Crispin: The Cross of Lead

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Crispin: The Cross of Lead

by Carol Avi

Disney-Hyperion | June 1, 2004 | Trade Paperback

Crispin: The Cross of Lead is rated 4.2262 out of 5 by 84.
H "Avi''s plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns, and treachery aplenty. . . . A page-turner to delight Avi''s fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel."-Publishers Weekly (starred review) H " . . . [T]he book is a page-turner from beginning to end . . . [A] meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action." -School Library Journal (starred review) "Historical fiction at its finest."-VOYA

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 7.62 × 5.25 × 0.75 in

Published: June 1, 2004

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0786816589

ISBN - 13: 9780786816583

Appropriate for ages: 8

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from very good excellent until the ending which was a little weird and flat. Quite exhilarating and captivating on his adventures. Some very unrealistic parts ruins the 5 out of 5.
Date published: 2007-04-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from ...my least favourite... Crispin: The Cross of Lead is a tale of a young meek boy who is declared a Wolfs Head (You can kill a Wolfs Head and receive a reward for it!) for no apparent reason. However after meeting Bear a large but friendly man he must put his courage to the test to save his friend, while unveiling a terrifying secret. Out of Avi's books I found this one . I didn't like how quickly and easily they overcame obstacles, I found that there was almost no suspense in the book, there were weak story ideas and the plot was pretty basic. I would not recommend this book to any person who enjoys well thought out plots and intricate story lines.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...fast-paced adventure... Anyone who likes a fast-paced adventure novel, full of fantastic characters and exciting situations will tremendously enjoy Crispin: the Cross of Lead. Written by the amazing Avi, it houses traits that a perfect book should have, and blends them well with the story. Definitely worth many reads, seeing as it never gets boring! I like books like that. The story itself is brilliantly thought out, and full of descriptive details that make the setting stand out vividly in your mind. It starts with a boy (whose identity is unknown at first, even to himself) experiencing the death of his strange mother. When he is unjustly labelled as a wolf's head the boy's forced to run for his life from his village. To further his misery, the only person who could help him “Father Quinel, the priest “ is mercilessly killed. On the run, he meets a very strange man called Bear who he later befriends. With Bear, Crispin (as he learns his name to be) goes on an enlightening but risky journey to Great Wexly, where he finds out he is the son of the rich, powerful Lord Furnival! That's the reason so many want him dead. Still fearing for his life, Crispin manages to negotiate for Bear's life and his. In the end, they fortunately escape the dangerous borders of Great Wexly together. I liked the fact that in spite of the horrible things that happened to Crispin throughout the book, he finally gained courage and made sure his ending was happy. It would've been horrible if Crispin and Bear had been captured, and wouldn't have escaped. Though the ending was quite perfect, I did hope that the main characters might have stayed in Great Wexly. 'Im sure that they find a better place, but somehow I think in the end they should have overcome their enemies instead of running away from them. It makes a more satisfying ending. Usually, I don't pay attention to front covers of books. So, when I picked up Crispin: the Cross of Lead, at first sight I thought the main character had short hair. It may seem like a trifle concern, but I was shocked when Bear told Crispin what he looked like. I know there was of course no way realistically Crispin could have had neat, clean-cut hair. But not just that, he seemed to be very pessimistic and bleak all the time. Those seemed to be Crispin's two main character traits. I'd have changed that; he may have been hopeful but ill fated, or something similar. The book was unique; the story itself is unlike any I ever read about. It may remind one of Avi's other works because of the similar writing style, but other than that “incredibly original, I would think. It was very absorbing and well written. Unlike countless other adventure novels I've read; Crispin: the Cross of Lead was a book you just couldn't stop reading. Aside from some things mentioned above, it couldn't have been better!
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...has every thing... This book is about a boy who lives in a little village with his mother and his father died before he was born. One day, his mother dies and then the boy learns of his real name which is Crispin. Crispin is then declared a wolf's head, which means that anybody may kill him. He runs away with only one possession. His mother's cross of lead. He follows the north road so that he may find a place of freedom. But he sees that the village steward who tried to kill him twice is following him along with a group of other men. Crisping finally finds a village with only one person. A big man named Bear. Bear takes Crisping to be his servant and they go to Great Wexly. But as they enter this walled in city, problems erupt everywhere they turn. It is a challenge for them just to stay alive. This is a great book. The way the author describes the characters, it feels like you actually know them. He makes you feel like you're actually in the book. That makes you feel sorry for the characters when something bad happens to them. And that would be quite a few times. I would not change one thing about this book. The plot was carefully planned and it was just amazing that someone could come up with something like this. This book reminded me a little about the book, A Company of Fools by Deborah Ellis. It was partly the time period but also because of the people's strong loyalty to God. I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of ten. I would recommend it to everyone because it has every thing in it. It has action, suspense, mystery and even a few squirmy parts. But all in all, this is a great book!
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...exciting and educational... Crispin: The Cross of Lead is about a boy named Crispin born a peasant, despised and rejected at birth by the other peasants. He lived with his mother, until she passed away. The night she had died, he ran away into the woods, with the steward chasing after him. He was declared a wolf's head (which means anyone can kill him) for something he didn't do. Crispin was told by the priest to run away from the village. He became the servant of a wise jester, against the ways of the government of England and its church. During his travels with the jester, he discovered something about himself which could rewrite history. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I found it interesting, exciting, and educational. I liked the mystery of who Crispin was, and I couldn't wait to find out why he was treated the way he was. I think the ending wasn't the best it could be. If I could change it, I'd make it so that Crispin tells everyone who he really is, and becomes a lord. That way, he could enforce the laws he and the jester, Bear, strongly believe in. I don't think I can relate to any of the characters, partly because it takes place in the Middle Ages, where their beliefs and ways of life are very different from our own. But I do agree with Crispin and Bear that everyone in England should be treated equally and there should be no one richer than another. The ways of England in the Middle Ages weren't fair to anyone, unless you were born rich. Other than the ending, I wouldn't change anything in this book. I like it just the way it is. Even the unpleasant parts of this book turn out for the better. This book didn't remind me of another book or TV show, but it did make me reflect on my studying of the Middle Ages in grade 4. I think that this was the first historical fiction novel on the Middle Ages that I have read so far, and it was a good start. I don't remember watching a TV show taking place in the Middle Ages. I think this book will appeal to anyone with strong beliefs who is interested in the Middle Ages, who likes mysteries and suspense, and who likes adventure. I think that almost everyone would enjoy this novel. I don't see a reason for not liking it, though I'm not a picky reader.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a fascinating book... Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi is a fascinating book about a thirteen-year-old boy . The boy has only been called `Asta's son' and does not know his true name, or who his father was. When Asta, his mother, dies, the boy finds himself all alone as the village shuns him. But that's not all. John Aycliffe, the steward of the land, holds something unknown against the boy. He accuses him of a crime he didn't commit, and the boy finds himself labeled a `wolf's head'. This means he may be killed by anyone at anytime. Fleeing for his life, the boy finds comfort in his one possession; his mother's cross of lead. Coming to an abandoned village, the boy meets a juggler named Bear. When Bear hears his story, he forces the boy to become his slave. As the two travel through the English countryside, it becomes clear the boy is still being hunted. Another mystery is the boys cross. There is something written on the cross. It isn't until neat the end of the story that the boy discovers his name is written on the cross, along with something else. Crispin: The Cross of Lead was an excellent story. I was hesitant to read it a first because I thought it sounded boring, but once I actually started reading I discovered the opposite was true. I enjoyed how descriptive the story was and how easy the author made it for you to be able to picture the story. Avi obviously had to do some research in order to write this story. One thing I didn't really like about this story was its length. I thought the story was kind of long, although I cant thing of anything that could have been removed. Overall, I would not have changed anything in this book. I would recommend this book to almost anyone. Kids and adults alike could enjoy this book, however, I would not recommend it for younger children. Some of the parts in this story might be too violent or scary. Like I have stated before, Crispin: the Cross of Lead is a great story. If this book is an fair example of what Avi's writing is like, I will definitely be reading more of his books.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...wonderfully fresh... I found Crispin was about a boy who was so downtrodden that he had become a pessimist by 13. It's a lot like life; you try to work your way up while everyone is trying to push you down again. This poor, sad, and even lonely boy meets a man who helps him understand that life is as good as you make it so make it as good as you can! It was about a lonely boy with no mother or father to his knowledge who found a father figure in his master. I pondered over why Sir John Aycliff wanted Crispin dead. I was filled with wonder, remorse, happiness, and curiosity! How the story fit together like a puzzle was remarkably accurate to a real life story. I was surprised how it portrayed the poverty and situations that would happen today. I would highly recommend this wonderfully fresh and new book to anybody who enjoys surprises and action. The disclosure to this book overjoyed me! All through it you become a sad, nervous wreck, which gets really tense (at least I did) and then all your fears are stopped abruptly when John Aycliff dies. And how Crispin discovered his father was nothing short of a miracle. But was it good or bad?!? It was over all a great book of which I will be reading over and over again!!!! It was very emotional and loving. HAPPY READING!!!
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...a great novel... Crispin the Cross of Lead is a great novel. It takes you back into the medieval times. Scattered with words used at that time and blended in with some bits of history you would feel like you were there with Crispin. Avi certainly kept me turning the pages. Crispin a boy about thirteen flees the village that he had lived all his life, with John Aycliffe and his men after Crispin. Crispin stumbles across a juggler named Bear and finds himself learning new things including who his father really was and why he is being called a wolf's head. Reminded me of some medieval stories I read before. I enjoyed the book very much. It was fabulous!
