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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
3,9111141,997 (3.71)61
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.
  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 61 mentions

English (113)  German (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
It is medieval times in England. Being a peasant is a harsh life. Known only as "Asta's son" and only having his mother to provide and raise him, this is the only life this 13 year old boy knows.

When his mother dies, life becomes harder, and when he is declared a 'wolf's head' for a crime he didn't commit, life looks like it may be impossible. You see, being a "wolf's head" means that you can be killed on sight by anyone! The only way to stay alive is for "Asta's son" to leave the village and go far away.

Being found by a man whose appearance matches his name of Bear, Asta's son becomes Bear's apprentice. Bear is a travelling entertainer, going from village to village singing, juggling and making people laugh. That is his main occupation. It seems there is also a bit of a secret mission involved.

As Asta's son is swept along with Bear, he also learns of his background; his father, why he and his mother were treated as such and why he was declared a "wolf's head." These revelations are not only surprising but also give Asta's son a new perspective and his true name...Crispin.

This is an easy read, but there is a lot of excitement, secrecy and action. Though there are no illustrations, the author paints images with his words that I found I could visualize. But then this is the 9th book of his I've read and I enjoy his style. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Nov 14, 2018 |
This is a good gateway book to a study on Medieval England. Author Avi does a great job of describing the oppressive conditions the serfs lived under during this time and creates a very authentic and heartwarming character in Crispin. He describes the time in great detail and also adds in lots of action and even some humor in order to keep the reader engaged.
  kimjarvis | Aug 8, 2018 |
While Crispin: The Cross of Lead starts off a little slow, it quickly picks up and hooks you. Why is Crispin targeted and hated so by John Aycliffe? As he flees from the village and only life he's ever known, Crispin encounters Bear, a juggler who takes him under his wing. A challenging friendship develops as Crispin learns about a world he's never experienced. Avi allows us to see the world through Crispin's innocent eyes and wonder who will be friend or foe. Two more books round out the series, both recommended. ( )
  gharhar | Jul 16, 2018 |
Ok. Not great. True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is much better. ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
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.
  unsoluble | Jan 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (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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