Could you ever imagine yourself living in 14th century England, in a land oflords and bishops, knights and pilgrims, a strange place eloquently landscaped with medieval castles and cathedrals, small towns and….devastated by The Plague? Avi’s mystery, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, begins with a 13 year-old boy who lives in a poor peasant village. Soon after his mother’s death, the evil village steward, John Aycliffe, falsely accuses the young orphan of stealing and even murder. Afraid and alone, Crispin flees for his life, through the vast wilderness to a nearby town, where he meets a large, gruffy street jugglerwho calls himself “Bear.” Crispin, in fear for his own safety, reluctantly swears to become Bear’s servant. The mystery grows, as Crispin learns his friend is involved with an underground society and this digs them into a more dangerous plot. Off they go together, anxiously in pursuit of freedom: Crispin, searching for his real identity, and Bear, defending his new friend and his own life as well. Terror at every corner, filled with complicated turns and twists, this adventure story is guaranteed to be a page turner for all ages.
Book reviewed by Darice C., Library Assistant