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...good mystery... Crispin is a 13-year-old boy who runs away after his mother dies because everyone does not like him in his village except the village priest. He runs away into the forest and then finds out that the village leader has allowed anyone to hunt him down and kill him. From they're many adventures and twists happen, but in the end all is well. I liked this book because it was different. It was written to take place when King Edward ruled and it was a good mystery. I think people who relate to this book would like adventures and the mystique that goes with running away. This book also makes me think of the Slippery Slope and the Wish List as in all three books loved ones die.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...brilliant book... Been looking on your shelves for a good book lately? Well, might I suggest Avi's latest brilliant book: Crispin: the Cross of Lead. This book is about a boy who doesn't know anything about his past when his mother dies. His only possessions are a cross and a past full of many secrets that he must uncover. A priest starts Crispin on his journey into his past. This book is full of adventure and mystery. It will appeal to people who like suspense. Every chapter ends in a way that makes you want to keep on reading. Avi's writing helps you discover what each character is doing and feeling throughout the book. Crispin reminds me of Harry Potter in his fifth book. He never really knows what is going on and this keeps the readers guessing as well! I really enjoyed this story. I found the beginning hard to get into, but soon I was pulled into the story and couldn't stop reading. I shared Crispin's sense of not knowing what was going on and, like Crispin, I wanted to find the answers. I could relate to Crispin's thoughts and feelings quite independent sometimes, and not so sure about things at others. I would recommend this book to children who are 11 or older, as the story is more enjoyable when you can understand what the characters are going through and relate to them.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Crispin: The Cross of Lead Furnival's Son Crispin is a shy boy. In his Village, Stromford, he is neglected. He does not have a father, and he is his mother's only possesion. The day his mother dies, he is very sad. The steward comes well he is burying her, and Crispin runs away. That night, he saw the steward and another person talking in the woods. He can her them, but doesn't know what they mean. They see him and he has to run again. One day, he went to an abandoned village. He went to the church to pray. There, he met a very large man who's name is bear. Bear takes crispin for his servant, and teaches him how to perform. He performs with bear, and earns money. Since he had been declared a wo;f head, anyone may kill him. Yet, nobody seemed to recidonise him. In one town, bear gets captured. Crispin goes and rescues him, and makes a deal with the steward. Just before baer and Crispin got to the city gates, The steward told the soldiers that anyone may kill them. They got away from that situation without getting hurt. The reason I titled this Furnivals Son is because in the midst of all of this, Crispin discovers why the steward wanted him dead. On the cross he had that had beeen his mother's it said son of furvinal. His mothner had been married to lord furnival, and the cast away when she had her son.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...powerful novel... Crispin is a powerful novel about a young boy who had lost everything because of his status at birth. It was set in the late fourteenth century in England, where there were many peasants who owned next to nothing and were ridiculed by the rich and powerful. The main character, known only as Asta's Son from birth, was forced to flee his village after his mother died, as he was wrongfully accused of theft. With only a lead cross, and the knowledge of his true name, he traveled to solve the mystery of his past. On the way, he became the servant of the wise Bear, and ran into the troubles and turmoil of the Medieval England. I really enjoyed the novel, as the historical aspect gave the antagonistic plot of the novel a thread of reality. Most people would have a hard time relating to the story, however, as it is revolving around an almost ancient society. I would thus not recommend it to those who look for a light, cheerful novel, as some of the themes of the book are quite mature. This book would mostly appeal to lovers of historical fiction, stories about the Middle Ages, and people who enjoy escaping from the current world problems. What appealed to me the most about this novel was how the character's thoughts and feelings throughout his tragic ordeal were very intimately revealed. The only aspect that I did not quite enjoy about this novel was the ending, as I thought how it turned out was unfair. Then again, the value of friendship is shown to be more important than stature. I would not wish to change anything about this book as I quite liked the way the book was written, although a happier ending would have been more enjoyable. My first impression of this book was that it would be fairly childish and that the characters in the novel would be quite juvenile, however, I found quite the opposite was true. The main character, though not well educated, proved to be insightfully wise in the sense that he was able to learn quickly and recognize danger. I also found that the plot was mixed with some well-written suspense and foreshadowing. This book reminds me of a book about a druid who was heir to the English throne, yet had to run away to a distant land, Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo. Like Crispin, this book is about someone who does not know about their past and is required to run away because of persecution. In conclusion, this book was a very good read. I recommend it to all who appreciate reading about historical persecution, or anyone who wishes to read a fascinating tale of a young lad. I would not, however, recommend this novel to those who would not understand the harshness of the world. Avi has depicted the reality of the Middle ages to perfection.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...extremely entertaining... Crispin-Cross of Lead was an extremely entertaining book that explained the Rebellion of 1381. The villain of the story, John Aycliffe, was a horrible person. My favourite character was Bear, whom I loved so much I named one of my favourite stuffed animals after him. The historical note at the end was very interesting, What I didn't like though was what happened to John Ball (hung, drawn and quartered). In the book I liked how, through the course of the story, Crispin becomes a stronger and more independent person. It came as a real shock when I found out what the Cross of Lead said. I couldn't believe that Lord Furnival was his father! When I read the book for the first time I wondered about who the one eyed man was. Was he friend or foe? Did he recognize who Crispin was? I also wondered about Cerdic. My suspicions were correct, he was against Crispin and agreed that Crispin was a 'Wolf's Head' which means that Crispin was considered not human and that anyone may kill him. The only thing that could make this book better is if there was more than one female part. (Technically there are three female parts, Asta, Lady Furnival and the widow Daventry but the only one who had any real importance in the story was the widow Daventry) And so, seeing as there is only female part in the story this book is probably better suited for boys. All the same, I am a girl and I still enjoyed Cross of Lead. I think that it was one of the best possible books that you could read in the selection of books for your Junior Book Lover Contest. The other ones that I would read are Hoot, Millions and The Blue Boa (which I am reading now). I greatly enjoyed reading Crispin-Cross of Lead and writing this book review.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ... an exciting read... ˜Asta's son is how the village of Stromford knows Crispin. But his mother, who was of no particular importance, has died, his father, who is more of a mystery to Crispin, ahs been long dead, too, and now he's being hunted for a crime that he did not commit. Crispin's only treasured possession is a lead cross scrawled with writing that he cannot even read. And now, on the run from guards(as a perfect addition to his already miserable life), he has run into a large man named Bear, who is forcing Crispin to see him as his master! Could this just be another tragic chapter in Crispin's life, or could this new man turn out to be his Savior? When I began this book, I admit, it bored me. I found it repetitive, far too descriptive, and many parts seemed to drag on. But I bared with it, and for that I am glad. The book quickly picked up, turning into an exciting read that granted it the Newberry Medal, which it bears. The book is line with action, suspense, and hints of historic details. I strongly urge readers to read past the beginning and stick with it, because if you do, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Wonderful! Excellent! Wonderful! An awesome book! The story Crispin The Cross of Lead'' by Avi is about a 13-year-old boy named Crispin who has to flee his village because he is declared a wolf's head (that means anybody can kill him) because he is charged with a crime he didn't even commit. After he runs away, Crispin comes to an abandoned village, where he meets a very friendly but demanding man named Orson Hrothgar, nicknamed 'Bear'. Crispin becomes Bear's 'servant' and the two soon form a very close friendship. But everywhere, strangers are looking for Crispin, so he and Bear need to be very cautious. These evil men even capture Bear just to get at Crispin. Of course, Crispin's not too happy about that. This is a very exciting book. There is so much suspense that keeps the reader thinking 'what's going to happen now?' People will find themselves attached to Crispin's problems. This book will appeal to anybody who likes a good mystery, adventure or suspense, those types of tales. One thing I really liked about the book was the characters. I really liked Bear. He always tried to look on the bright side of things. He was really jolly, as well. There wasn't really anything I disliked about this book. The plot was excellent, too. It just made you nervous about what would happen next. It was so nerve-wracking. It kept you spellbound to the end, which has a surprise twist that I will not give away here. Also, the clues were fun to figure out. Who was Crispin's father? Why were these people after him? Why did they want him killed? There were so many questions that needed answering. Overall, this book was amazing. A fantastic plot, wonderful characters, very descriptive, so exciting ... 'Crispin The Cross of Lead' has got it all! I think it's great for adults, too! It'll hold your attention until the last page. I recommend it to everyone! I would give it two thumbs up!
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...really appealed to me... The book, Crispin Cross of Lead was a really good book.The author's writing, Avi, reminded much of my sisiter's writing skills! I feel really sorry the fact that Crispin lost both of his parents. And all of his life, he was called ˜Asta's son. I htink Crispin is very brave. Bear, was seen in my eyes really mean. But as you read along, is not. He was nice enough to share his, food, give Crispin a penny for his wrok, and even protect him. And for all that, Crispin saved him when Bear was taken away. I really like the last words of the book, too. Bear seems to be a bit different. He believes in God and Jesus, yet he doesn't believe the use in crosses. I wonder if there were such things as courts and judges, and those kind of things. It couild at least prove that Crispin didn't steal anything. But mostly everyone there thought he did. If you ask me what other ending I would write instead, I really wouldn't know. I like the last word, ˜And my name-I knew with all my heart-Was Crispin. But there would be something I'd like to change of the book, someone sould've died. It wouldn't be bad either if a ˜bad guy died. If this would ever be a movie I think it would be a bit more interesting then it already is if someone had died. Well, two people Had died, Crispin's parents. The book really appealed to me. It would probably to my mom, too. Since both her parents are gone and her mother actually died when she was five. My friend would probably really like this book. If it ever reminded me of another movie, book etc, the fisrt thing that would pop into my wired little mind is that one of them copied one or the others' ideas. But for some reason, it does remind me of Harry Potter. This book was really well written. I'd recomend it to everyone. I'd never really read a book by Avi, because they looked so boring to me. (So thank you to this contest!) So I guess never judge a book by it's cover, right?
