I have no name," Crispin tells Bear, whose rough manners and appearance mask a tender heart. "No home, no kin, no place in this world." How the boy learns his true identity (he's the bastard son of the lord of the manor) and finds his place in the world makes for a rattling fine yarn. Avi's plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns and treachery aplenty, but it's the compellingly drawn relationship between Crispin and Bear that provides the heart of this story. A page turner to delight Avi's fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel. Ages 8-12. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Orphans England Juvenile fiction
Identity (Philosophical concept) Juvenile fiction
Identity (Psychology) Juvenile fiction
Orphans Juvenile fiction
Middle Ages Juvenile fiction
Identity Fiction
Orphans Fiction
Middle Ages Fiction
Historical Fiction
Juvenile Literature
Juvenile Fiction
Great Britain History Edward III, 1327-1377 Juvenile fiction.
Electronic books.
Edward III, 1327-1377
Publisher White Plains :Little, Brown Books for Young Readers2004
Other Titles Cross of lead
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9781423140719
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