|Newbery Medal Book|
Avi. (2002). Crispin: The cross of lead. New York, NY: Hyperion Paperbacks
This book takes place in England in the year 1377. The main character is Crispin, Asta's son. He will later meet a big man called, Bear. These two will travel together throughout the book.
Crispin is simply known as Asta's son. He does not know his real name or his real father, but he has a cross of lead from his mom. After the death of his mom, John Aycliffe and the hunting party are out to kill Asta's son. Why?
Asta's son has figured out that they are out to kill him, though he doesn't know why. The local priest tries to help him get out of the village. He reads the name engraved on the cross of lead - Crispin. This is his name. The priest is going to tell him more about his parents the next night. But he is slain before he gets a chance. Crispin barely makes it out of the village and is trying to get to a big city where he might find freedom. That is when he meets Bear. Is Bear good or bad? Is he going to turn him in? The two make their way toward London. Everywhere they go, they find that someone spots Crispin and the hunt is on again. Bear believes him and decides to start helping Crispin.
In the dark of night, they catch Bear. Crispin has to get into the high walled castle to try to rescue Bear. But how?
Crispin rescues Bear by showing his name etched on a cross. Now they know that he is the illegitimate son of Lord Furnival. Now they know why Crispin was protected all these years. They were right in their thoughts that they must get rid of Crispin, as he is an heir to the throne. Crispin bribes them. Let Crispin and Bear go free and he will never place claim to the throne. He will keep his secret.
Crispin and Bear once again have to get away from the guards at the gate of the town. They do after a bloody battle. They are finally free and live together as a father and son would.
1) There are many times when flashbacks are used to show Crispin remembering something he saw or something that his mom or the priest told him.
2) Imagery is very strong in this book. You feel like you are right there in the villages in 1377. Very good historical fiction.