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...very enjoyable... Every time a NEWBERRY is awarded I read it or my mom will read it to me. I read Crispin by myself. Even if the book might not be my type but I always enjoy NEWBERRY books. Crispin was a very enjoyable read. Crispin was a very interesting character and when he met Bear the story got even better! There was some scary parts and some funny parts. The saddist part of the story was when they killed the preist. I almost felt like crying. Out of rhe three books I read from the list of books Crispin was the best. A cool part of the book was Avi used some real points that had happened in earlier history. A gross part in the book was when Crispin saw that skeleten on the stick on the road. The intresting part in the book Crispin you never new what was going to happen next and when it did happen your like whoa how'd that happen. Would recomend this book for strong 10 year old readers and older. I even got my mom to read the book I liked it so much! Everyone shoul d read Crspin:The Cross of Lead. And I hope everyone enjoys the book as much as I did.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...an amazing book... Are you interested in history? Are you interested in learning about people who lived long ago, in a world where everything seems unfair? People are judged on their wealth at birth. One book describes all of this in Medieval England. This book tells the story of Crispin in his quest to discover his true self, Crispin the Cross of Lead . A young boy known only as Asta's Son experienced a terrible thing, his mother's death. Asta's Son had been told that his father was dead, so now he was all alone. He took his mother's treasured cross, missing her warmth and love already. After his mother's death, Asta's Son felt as if he meant nothing to the world. He went to his priest, Father Quinel for help. Father Quinel told him his real name was Crispin. They planned to meet the next night so Crispin could learn more. That meeting never came. When Crispin went to meet Father Quinel, he found him dead, lying in his own pool of blood. Crispin overheard a villager proclaim him a Wolf Head, because his landlord accused him of theft. A Wolf Head is considered inhuman. Anyone has the right to kill a Wolf Head. Crispin ran for his life not knowing what journey was ahead of him. On Crispin's journey for true happiness he met a close friend named Bear. They were poor and labeled peasants, but they did not care. They were happy together, making music and making other people happy. Crispin knew that this was how he wanted to spend the rest of his life. Crispin learned that he had the title of Lord , a title that came with wealth and power. But one thing did not come with being a Lord; true happiness. This book describes Crispin's journey to find out which is more important. Crispin the Cross of Lead was an amazing book. Mystery, suspense, history all twisted into one fictional book. Crispin was opposed to people being labeled. He felt it was unfair. He gave up his title for true happiness. I realized that people being titled Royalty were treated a lot better than people who were titled Peasants. In medieval times, people were treated dependent on their parent's wealth. When I started to read the book, I could not put it down. All of my surroundings vanished and I was in medieval England following Crispin wherever he went, reading his thoughts. The detail was amazing, as if the author really was Crispin. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspense, mystery and history. If I could change one thing about the book, I would not use so many confusing names. I found myself mixing up some of the characters. I would recommend this book for 11-13 year olds. It may not be as interesting for older teens because sometimes it dragged on, like when you have to read a book for school. I would rate this book 4 out of 5.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from ...absolutley awful... Boy does Crispin have a difficult life! His mother has just died, he is caught accidentally spying on the steward, John Aycliffe, then he is announced as a wolf's head by the steward which means anyone can kill him. The closest thing he had to a friend, Father Quinel, has just been murdered, and he must go to Great Wexly, which is a town that is far away, because Father Quinel told him to. Crispin is so stupid! If your master went to a secret meeting would you follow him? This book is absolutley awful all Crispin ever does is spy on people!!
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...an exciting book... Set in the middle ages, a boy named Crispin runs away from Stromford village to one of the big cities. In the beginning Crispin is known only as Asta's son. The steward John Aycliffe pursues Crispin intent on killing him because he is afraid of Crispin discovering who he really is and becoming a Lord. I like this book because of the way that the author mixes history and fiction. I enjoy reading it because it gives you a couple of true facts and makes you want to keep reading. Something I didn't like was the amount of people killed, but I didn't mind too much. Some more books like Crispin are By the Standing Stone by Maxine Trottier. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes to read about journeys, and a slight touch of history. I also enjoyed Avi's book The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, it is also an exciting book but it is set on the ocean and tells the story of a rich girl whose father has set her across the sea to meet him on the other side. Both of Avi's books that I have read have been exciting and you can never guess what is going to happen. I would like to read more books by this author.
Date published: 2005-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...enjoyed it... Set in the middle ages, a boy named Crispin runs away from Stromford village to one of the big cities. In the beginning Crispin is known only as Asta's son. The steward John Aycliffe pursues Crispin intent on killing him because he is afraid of Crispin discovering who he really is and becoming a Lord. I like this book because of the way that the author mixes history and fiction. I enjoy reading it because it gives you a couple of true facts and makes you want to keep reading. Something I didn't like was the amount of people killed, but I didn't mind too much. Some more books like Crispin are By the Standing Stone by Maxine Trottier. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes to read about journeys, and a slight touch of history. I also enjoyed Avi's book The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, it is also an exciting book but it is set on the ocean and tells the story of a rich girl whose father has set her across the sea to meet him on the other side. Both of Avi's books that I have read have been exciting and you can never guess what is going to happen. I would like to read more books by this author.
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...really awesome... Crispin The Cross of Lead, by Avi is a really great book. It is a story based in England, in the year A.D. 1377, and is filled to the brim with adventure and close calls. All his life, he had been called Asta's son, for that he was- he had been given no other name at birth. All his 13 years, he had lived in Stromford Village with his mother, Asta. His father had died of the Plague, before the boy's birth, and all the other villagers shunned him and Asta. Now, only Father Quinel, the village priest, remained a faithful friend. The day his mother died, his life changed completely. After he had buried his mother, Asta's son ran into the woods and cried until after nightfall. That night (still in the woods), he overheard a secret meeting between John Aycliffe, the steward (or manager) of the village manor and a stranger. When Aycliffe spotted Asta's son, he tried to kill him! The boy visited Father Quinel, who told him some strange and disturbing secrets. Asta's son found out that he has been accused of stealing, and has been made a wolf's head- meaning he's considered not human, and that anyone can kill him. He also discovered that when he was born, he had secretly been given the name Crispin. The good priest promises Crispin that he will tell more about Crispin's supposedly dead father the next night. But before that next secret nighttime meeting, the priest is murdered by John Aycliffe, or one of his followers. Now Crispin is on the run. He meets many kind people who help him, but even more who want to kill him and his newfound friends. Along the way to freedom, he faces many challenges, and must learn to survive in the wilderness, as well as in the larger cities of England. This was one of the most thrilling books I have ever read. It is so exciting that I get so involved, I can barely put the book down. Avi is a really awesome writer. I have not read any other of his books, but now I really, really want to! I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to totally escape back to the 14th century, and be with Crispin as he runs towards freedom.
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...an excellent read... A poor and shunned boy of only thirteen years of age, Crispin inadvertently stumbles into a conspiracy for Lordship by his oppressive steward, John Aycliffe. Being found out listening to the steward's surreptitious conversation, Crispin is incriminated for crimes that he did not commit, one of them being the murder of his one and only true friend at that time, Father Quinel. Pronounced a wolf's head Crispin flees his village in search of liberty, as Father Quinel had instructed him to do before the holy man's untimely demise. During his flight, Crispin meets a great red-bearded man, referred to as ˜Bear, and together, the pair traverses the land of 14th century England, during an unstable time of quiet cries for reformation. Made ignorant because of his seclusion from the world, Crispin has much latitude for development and, with the help of his dynamic new friend, Crispin progresses throughout the story via a series of lectures from Bear, enticing Crispin to question his current state of life, as well as himself. Although the novel was an excellent read, imbuing myself to reappraise the life that I and many others take for granted in our modern context of common freedom and just laws, the absence of palpable action by the depicted reformists was disappointing. In my opinion, Crispin should have brought more of a profound change to those around him, instead of apparently slipping into obscurity after the culmination of the story. Hopefully, Avi will write a sequel to the book on the escapades of Bear and Crispin, as Crispin: The Cross of Lead leaves much room for plot development coupled with the possibility of the pair's fictitious participation in the prelude to the famous Reformation of the 16th century. Like many popular books of today, such as John Wyndham's The Chrysalids, Crispin has a theme of social reform of current beliefs and deliverance from ignorance of the world. Both novels ultimately show a desire for changing the unfair community that many people in the story have to put up with, as well as the protagonist(s)' discovering of the world around him or her. Crispin also centers its theme on variations of Father Quinel's homily, In the midst of life comes death, as well as Bear's creed of Let it be as it may be, which again emphasizes the importance of reform. Both adages are thoroughly utilized throughout the story in Bear's participation in the brotherhood, the subduing of Crispin's friends, and the hope that Bear brings to Crispin, especially after Bear's initial impression as an oppressor. I think that this book would most appeal those who enjoy reading realistic novels, in particular about the Middle Ages. This book is fantastic for such an audience, for Avi includes both the plight of the impoverished and the general attitude of the rich. I think that readers in general would also love this book for its interesting themes and their portrayal in the engaging parable of Crispin and his search for liberty.
