This will be a brief review; I don't want to give too much away as I liked being surprised by the book, myself. Crispin: The Cross of Lead is geared to ages 9-12 or so but, like the Harry Potter books, is great for any age. I say that in part because my eldest son is a bit of a book snob and turns down anything "below my level" (snort). Right. I am so not of that mind-set. Just give me a great story and I'm happy. But, anyway . . .
When I read Something Upstairs by Avi (which I was lukewarm about, although I thought it was pretty well-written), Andi told me she'd heard Crispin was good and I replied, in total blondeness, something to the effect of, "Who is Crispin?"or "What does Crispin write?" Duh. Okay, at least I eventually redeemed myself by finding a copy, buying it and reading it.
Crispin: The Cross of Lead is the story of a young peasant who has been known only as “Asta’s son” all his life. After the death of his mother, he is unexpectedly pursued by the steward of the land he and his mother worked as serfs. Crispin has witnessed a conversation between the steward and a stranger, but doesn’t understand why he - a serf of no consequence - must run for his life with nothing but the clothes on his back and a cross of lead.
Crispin: The Cross of Lead is excellent historical fiction set in the 14th century, with loads of twists and turns. It didn’t take long to realize that Crispin is the kind of character who is bound to run into trouble everywhere he goes. If someone says "Stay here," he leaves. If they say "run'', he hesitates. All of which makes for a gripping read. Even though the steward showed up a little too conveniently around every corner, the book was more gripping than forced. Beautifully written with excellent historical detail. A sequel has recently been released and I definitely plan to read it, at some point.
Now back to: My chunkster, God is an Englishman, finally!
Also reading (for both the TBR and Classics challenges): The African Queen by C. S. Forester