Crispin: The Cross of Lead
Winner of the Newberry Award, ALA Notable, Booksense Top Ten, Best Children's Books of the year, Colorado Book Award and more.
"Asta's son” is all he's ever been called. He and his mother are but poor peasants in fourteenth-century medieval England. But this thirteen-year-old boy who thought he had little to lose soon finds himself with even less—no home, family, or possessions.
Accused of a crime he did not commit, he has been declared a "wolf's head." That means he may be killed on sight, by anyone. If he wishes to remain alive, he must flee his tiny village. All the boy takes with him is a newly revealed name—Crispin—and his mother's cross of lead.
His journey through the English countryside is amazing and terrifying. Especially difficult is his encounter with the juggler named Bear. A huge, and possibly even mad, man, Bear forces the boy to become his servant. Bear, however, is a strange master, for he encourages Crispin to think for himself. Though Bear promises to protect Crispin, the boy is being relentlessly pursued. Why are his enemies so determined to kill him?
Crispin is gradually drawn right into his enemies' fortress where—in a riveting climax—he must become a different person if he is to save Bear's life and his own. He discovers that by losing everything, he has gained the most precious gift of all: a true sense of self.
A master of breathtaking plot twists and vivid characters, Avi brings the full force of his storytelling powers to the world of medieval England.
"The suspense stays taut until the very end of the book…Exciting and true to the past. This novel is historical fiction at its finest." — VOYA
Crispin's adventures continue in:
Crispin at the Edge of the World (An ALA Notable book, Child Magazine Best Children's Book of the Year, National Parenting Publication Award Honors Award, Best Children's Books of the Year, and Booksense Children's Pick Winner) and the trilogy's thrilling conclusion: Crispin: The End of Time.
About the Author
Winner of the Newberry Medal as well as the Newberry Honor, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award, and many other awards, Avi is a masterful storyteller in a wide variety of young adult genres, from whimsical animal tales, to gripping historical fiction.