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...moving, remarkable, and thrilling... It took place in the late medieval period where religion and society was very important. Thirteen year old Crispsin lived in a poor village. After his mother died he began to feel alone and for some reason, men were after him. Running away from death and the rumour of him being a murderer, thief, and a wolf's head, he meets a fool, known as Bear. Bear became Crispin's best friend. The two of them went into a city named Great Wexly for the fair on the Feast of John the Babtist. Unfortunatey Crispin's friend was abducted by John Aciffe, the one who tried to kill Crispin in the first place. In the end, Crispin saved Bear and discovered who he really was, the son of Lord Furnival, a wealthy landlord who died earlier in the story. The book is bloody, moving, remarkable, and thrilling. It made me cry in some places like when Father Quinel, an inoccent priest was murdered. I felt myself wanting to shout at that time. For me the mideval times sounded evil, and cruel. Peasents such as Crispin were treated unfairly. Avi helped me understand how luckey I am to be here today. When I entered into the world of Crispin, I felt that everybody in his world believed that God was very important. The book had a lot of religous stuff which made me uncomfortable because I am not Christian myself. To top it all, I would definatley recommend this book to my friends and of course to people either children or adults who absutely LOVE adventurous stories This is a wonderful book!
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...deserves its award... Crispin The Cross of Lead takes place in the medieval period. The main character is Crispin. The only names he has ever been called by were Asta's Son and Son until the death his mother. The most important item his mother left him was her Cross of Lead. It was inscribed with writing, but Crispin didn't know how to read. He never knew who his father was because his mother told him that he had died before he was born. Actually, his father was Lord Furnival, the lord of the land Crispin lived in, and since he was badly injured in war and would die, so John Aycliffe was in charge. Furnival's wife, Lady Furnival, knew one thing that was very important: Crispin was Furnival's only son. Lady Furnival ordered the bailiff to kill Crispin and declare him a wolf's head so Crispin couldn't become the new Lord. Crispin was told to leave his village to gain freedom. So he set out to any city in England. Along his journey, he met Bear, a kindly fellow who became Crispin's master and friend. Bear sang songs and danced at villages. Bear taught Crispin many different skills like playing the recorder, dancing, and hunting. After many performances in different villages, they arrived at Great Weys, in time for the festival held there. The pair stayed at an inn belonging to a friend of Bear. While Bear was discussing news with a friend named John, Crispin decided to sneak out and go explore. He came upon a magnificent church and went in to pray. While praying he saw Aycliffe and Aycliffe spotted him as well. The chase began! Aycliffe shouted for men to chase him, but he managed to escape from their clutches. After his escape, Crispin headed for the inn, but didn't know which way to go. Bear found him and Crispin told him about the incident while heading back. The next day Bear went out to meet John at a bar and Crispin saw him being followed by a man he recognized from a village they had passed. Crispin sneaked out the back door to go warn Bear. Unfortunately, Bear was captured and put in the dungeons of Lady Furnival's manor. Crispin decides to rescue him. During his rescue attempt, he ran into Aycliffe. They each vowed an oath so that Aycliffe would let Bear go free and Crispin would never return to Great Weys. In the end Bear kills Aycliffe and they go free and start a life together. I think this story contains adventure, suspense, and a touch of humor. This book is very well written and deserves its award. I think this story could inspire many kids who want to be authors of historical fiction. The story is very logical and combines historical moments such as the Black Death with the authors own original ideas. Avi's skill to combine history and fiction is truly remarkable. I think everyone should read Crispin The Cross of Lead.
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a superb job... Wow! Avi really did a superb job on this book. I especially liked the fact that it was set in the 14th century, but as Crispin tells the tale he speaks in modern language. I must admit that during the first 4-5 chapters I was somewhat bored and questioning whether or not this book would go anywhere with an interesting storyline. This was all because the book was focusing so much on the details of Crispin's poverty and his mother's death. At times, my disinterest led me to neglect reading the novel when I had the chance. Needless to say, when I read further the story just sucked me in. I couldn't put the book down it was so interesting!!!!! I was even sneaking a flashlight under my covers at night to keep reading! At some parts I was sad, at some I was astonished, at some I was ecstatic! I also liked the fact that the characters were very believable, and the description of many of them just blew me away! Although I couldn't relate to the characters, I feel that it is sometimes better to read about characters you can't relate to so that your mind becomes opened to experiences and thoughts you may never encounter otherwise. This book had so much description I don't even know where to begin. When you read Avi's description of someone or something, you feel as if you are standing right in front of what is being described. One character named Bear , however, very closely resembled Rubeus Hagrid from the Harry Potter series. Additionally, Avi's Widow Daventry slightly resembled Madame Maxime from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This was somewhat disappointing to me given Avi's incredible ability to describe and develop original characters as he did with all other characters throughout the novel. This book will appeal to readers both young and old. It has that something special in it that everyone will love. There's adventure, suspense, description, and is fictional yet historical. I will definitely recommend this novel to all family and friends. This is the first book I've read by Avi and it has encouraged me to look for more of his books in hope they will be as good. Not only that, but I've added a new author to my favorite's list. This book also delivers several excellent morals. You are who you are and you should be happy with that. You have choices, but don't make wrong ones for popularity or wealth. Be loyal to those who are loyal to you. There are so many lessons to be learned in this novel, but these are the one's that caught my attention because they are the one's that most powerfully stand out. It also fascinates me that these morals that were once valued in the 14th century still remain valuable today. So let's hear it for Avi! 50 thumbs up!!!!
Date published: 2005-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...spectacular twists... All his life, he has been called Asta's son , nothing more. It's not a proper name, but why should he have one? He is only a medieval England peasant, living with his mother in a tiny little cottage of thatch, wattle, and clay. Unremarkable, unimportant, and poor, he thinks his life couldn't possibly get much worse. Right? How wrong he is. After his mother passes away, he learns his true name ”Crispin” and suddenly he's on the run. He is accused of a crime he didn't commit, loses his home and everyone he could have trusted, and is declared a wolf's head . If he is seen by anyone, he may be killed on the spot. Not your average kid getting into trouble! His sole possession is mother's small cross of lead, carved with words he cannot read. As he struggles to evade capture, three questions linger in his mind: Why is the steward of the manor so hot on his case? Might he survive? And what, what is the truth written upon the cross? Crispin: The Cross of Lead is filled with enough spectacular twists and turns to outdo the fussiest reader's expectations. It is a tale of betrayal and loyalty, trickery and trust, friends, foes, and discovery. I especially like the breathtaking descriptions and vivid characters, which make the medieval world seem enchanting and exciting, instead of something you might find lurking in a school textbook. If you're looking for an informative read that still brings you on a wild adventure and thrilling mystery, then this is the book for you. If not, no matter get in past the first three chapters, and chances are you'll still have to have this book pried from your fingertips! Crispin's greatest achievement is discovering a life of his own. At the beginning of the book he is quiet, withdrawn, and humble to those in higher power. With the help of his new master, Bear, he comes to realize just what he has been missing in the world. Surprisingly, Crispin is a lot like people his age today. He is an adolescent unsure of the world around him, growing and changing, and opening up a new world that at first seemed devoid of hope. I, like hundreds of teenagers, can relate to some of the problems he faces. My favourite character was, without a doubt, Bear. A jovial man with a thick red beard, he is a kind, fatherly figure to Crispin as well as his master. He becomes the only person Crispin can trust, and Bear even risks his life on several occasions to keep the authorities at bay. He is big, benevolent, and pretty much the medieval version of Hagrid from Harry Potter. I truly can't find anything that might have been improved ”the tale unfolds beautifully and I was held captivated to the very last page. Haven't read Crispin: The Cross of Lead yet? Get going, because you have no idea what you're missing!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...so fantastic!!! This is a very realistic olden day England created by Avi. It was just so fantastic!!! He was always less than a nothing: called Asta's Son, and treated cruelly, and teased by other people. Then he was blamed for things he didn't do, and declared a wolf's head (that means he is no longer treated as a human, and anyone, anywhere, at anytime can kill him anyhow). So he runs away from his village with his mother's cross and his secretive christened name: Crispin. On the way, Crispin finds a man called Bear, who forces Crispin to be his servant. But when Bear is doing a dangerous task in a rich city, he is caught and held prisoner and Crispin must use all his skills to save them both. This fabulous book was far more exciting and gripping than I had thought at first. It's like Avi has created an incredible work of art! Avi fills this book with suspense, descriptive words, and adventure!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...good and thrilling... I chose this book because it looked good from reading the cover and back, and because it had won several prizes. I didn't realize just how good and thrilling it would be! Crispin is about a boy in medieval England. His mother had just died and Crispin was forced to leave all his belongings to Lord Aycliffe and run away to survive. Crispin runs to Father Quinel, who tells him his name (Crispin didn't even know his own name!) and tells him a bit about his mother. Father Quinel also gives him a cross of lead. Father Quinel tells him just enough to answer some questions, but leaves many others unanswered - especially about Crispin's father. Crispin is forced to flee from his town and region because he was declared a wolf's head with serious consequences - anyone was allowed to kill him and be rewarded for it. This was a big mystery to Crispin. When Crispin tries to see Father Quinel again later, he finds him brutally murdered. Crispin has to go on the run again. In a deserted city, Crispin meets a man named Bear . Bear lets Crispin be like a servant or follower. Bear, like Father Quinel, is doomed because he helps Crispin. Lord Aycliffe's men tracked Bear down and captured and tortured him. Crispin begs Lord Aycliffe to release Bear after he finds out from a widow that he (Crispin) is the son of the late Lord Furnival. Lord Aycliffe believes Crispin and releases Bear, but he demands the cross of lead from Crispin. Crispin and Bear narrowly escape Aycliffe's men once again and manage to leave Great Wexley successfully. This is how the book ends. The author leaves the end open for future adventures for Crispin. I liked the action and twists and turns of this story. I also like medieval history. I disliked the torture mentioned in the book, but that happened in those days. I liked the ending because after a very hard life full of misery, Crispin finally felt happy and free. I can relate his feeling of freedom to what is happening in the world today. Freedom is something precious and worth fighting for, no matter what it takes. With freedom comes happiness. I think this book will appeal to kids my age who like history and adventure. It's good that the main character is a kid. As a kid myself, I can identify with another kid. If I could change one thing about the book, it would be to keep the mother alive because not having a mother is too sad. Otherwise, I would recommend this book to all kids my age.