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Crispin--The Cross of Lead
Cover of Crispin--The Cross of Lead
Crispin--The Cross of Lead
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Newbery Medal winner The Cross of Lead is "a page-turner from beginning to end... full of adventure, mystery, and action" (School Library Journal).Sometimes I ran, sometimes all I could do was walk....
Newbery Medal winner The Cross of Lead is "a page-turner from beginning to end... full of adventure, mystery, and action" (School Library Journal).Sometimes I ran, sometimes all I could do was walk....
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  • Newbery Medal winner The Cross of Lead is "a page-turner from beginning to end... full of adventure, mystery, and action" (School Library Journal).
    Sometimes I ran, sometimes all I could do was walk. All I knew was that if the steward overtook me, I'd not survive for long....
    Crispin is a poor thirteen-year-old peasant in medieval England. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he has been declared a "wolf's head," meaning he may be killed on sight, by anyone. He flees his tiny village with nothing but his mother's cross of lead.
    In the English countryside, Crispin meets a man named Bear, who forces Crispin to become his servant yet encourages him to think for himself. But as Crispin's enemies draw ever closer, he is pulled right into the fortress of his foes, where he must find a way to save their very lives.
    A master of breathtaking plot twists and vivid characters, award-winning author Avi brings the full force of his storytelling powers to the world of medieval England.

    "Avi's plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns, and treachery aplenty. . . . A page-turner to delight Avi's fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    " . . . [T]he book is a page-turner from beginning to end . . . [A] meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action."
    -School Library Journal (starred review)
    "Historical fiction at its finest."-VOYA

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Avi has published more than seventy books. Winner of many awards, including the 2003 Newbery award for Crispin: the Cross of Lead, two Newbery Honors, two Horn Book awards, and an O'Dell award, as well as many children's choice awards, Avi frequently travels to schools around the country to talk to his readers. Among his most popular books are Crispin: The Cross of Lead, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing But the Truth, the Poppy books, Midnight Magic, and The Fighting Ground. His most recent books are Ragweed and Poppy, Gold Rush Girl, The End of the World and Beyond (sequel to The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts), and the somewhat autobiographical Catch You Later, Traitor. Avi lives in Clark, Colorado, with his wife. He invites you to visit him online at avi-writer.com and on Twitter @avi3writer.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books snicker9 - This book was very interesting. It was set several hundred years ago and was about a newly orphaned boy who is being accused of thievery and murder. He runs away from his cruel leader and fellow townsmen and meets up with bear. I think this is definitely a book for older kids and adults as this was a violent time period.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 28, 2004
    Set in 14th-century England, this Newbery-winning novel centers on an orphaned outcast who gets pegged for murder. "How the boy learns his true identity and finds his place in the world makes for a rattling fine yarn," wrote PW
    in a starred review. Ages 8-12.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2002
    Gr 6-9-As with Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice (Clarion, 1995), the power of a name is apparent in this novel set in 14th-century England. "Asta's son" is all the destitute, illiterate hero has ever been called, but after his mother dies, he learns that his given name is Crispin, and that he is in mortal danger. The local priest is murdered before he can tell him more about his background, and Aycliffe, the evil village steward for Lord Furnival, declares that the boy is a "wolf's head," less than human, and that he should be killed on sight. On the run, with nothing to sustain him but his faith in God, Crispin meets "Bear," a roving entertainer who has ties to an underground movement to improve living conditions for the common people. They make their way to Great Wexley, where Bear has clandestine meetings and Crispin hopes to escape from Aycliffe and his soldiers, who stalk him at every turn. Suspense heightens when the boy learns that the recently deceased Lord Furnival was his father and that Aycliffe is dead set on preventing him from claiming his title. To trap his prey, the villain captures Bear, and Crispin risks his life to save him. Avi has done an excellent job of integrating background and historical information, of pacing the plot so that the book is a page-turner from beginning to end, and of creating characters for whom readers will have great empathy. The result is a meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI

    Copyright 2002 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2002
    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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2002, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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