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Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Crispin: The Cross of Lead (2002)

by Avi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Crispin (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3951111,593 (3.69)59
  1. 00
    Wolf Girl by Theresa Tomlinson (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both are YA books set in medieval times that have the hero / heroine fleeing a false accusation and death sentence.
  2. 00
    The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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» See also 59 mentions

English (110)  German (1)  All (111)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Shortly after the death of his mother, an overheard encounter leads to Crispin running for his life in 14th century England. On his journey, he meets a juggler who may be more than what he seems, and he learns about the secret of his own parentage. Avi is an author I never think of as a favorite, but his stories always draw me in. This Newbery winner is tightly plotted and well-researched, and I'd recommend it to readers who enjoy medieval tales. ( )
  foggidawn | Jul 23, 2017 |
Historical Fiction Novel Assignment
  AlecA1994 | Jul 15, 2017 |
It was okay. The chapters were WAY too short for my comfort. The breaks were random and, often, a single scene spanned four or five chapters. Crispin was ENTIRELY too religious for my reasoning. I understand that this was a different time period, but for a poor, shunned farm boy with no education, no family, and no knowledge of the outside world, he was pretty darn knowledgeable about religion, saints, prayers, and whatnot. I get that the priest was one of his only friends, but still it all seemed TOO preachy for me. Also, not a lot happened. From the beginning of the book, there were maybe four or five major events and it took forever to get there. There was little action, little intrigue, and little to motivate me to keep reading other than I really wanted to know what was written on the darn cross. I'll read the second one because my library has it, but as my library does not have the third, unless something miraculous happens, I won't read the third. ( )
  kamikaze2011 | Jun 20, 2017 |
Crispin is an orphaned boy forced to flee from his home town. He meets up with a street performer who is mysterious and knows something about Crispin's past that Crispin does not.
  step36 | Jun 8, 2017 |
Set in the Middle Ages in England, the story follows Crispin, a young boy who is declared a thief and sentenced to hang. Crispin is on the run followed by John, a cruel steward. A political action adventure ensues.
  Jennifer LeGault | Dec 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Rebecca Barnhouse (VOYA, June 2002 (Vol. 25, No. 2))
In 1377 England, mysteries surround thirteen-year-old Crispin, a serf from a rural village who never knows his own name until his mother dies. Nor does he know just who his mother really was--why she was an outcast or how she learned to read and write. Shortly after her burial, Crispin finds himself pursued by men who mean to kill him for reasons he does not understand. He escapes, only to be captured by a huge juggler named Bear. Bear teaches Crispin to sing and play the recorder, and slowly they begin to get to know one another. When they perform in villages and towns, however, they discover that the hunt for Crispin is still in full swing. For Crispin, this situation makes the question of Bear's trustworthiness vital, for Bear has secrets of his own. The suspense stays taut until the very end of the book, when Crispin uncovers his identity and then must decide how to act on that information. His journey to selfhood recalls Alice's in Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice (Clarion, 1995/VOYA August 1995). Like Alice, Crispin casts off his timidity to make a place for himself within a society that would discard him. As does Cushman, Avi renders the sights, sounds, and smells of medieval England accurately and compellingly. He shows the pervasiveness of the church in medieval society and, in a subplot, weaves in details about John Ball and the Peasant's Rebellion. Exciting and true to the past, this novel is historical fiction at its finest. PLB $16.49. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9).
added by kthomp25 | editVOYA, Rebecca Barnhouse (May 10, 2010)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aviprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elwell, TristanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Teofilo F. Ruiz
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The day after my mother died, the priest and I wrapped her body in a gray shroud and carried her to the village church.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786816589, Paperback)

Genre-jumping author Avi clocks in here with his 50th book, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, an action-packed historical narrative that follows the frantic flight of a 13-year-old peasant boy across 14th-century England.

After being declared a "wolf's head" by his manor's corrupt steward for a crime he didn't commit (meaning that anyone can kill him like a common animal--and collect a reward), this timid boy has to flee a tiny village that's the only world he's ever known. But before our protagonist escapes, Avi makes sure that we're thoroughly briefed on the injustices of feudalism--the countless taxes cottars must pay, the constant violence, the inability of a flawed church to protect its parishioners, etc. Avi then folds in the book's central mystery just as the boy is leaving: "Asta's son," as he's always been known, learns from the village priest that his Christian name is Crispin, and that his parents' origins--and fates--might be more perplexing than he ever imagined.

Providing plenty of period detail (appropriately gratuitous for the age group) and plenty of chase-scene suspense, Avi tells a good story, develops a couple of fairly compelling characters, and even manages to teach a little history lesson. (Fortunately, kids won't realize that they're learning about England's peasant revolt of 1381 until it's far too late.) (Ages 10 to 14) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:48 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.

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