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...great book... From the first glance at the book's cover and title to the last truly inspirational words of the protagonist, this book left me impressed with every bit of illustrious literature within it. The story between the title and the endearing ending, despite its unique historical setting, is the greatest task which humanity can inflict upon a human. It is the task of finding oneself while leaping over certain hurdles, big or small. Crispin represents that through an extremely quiet, extremely neglected young adult by the name of Asta's son, who represents the little guys, fighting the power-hungry and arrogant authorities and emerging triumphant and with the name of Crispin in the end. What really intrigued me about this book is the fact that Asta's son 14th century odyssey to realizing and accepting his true identity, could very well be a 21st century 16 year-old teenager fighting society's impenetrable image of normality and their quick-to-judge peers, just to see the crystal clear image of what that sixteen year-old really is. It's a great relate-to story. The greatest and most memorable element of Crispin is its characters. The one that stood out as the most genuine is definitely Bear. His abundant amount of indispensable wisdom adds so much heart to the relationship he has with Crispin. His subtle but transcendent manner in which he shows how he cares for him is truly rare in reality. His willingness to put his life before that of a 13 year-old is just uplifting. Bear is the sort of person that we should be extremely fortunate to have or be incredibly empty without. He epitomizes the good that is found in unusual places and the endless friendship and guidance that we yearn. Despite my obvious liking to Bear, the only thing I would have changed is his living state in the end.. It's not right to just kill off one of the best characters and there already is Crispin's heart-breaking way of life and the lack of loving people in it but let's face it, this sort of story is bound to end as a victory for the good guys in the battle of evil vs. good. This is a classic David-and-Goliath tale and personally, because I don't mind crying over a sad ending, I would have eliminated Bear because it balances out the happiness and sadness at the end. I mean, Bear has done his part. He's taken this almost pathetic boy and led him, with his experience and tremendous heart, to be a man with a name. It's like he says, I should like to be in Heaven before I die. How is helping this boy in such a life altering way not like being in Heaven? Overall, this was a great book because Avi's writing brought a 1377 England so clearly and vibrantly into our minds, bringing along the story of two sorts of people that we don't have enough of in our world.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Crispin: The Cross of Lead Asta's son , a poor young boy without a proper name, lives miserably in a village controlled by the evil Lord Furnival. Asta and her 13-year-old son were one of the poorest people in 1377, England. When the story begins, Asta is being buried by her son and Father Quinel. The village steward, John Aycliffe, demanded the death tax. The only sole possession from his family was their ox. In mighty pain after his mother's death, Asta's son runs off into the woods. While he was in the woods he over heard John Aycliffe and an unknown knight talking about something private. Aycliffe spotted him. Soon Asta's son was declared a wolf's head and now anyone who saw him could kill him. He decided to leave the village; it was his only way to survive. Asta's son discovers Father Quinel's body, as he was about to leave the village. Before leaving, Asta's son received a cross of lead that was his mother's and the cross revealed his real name, Crispin. Crispin had been exhausted from running away from the soldiers when he encounterd a juggler named Bear, in a deserted village. Bear forced Crispin to be his servant but soon Bear started teaching Crispin how to play music and other neat tricks. They had traveled to Great Wexly, and Aycliffe recongnized Crispin in the cathedral. Crispin was being hunted down once again but this time he had a place to hide for a while. The following day Bear left for an assignment and Crispin realized that his good friend was being followed. Crispin was able to warn the others, but Bear had already been captured and taken to Lord Furnival's palace. Then, a landlady told Crispin his real name and identity. He is Lord Furnival's illigitimate son.Crispin uses his identity to save his friend, Bear. Bear kills Aycliffe in a dramtic battle and he is free. I liked the main idea of the story, how a poor young boy, who has gone through brutal pain and misery, can rise above these obstacles. I disliked the ending because Crispin could've had a better life if he took his father's spot as Lord and released all the miserable people his father had ruled over. Instead of saving a village, he just saved himself. If I could I would change the part where Crispin gives the cross of lead to Aycliffe even though he was dead ( because he wanted to stay true to his word.) Crispin should've kept the cross;it was a valuable treasure from his mother. This book would appeal to children who are interested in history because this story had some real life characters in the context of the novel. As well as discussions of the revolt. This book would also appeal to people who love adventure stories. It has a lot of drama and European history.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...intrigue and mystery... I found Crispin The Cross of Lead very interesting because there are not many historical fiction books based in the fourteenth century. Crispin is a poor slave from the village of Stormford. Crispin's life becomes filled with trials and he is forced to flee his home in order to survive. A priest befriends Crispin's and helps him escape. To make matters worse Crispin is declared a wolf's head. A wolf's head means he is not human and will be at risk to be killed by anybody at anytime. Crispin becomes a servant to man named Bear. Bear and Crispin head off into adventure filled with intrigue and mystery. I really love historical stories that is why I picked Crispin. However, this is not the best book I have read. At times the story was confusing with two plots happening at once The fact that you never knew what was going to happen next kept me reading. For the most part it was easy read. Even though it was confusing at times I would still recommend Crispin to those that like historical fiction, mystery and suspense. What a great surprise ending.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...good adventure... When I read the first chapter of Crispin: The Cross of Lead I knew it would be full of suspense. It starts when you meet a boy and a priest burying the boy's mother. The boy doesn't know his real name or who his father is, he only has his mothers' cross of lead. This cross takes him on a dangerous journey where he discovers his past. In the beginning of the book Crispin doesn't feel good about who he is but as he discovers himself he becomes courageous and proud. I liked how the character Crispin changes from a poor peasant to a brave sword weilding protector of his friend. In the beginning of the book I felt sad for Crispin but by the end I was glad that he found peace and freedom. My favorite character was Crispin's friend Bear. Bear sees how Crispin is sad and tries to make things better. I can relate to Bear because he is always trying to be jolly and even during the toughest times he wouldn't leave Crispin. He was a loyal friend. I enjoyed finding out more about this period of time in history. This book would appeal to people who like historic fiction and also those who enjoy a good adventure.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...colourful story... At the beginning of the book, Asta dies. Her son is declared a wolfs head the very next day, meaning he can be killed by anyone. The steward John Aycliffe says Asta's son is a thief. Asta's son finds out about all this from the priest, Father Quinel. He also discovers that his name is Crispin because he has been called Asta's son all his life. Crispin is the name of the Lord Furnival. He also finds out that his mother could read and write, an uncommon talent in those days. After giving Crispin his mothers cross, Father Quinel promises to tell him more the next night but is murdered. Crispin runs away and is enslaved by a juggler named Bear. Bear teaches Crispin his trade, and becomes like Crispin's father. They travel to Great Wexly, but are followed by John Aycliffe. Bear reads the writing on Crispin's cross, but doesn't tell Crispin what it says. Crispin and Bear travel on to Great Wexly, playing in the small villages they pass. Lord Furnival dies. Crispin runs off to explore against Bear's wishes, and almost gets caught. Crispin finds out that John Aycliffe is Lady Furnivals kin. Suddenly Bear is captured, and a secret is revealed. Crispin is Lord Furnival's illegitimate son, and the grandson of Lord Douglas. Lady Furnival cannot let anyone know of Crispin's true identity, least of all Lord Douglas, for he may stake a claim in the Furnival fortune. Crispin breaks into the Furnival residence and confronts John Aycliffe. Aycliffe vows to let Bear go in exchange for the cross and ultimate secrecy of Crispin's true identity. In a fight after John betrays Crispin, he is accidently slain by his own men. Bear and Crispin leave Great Wexly. Crispin The Cross of Lead was a tremendously descriptive and colourful story. The plot was exciting and there was a lot of action. The story itself was spellbinding. The descriptions were so vivid I felt as if I was Crispin, going through all the hardship, worry and facing the danger that he did. When he was facing danger, I was scared for him, because the colourful descriptions made me feel like I was in the book. However I didnt like the overly descriptive and terribly bloody death scenes. I found that terribly morbid and somewhat disgusting. On the whole, Crispin the Cross of Lead was an extremely powerful and imaginative book. I would recommend this book to my friends because it is very accurate I think in the facts this book displays about 14th century life. To sum up my review, Crispin is a story of a boy, who has no life, and his journey to self discovery, through times of hardship, anxiety and life threatening danger.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...outstanding... Crispin: The Cross of Lead. I think it's the read of the 17th Century! It was really smart of Avi to combine fact and fiction like he did, (John Ball was a real non-fiction character, in case you don't read the back couple pages). It was very unfair for Asta's son (Crispin) to be proclaimed a wolf's head, (anyone can kill you), when he didn't really do anything. In fact, his whole life was unfair! Probably the best part of his life was when he met Bear, the juggler. I won't tell you anymore of the story because you have to read it yourself! Praise to Avi for his outstanding combination of fact and fiction.