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Crispin: The Cross of Lead



by
Avi

Edition
-
Publisher
Hyperion
Imprint
Hyperion
ISBN
0786826479
$10.20   $8.50
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

In 1377, in Stratford, England, a boy known only as "Asta’s son" loses his mother. Following her burial, a priest reveals to the boy that his baptismal name is Crispin. Soon afterward the priest is murdered, and Crispin is accused of the crime. His cottage is burned down, and he is forced to flee. On the road, he encounters Bear, a juggler who enslaves him. For a master, Bear acts strangely—he encourages Crispin to think for himself.

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

0

Dewey

F

AR

4.8: points 7

Lexile

730L

Scholastic Reading Counts

11

JLG Release

Sep 2002

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal


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

Horn Book

Falsely accused of theft and declared a "wolf's head" (whom any man may kill), humble, pious Crispin flees his feudal village. Taken in as an apprentice by an itinerant juggler called Bear, Crispin learns about music and mummery, about freedom and questioning fate, and about his own mysterious parentage. Avi writes a fast-paced, action-packed adventure comfortably immersed in its fourteenth-century setting.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal


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

Horn Book

Falsely accused of theft and declared a "wolf's head" (whom any man may kill), humble, pious Crispin flees his feudal village. Taken in as an apprentice by an itinerant juggler called Bear, Crispin learns about music and mummery, about freedom and questioning fate, and about his own mysterious parentage. Avi writes a fast-paced, action-packed adventure comfortably immersed in its fourteenth-century setting.

Grades 5-7
Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus
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Interests
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Grades 5-7
Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus
14 books per Year
$228.20 per Year

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