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a fascinating story... Crispin, The Cross of Lead, written by Avi, is a fascinating story set in the Middle Ages. Crispin, a boy of thirteen, has always thought he was just a village boy. When he runs away from his village, it is because he is being pursued by people who blame him for a crime he hadn't done. The leader of these people, the one who started the rumor, is John Aycliffe, filling in for Lord Furnival. Crispin ends up with a new master, a juggler nicknamed Bear. Throughout his journey with Bear, Crispin finds out that he's the illegitimate son of the deceased Lord Furnival. Many people, lead by Lady Furnival, are trying to kill Crispin so that he may not take Furnival's place. Crispin's life is on the line, and he is willing to do anything to save himself and the one person he now cares for. The characters in this book were extremely lifelike and believable. I enjoyed reading about them and what was happening to them. I also really liked the plot of the story. It developed nicely, and I always understood what was happening. However, I think I understood too much, because when Crispin found out he was Lord Furnival's son, I wasn't surprised. I had figured it out several chapters before when the Widow Daventry of the Green Man tavern was explaining how an illegitimate son of Lord Furnival could take over Furnival's position. It just seemed too obvious. The ending was also a disappointment, but that was mainly because there was nothing left to read! There is another reason the ending was a disappointment. Crispin didn't take Lord Furnival's place. Even if other people would have used Crispin in Furnival's position (such as his grandfather, Lord Douglas), I was hoping Crispin would take Furnival's place so that he could help people. Of course, that would ruin all the effort put in to make the book as historically correct as possible, but it would have been nice. However, Avi chose the best and happiest way to end the book. If I could change just one thing about this book, I would make it more difficult for readers to figure out Crispin's ancestry ahead of time. That way it would be surprising to find out what was on the cross. This book would appeal to people who want to learn about life during the Middle Ages and to people who love adventures. While very informative and interesting, Crispin is also an exciting adventure with mystery. Most people would love it! Crispin reminds me of the book Adam of the Road written by Elizabeth Gray. Each story takes place in the Middle Ages, deals with the life of a traveling entertainer, and is full of interesting facts. In fact, both books have won Newbery Medals! However, I find that Crispin is much better than Adam of the Road. I would suggest Crispin for anyone, because once you start reading, you don't want to stop till you finish!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from ...sad and depressing... In my personnaly thoght this book wasn't that great. Crispin: the cross of lead is the story of a boy simply known as Asta's son.When his mother,Asta, dies he becomes invovled in a plot about his true father and all the land in his state. First the stward John Aycliff accuses the boy of theft and proclaims him a wolf's head wich means anyone can kill him on sight. He must flee his town with only two things his mother's cross of lead and his new found name. As he flees he meets up with a jugglar/spie named Bear who adoptes him and teaches him the trade of juggling. Soon he finds out that he is the son of lord Furnival the ruler of the lands and the reason Aycliff wants to kill him is because they don't want him making claim on the land. Now Crispin must become someone he isn't to save Bear and himself. I found this book to sad and depressing wich is why I didn't like it. I however liked the medival background because I like history. I couldn't rellate to anyone in the story because everyone was either to labouress(wich I do not like) or to evil. A better ending for the story would be that Crispin laid claim to the land and punshied all those who hurt him. I think this book would appeal most to those who want to escape, those who enjoy medival books, anbd those like adventure. One thing I would change about the book would be that father Qunlie didn't die. Well that's all for me. Keep bookworming! V.P.A.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...9.5 out of 10! A Tale of Stromford Have you ever been pursued by someone who knows something about you that even you don't know? Crispin: The Cross of Lead follows a young boy named Crispin who struggles to find out who his father and mother were and, most importantly, who he is. The story begins in the medieval village of Stromford where Crispin and his mother are little more than peasants. His mother, who he later finds out was born into a noble family, told him that his father had died of the plague. On the night that his mother dies, Crispin flees into the forest and overhears a conversation between two people who want to dispose of him. One of these people is the steward of the village he lives in. The Lord of Stromford, Lord Funival, is away fighting in the war and Crispin has never met him. When Crispin is blamed for killing the local village priest, he runs away. He enters an abandoned church in a town that was wiped out by the great plague and meets Bear, a huge red-bearded juggler who becomes his master. Crispin soon learns of a plot to kill him and when Bear is taken prisoner he hatches a plan to free him. I liked how Avi used his magic to create a tale that is sad, adventurous, happy and so mysterious. I would recommend this to people who love adventure stories and who can stand tragedy in books. In my opinion, this book will be treasured in many people's hearts. I recommend this book to fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events books, as they are very similar in tone. I rate this book 9.5 out of 10!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...astounding... Crispin the Cross of the Lead was astounding book. It's about a boy named Crispin, who lives in a horrible village with power- hungry steward. After his mother's death, the steward tries to kill Crispin. With the priest's help, he learns his name and escapes from the village. Then, he meets Bear, who hides a shocking secret of Crispin. This book was astonishing book. AVI has made another wonderful book. I loved every part of the book. Especially the time where he finds out the secret, I was in a big shock and a happy emotion. Never expect that to occur. It was such a shock I couldn't let go of the book until I finished it. He part I didn't like was when Crispin didn't obey Bear's order. What a stubborn boy. Admitting the fact that he got Bear into trouble and also saved him, still, it was stubborn thing to do. The ending is great. But, if I had power to change the book's ending I'll change how he became to live with royal, so it will sound more complete. Such as, Crispin came to have all the things he wanted to have in his life; blueberry pie, stake and lobster and lived happily after with Bear. That would be such a great ending and reader's can feel relieved and safely leave the last page withought looking back. Like I said, the book is just magnificent. So many gasps that will make your palm sweat. I felt good when Crispin was my age. I thought, wow, he's so brave and went through a lot. He didn't give up, ever. If I was in that situation I wouldn't have knew what to do. It gave me a confident to be brave. What would I change about the book is the Father's death. Why did they have to let him get killed? What would not just let him be locked away until Crispin was caught? They could've just waited. The killing a person is a big sin. Killing a priest is a bigger sin. This book definitely appeals to someone who likes to read surprising books. It surprised me in everyway, such as Crispin and the Cross of the Lead. People who likes to read book that changes the character's life in the end, the book that gives courage, the book that makes you feel confident. This is the book. This book reminds me of the book called The House of the Scorpion. The endings are similar. The characters are always brave and later, the surprise pops out. The characters didn't lose hope they kept going and found something great. This is my review.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...amazingly good... Wow! That was all I could say when I read Avi's Crispin Cross of Lead. Wow! It is an amazingly good book, with strong characters and a very comprehendible story line. In this book Avi takes us back hundreds of years to a small town in England where we meet a young boy named Crispin, Both of Crispin's parents are dead and the town steward has a huge desire to kill him. As he runs away from his home to save himself Crispin meets a very interesting juggler named Bear. Together they travel from village to village playing music and having adventures. But there biggest adventure is yet to come. Will Crispin be brave enough to save himself and Bear. Doesn't it sound like a very interesting and fun book to read. Well it was for me. It was so fun, I couldn't put it down. Avi is such a talented author. Can you believe that he has written more then 50 books! Wow, I wish that I can write that many books. I loved the characters in the book. They all had there own unique personality. I find Crispin acted younger than his 13 years, Bear had both a soft side and a rough side and John Aycliffe was the Devil( he had absolutely now soft side). Avi also painted pictures in my head of all the settings. Some beautiful like the town of Great Wexly or less beautiful like Stramford. This book was one of the best written I have ever read. I Strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys lots of adventures, excitement and is a history lover like me. It is a pretty easy book to read so I would recommended it to any one between the age of 8 to 16. So if this sounds like the book for you and you haven't read it yet, you should stop reading this review and by Crispin the Cross of Lead immediately!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...deliciously refreshing... This is a review about an award-winning book called Crispin: The Cross of Lead , by the critically acclaimed author, Avi. Avi delivers to us yet another literary masterpiece, this time set in medival England. In the year 1377 A.D., a newly-orphaned boy must leave the place he has called home for the past thirteen years of his life, a small village in England. Declared a wolf's head by an evil steward, meaning he can be killed by anyone who sees him, the boy flees with only his newly discovered name, Crispin, and his dead mother's cross of lead. Before too long, Crispin is caught by a man called Bear, who makes him his servant. Crispin is forced to follow Bear, who is a mummer (entertainer), across England. He learns new skills along hte way. Still persued by the evil steward, the pair come to the city of Great Wexly. Once there, Crispin learns that he is the late Lord Furnival's son. The steward is Lady Furnival's kin, which explains the wolf's head. Bear is captured in order to lure Crispin into the steward's clutches. However, Crispin manages to free Bear and the steward is killed. Crispin and Bear leave Great Wexly safely and as free men. This book was well deserving of the Newbery Medal it recieved. I've read other Avi books, such as Poppy and Poppy and Rye , and have never been disappointed by them. Avi is an amazing author, who can leap from genre to genre with grace and skill. He is very adept at the describing characters and places. The stories are always interesting, with twists and surprises along the way. I greatly enjoyed this particular book. Set only a few years after the Black Death in medival England, it offers great insight into the common person's life. Throughout the story, the worship of God and his saints is evident. Avi has made it clear that people's lives in those days revolved around the worship of holy visages. He has offered an open window into the corrupt lives of officials, priests, and nobility. And, he has described the unrest that many people felt because of the corruption. Avi has delivered a deliciously refreshing look into England's dark past in a tasteful story, and I very much enjoyed reading Crispin: The Cross of Lead . I recommend it to anyone interested in history or a good adventure.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...very descriptive... Crispin the Cross of Lead is about a boy with no personality or name who goes from being small and shy to big and brave. His name at the begining is Asta's son. After the death of his mother, he is chased down by the town's steward, John Aycliffe, and proclaimed a wolf's head. As a wolf's head, anyone may kill him. Asta's son is saved by a big man called Orson Hrothgar, more commonly known as Bear . Bear takes Asta's son as his apprentice juggler under the name of Crispin. When Crispin discovers Bear is a spy, and has been captured by John Aycliffe, he goes on a rescue party. Since no one will help him rescue Bear, Crispin goes to the palace himself. This book is very descriptive, and is a good book to read on a rainy day.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...a strong read... Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi is a historical, fiction novel that shows the reader how freedom isn't something that's given, it's something you must take. Set in 1377, Crispin, a young boy born into extreme poverty, is framed for thievery and murder. Claimed a wolf's head, anyone can kill him. Escaping from his village, he's severed from the only life he's known. Now he must discover for himself what freedom really is with the help of various colourful characters. Still, miles away from his home, he's relentlessly pursued by the lord of his fief. But why would anyone want a simple peasant boy dead? Written in first person, you get a close up view of Crispin's life. The book had a believable quality to it, for Avi kept his character true to the time period and oddly lifelike. I couldn't help but be drawn to Crispin, he had the same innocent take on life I did at his age, never knowing what to expect next, always curious to see. He reminded me of Adam from Robin Jarvis' Deathscent. He's so unsure at first, but slowly gains confidence. I also liked the fact that the scenes were easy to imagine, it's not too descriptive, but just enough so that you get a great picture. However, this book sticks to its age range. Anyone above the 10-15 category would not enjoy it. It's directed toward that group and stays that way. Crispin: The Cross of Lead is a strong read and anyone who loves a good adventure, and thrilling characters, should read it. It'll compel you to think about your own life and how much courage you hold. It might be Avi's 50th book, but he still hasn't lost his touch.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...quite enjoyed it... This novel's plot is full of unexpected twists. A boy called Asta's son is on the run as he has been wrongly accused of stealing money and pronounced a wolf's head. I enjoyed this book for the most part but I think the part that intrigued me most was the part where Aycliffe, Crispin's main enemy and threat was killed by his own soldier's swords. Though I am not exactly a guts and gore person, this book isn't too bad in that category and had a fascinating ending besides the way Aycliffe was killed. I found it satisfying that the efforts Crispin's enemy put into pursuing Crispin lead to his own death. It was quite ironic as Crispin didn't even want the title, the title according to his mother's cross of lead, as the late Lord Furnival's son. He just wanted to live in peace without people chasing him. Even though he could've gone from a wolf's head, the lowest state of human to a position of power and wealth he did not claim his inheritance. Though I was surprised that after all that he wouldn't want that position I found his honesty incredible. Even though he had a deal with Aycliffe that he would give him the cross of lead if Aycliffe didn't kill him or Bear, he didn't take off with it when Aycliffe was killed. I quite enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...so interesting... This book starts in the Middle Ages {I know that a lot of kids like medieval stuff}. If you don't like violence don't read this book. It's about a boy named Crispin who leaves his small village accused of robbery shortly after his mother dies under mysterious circumstances. The bad stewart of his manor declares him a wolf's head {he can be murdered by anyone like an animal and then that person can collect a reward}. Crispin is really the son of a king which makes him a prince but he doesn't know this. He has the proof written on a lead cross that his mother gave him before she died. Unfortunately he doesn't know this because he cannot read. While running from his accusers Crispin becomes friends with a travelling juggler named Bear. Crispin becomes extremely loyal to Bear and never leaves his side. Bear is captured by the soldiers who are chasing after Crispin. Crispin is the only one that can save Bear. The reason is because there's a hole in the palace wall where Bear is being held and Crispin is the only one small enough to fit through. He climbs through the hole and grabs a dagger from the wall inside. He then uses the dagger to threaten and blackmail the bad steward John Aycliffe saying he'll tell the palace guards who he is {since Bear told him he's a prince}. Bear is then set free but John Aycliffe tries to stop him with a sword. Bear uses a dagger to defend himself. When the fight is over John Aycliffe is dead. Bear and Crispin are now free to continue on their way. It only took me two days to finish the book because it is so interesting. When you read the first page you'll be hooked because it just grabs your attention. As soon as I read this book I started reading all the books by Avi I could.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS BOOK!!!!! Crispin is a slave boy who doesn't even know his own name. He's always been called Asta's kid, that is until things started happening. The first major thing that happened was that one of the only two people that knew Crispin well, Asta, died. You see Crispin is a SLAVE, with one dream to become a regular boy. That dream was almost spoiled one night when he saw Jhon Aycliffe and another strange man talking. The two men saw Crispin and he ran away. After that Crispin was declared a wolf head (He was no longer human, anybody who saw him could kill him). Crispin did not know why everybody was trying to kill him, he also didn't know why Jhon Aycliffe accused him of stealing from the bank. Late at night he went to Father Quenil (the only other person who knew Crispin). Father Quenil tells Crispin his real name and then tells him to meet him the next night so he can tell Crispin something VERY important. Soon, Crispin figured out that Father Quenill had been murdered. Crispin ventures into the forest where he finds bear, a person who is willing to keep him. Bear teaches him how to play music and they both live happily ever after, after something bad happens of course. I will not tell you any more of this book because I want you to READ it. Etheir though I'm a girl I liked this book because of three things it was exciting, it had adventure AND (the most important thing) you could never tell what was going to happen. This is un-like other books like, Spiderman and Harry Potter (I still like these books) where you always know good is going to win. I don't think this book is a boy book. I also have a good back cover for this book. If you're a kid who like to read about other kids then you ABSALOTLY HAVE to read this book. He's alone, worse he's alone in the woods. Nobody is there, to help. That's ok, because he's not even human. Actually, the only proof that he was once a human is a cross, the cross of the lead. His has one destiny, one hope, to escape the town he's known for his whole life. He's determent. He's set. He's ready. There's just one thing that's bothering him. Why is everybody trying to kill him? READ THIS BOOK!!!!!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a must read... This book, yet very religious, is exciting and a must read for all. This book is about a poor peasent boy named Crispin. After his mother dies his master, the steward of Stormford, declares him a wolves head for a crime he did not do so he runs off into the forest. While the steward is still looking for him he meets up with a man named Bear. Bear makes, 13 year old, Crispin swear loyalty to him but soon teaches Crispin to play music and hunt, how to use a dagger and what the world really was. After Bear learns about Crispin's life and reads what is writen on Crispin's cross of lead he understands the truth about Crispin a truth that even Crispin doesn't know about. Iloved this story because of its suspence and because it is so well writen. I recommend this book to everyone.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a wonderful book... I bought this book because it had won the Newbery Medal in 2003 and so I knew it would be good. I love historical books because as well as new characters to get to know, there is also a whole new setting and time in history to discover. Still, when I opened the front cover and settled down to read, there is that feeling of uncertainty, will I like this book, is it as good as the Newbery committee think it is? It is one thing to take a book out of the library and not like it, big deal, just take it back. But when you have bought a book, especially in hard cover, you want to more than like it, you want to love it so much that you will read it over and over. After one short chapter (only 4½ pages) I knew my money had not gone to waste. Crispin: The Cross of Lead is a wonderful book. It is set in England in 1377. Crispin, the main character has just buried his poor peasant mother and has no family left to shelter with. The cruel steward of the manor, on whose land Crispin had lived, demands Crispin give his only possession, an ox, to the manor as payment to the manor for death taxes. This means Crispin will be unable to work the land and will starve. Upset over his mothers death and facing his probable death from starvation, Crispin flees to the woods in order to be alone and think. While hiding in the woods, Crispin witnesses the steward and a rich looking well dressed stranger exchanging a document. He is discovered and from then on is a hunted boy. He is declared a wolfs-head, which means he may be killed by anybody with no questions asked and they will be able to collect a bounty for killing him. Crispin flees for his life, and fortunately for him, meets Bear a juggler and entertainer who travels from village to village and to fairs in larger towns. Bear not only rescues Crispin but teaches him that there is more to life than the grim monotony of work and prayers that Crispin had previously known. This book is full of adventure, suspense and a quest for survival. But what I liked the most were the details of medieval life in England. Avi describes the poverty, the rancid food, the dirt and violence of the times in extraordinary detail. When I finished the book and lifted my head to look around my family room, I was almost confused as to where I was, I had become so lost in Crispin's world. I am glad I live now though, where we have light and warmth and plentiful food and the chance to be anything you want to be. If you like Crispin: the Cross of Lead as much as I did, try reading Kevin Crossley Holland's The Seeing Stone. It is very similar to Crispin, with short chapters, lots of adventure and tons of realistic details of life in medieval England. Don't tell Avi this, but I think it's an even better book than Crispin!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...intriguing and skillful... I truly loved this book! It's one of the best books I have read. Avi's style of writing is both intriguing and skillful. This is the first book I have read by the author, and I feel like I already know him just by reading this novel! Crispin: The Cross of Lead is one of those great books in which the characters are realisitic. I felt I had known the main characters my whole life! Avi has an evident gift for writing. His story was entertaining, clever and truthful! Crispin is like many thirteen-year-olds back in the fourteenth century medieval England times; confused, innocent, scared and cautious. What happened to him could have happened to anyone during that time. Avi has a way of writing that makes his reader unable to put the book down. Almost every page has an interesting part in it which made me keep reading. I wouldn't change anything about this book, even if I had to. I have loved to write since grade two and my dream would be to write novels like Avi. If you have not yet read this book, I suggest you get started! I can guarantee you'll enjoy Crispin: The Cross of Lead just as much as I did!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...two thumbs up... One would think a simple pauper would be destined to only farm and do menial work. That nothing exciting would be planned for them, they would have nothing more to do in life. Well that would be right if you weren't Crispin! Meet Crispin, a boy who only just discovered his name at the age of thirteen. Before he was only called Asta's son, for his mother had never called him anything but son for his entire life. Suddenly, he is starting to lose what little he already had; his mother, his home and what few friends he possessed. Witnessing a secret midnight encounter after his mother's burial, Crispin is pursued by the men “who are trying to kill him, so he wouldn't be able to tell anyone what he say that night. Not being captured, Crispin is then accused of stealing and declared wolfhead (meaning anyone can kill him). He runs away from his village possessing only his mother's cross of lead and hopes to save his life that way. He journeys through England and along the way meets a man named Bear, who soon becomes his ally as well as close friend. With Bear at his side, Crispin discovers many secrets about himself, as well as his parents. One of which, is that he is the rightful heir of the past duke. Not wanting to be royalty Crispin makes a deal saying that if he leaves his cross “ which is the only evidence of his true identity- he will be allowed to leave freely, and so gains his freedom. Crispin is an amazing and creatively crafted novel. Avi is an awesome author who seems to know exactly what his audience wants! The characters are so well described you feel you know them personally and want to laugh and cry along with them! I don't think I have any complaints for the book. The ending is perfect, and ties in from the beginning. It's like in fairy tales. In the beginning the character dreams for something to happen and at the end of the book that's exactly what happens. Well in Crispin, Crispin wishes for his freedom in the beginning of the book and in the end he gets it! This book really reminded me of Harry Potter. Like Harry, Crispin is an orphan and doesn't know much about himself. Also, Bear reminded me of Hagrid because he's the one who introduced Crispin “like Hagrid to Harry- to a whole new life! They both learn new skills that help them in their new lives, and both of them have people trying to kill them! So even though the two characters may be worlds apart, they do have many similar qualities between them! I think that just about everyone can enjoy Crispin. It's a book with a lot to offer and would appeal to a wide audience! Overall, I'd have to give Crispin two thumbs up and I'm recommending it to anyone who hasn't read this book yet!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ... thrilling... In the midst life comes death. How often did our village priest preach those words. Yet I have also heard that in the midst of death comes life. If this be a riddle, so was my life. Those words are the opening line in Crispin the Cross of Lead written by Avi. Crispin, a young 13-year-old peasant boy, is just recovering from his mother's tragic death when he is suddenly accused of theft. He is savagely chased from his home with only his dear mother's cross of lead and the good lord for his comfort. Hungry, alone and tired, with the cruel and ruthless steward, John Aycliff, on his pursuit, Crispin stumbles upon a small village. Crispin frightened to death encounters a peculiar man named Bear. Now that Crispin is bound to Bear as his servant, traveling together cheerfully entertaining townspeople, his only true goal is to reveal the reality of his past. With the events that follow, Crispin learns the truth of his father and his mystified past. The novel uses complex themes and is very motivating, but I think the book's message is to always have hope, no matter how dark it is. Crispin faces perilous trials but still he always seems to have hope, which led him to true friendship and freedom. The saying tis always darkest before dawn , I think falls into the theme hope. The meaning of these words is, just before things couldn't possibly get any worse, things start to get better. Before things start to get better, during the time of darkness , what helps you pull through it? The answer is simple - hope. Crispin the Cross of Lead is a suspenseful, exhilarating and dare I say frightening novel. Every time John Aycliffe appeared in the novel, my heart stopped. Questions filled my head. Was Crispin to be imprisoned? Was his journey about to end? Will he be killed? I admit I was scared! My preferred part would be when Bear and Crispin were traveling together and merrily entertaining townspeople, but if there was one part I would change during that period would be Bear mocked a man because the man wasn't so pleased with the amusement. I really did enjoy the thrilling book and would rate the novel a 9, on a scale from 1-10. I couldn't put the novel down, and it really keeps the reader on his/her toes. If I were to change the ending I would have had Crispin take after Lord Furnival and prove to everyone he was a superior leader. The section of the novel I disliked was when they murdered Father Quinel, the village priest, because the elderly reverend was helping Crispin escape. Crispin the Cross of Lead is a classic and probably a favourite of many so if you like a tale of suspense, thrill, adventure and friendship then this novel will have you loving every minute.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a winner... History - definition, please? According to the Intermediate Dictionary of Canadian English, the meaning of this word is a statement of what has happened . For me, ˜history means exactly that and so much more. By understanding this phenomenon, humans living in the 21st century can learn about the present and the future. History can help to answer many age-old questions, and as we explore the past, we leave our own footprints engraved on the path of history. Many people may believe they must travel to far off museums and lands to hold the knowledge of the past. On the contrary, even the youngest child can live amongst the remains of history and not even realize it. Items you use everyday are inventions left behind by historic people who used their artistic brains to create things to help us all live a healthier, happier life. Don't believe me? Just take a look outside to see the cars go whizzing by, or walk down the hallway to the washroom. These ingredients in life can make your day a whole lot easier! In my eyes, the best way to learn about history's events is by reading. No worries, I am not talking about heavy boring books made up of complicated words; people of all ages can find extremely interesting books about the events that helped to mold the world we live in today. Author Avi captures history with expertise in Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a wondrous story set in the country of England, 1377. Crispin, known only as ˜Asta's Son to villagers as well as to himself, is left with no friends or family when his mother dies. Uneducated and alone, the thirteen-year old boy wanders into the woods after the priest buries the only parent Crispin has ever known. Late at night, Crispin is caught overhearing the steward of the village exchanging words with an unknown man. The next day he finds his home destroyed and learns he has been wrongly accused of theft and murder. Fleeing for his life, with the only the clothes on his back, his deceased mother's lead cross and the new knowledge of his birth name, Crispin runs away in search of a city or town while teaming up with a large, fatherly man named Bear . The story is a tale of adventure and faith during a time cruelties and unfairness. Through the duration of the tale, it was interesting to watch as Crispin learned the values of friendship and belief. Despite the fact Crispin lives in the fourteenth century, he was easy for me, a thirteen-year-old girl living in the year 2004, to relate to. The events certainly keep readers eyes glued to the page. It was no wonder to me why Avi's novel won the 2003 John Newbery Medal and the 2003 ALA Notable Children's book as well as being a Publishers Weekly Best-seller and New York Times Best-seller. Crispin: The Cross of Lead certainly wins a place on my bookshelf!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...inspirational and memorable!! I loved this book!! It is so inspirational and memorable!! Crispin is so brave and strong and I admire that in him. I enjoyed reading about his adventures and I believe he is a very special person. I love how much he loves his mother and how determined he is. I believe that kids who read this will think of Crispin as a real person and try and fit him into their own lives as someone. his qualities easily fit into my life-his courageous style reminds me of my mother and father!! Other adventurous characters in other books should be based on Crispin's personality and character and apt to deal with things. I deeply enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to those who love medieval setting and a great adventurous story. Thanks!!
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...one of my favourite books... The book Crispin is about a boy named Crispin who's mother died right in the start of the book. Crispin's steward, John Aycliffe, tells Crispin that because of the death he now has to pay the tax of death, which would cost him his ox. Crispin gets angry and runs into the forest to mourn and stays there all night. He was left in peace until he heard a noise. His curiosity forced him to go find out what the noise was and stumbled upon John Aycliffe speaking to a man and reading from a letter. From what Crispin has heard he finds out that something horrible is going to happen if the steward doesn't do something about it. Crispin became uncomfortable when crouching in the bushes for too long and moved. Unfortunately Aycliffe sees him and comes after him. Crispin was running all night and ended up sleeping in the forest. When he awoke he found out that he was declared a wolves head because he apparently stole from the stewards house, which meant that he wasn't considered human and that anyone could kill him. That night Crispin went to Father Quinel who now was the only person he could trust to find out if he guessed right about why he was a wolves head. Father Quinel tells Crispin that he should leave the town. Crispin left the next morning but someone tipped off Aycliffe and Crispin found himself running straight into a trap. Fortunately he gets away and his journey begins. Crispin was one of my favourite books because you are always guessing what is going to happen next and never bore of reading. Crispin is one of those books that you never want to put down and never want to end. He is always on the run and always doing something different. The only thing I would change would be the ending because I had a different idea of what was going to happen, but if there were another book after this one I wouldn't change a thing. I had a hard time of picturing everyone because you don't get introduced to the characters and the book doesn't describe them at the start.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...thoroughly enjoyed it! Crispin, or Asta's son, as he is known in the beginning of the book is a 13-year-old orphan in 14th centaury medieval England. He and his mother (who has just died when this book starts) are poor peasants; their only friend in the village where they live is the priest Father Quinel. The rest, for some reason Asta's son does not know but wishes to, shuns them. Things turn for the worse when the steward of the manor, John Aycliffe declares the boy a Wolf's Head, meaning anyone may kill him on sight. This is because Asta's son is said to have stole from the Manor, which is not true. Why has Aycliffe declared him a Wolf Head? Is it because of the strange, meaningless conversation Asta's son overheard him and a stranger having in the woods? And then, when the two saw him listening, Aycliffe chased him through the woods trying to kill him; do the two incidents connect? Asta's son is not sure but right now he has much more important matters to deal with. With the whole village trying to kill him he must leave at once. He goes to the priest for help and is told extraordinary things, his mother can read and write, he was secretly baptized as Crispin, and when he comes tomorrow to collect supplies for his journey to a large town that has its own liberties to earn his freedom, Father Quinel will tell him about his father, who Crispin was told died before he was born in the Great Mortality. But when Crispin comes in secret the next night he finds the priest has been killed! Being pursued by people who want to kill him Crispin escapes with his sole possession, his mother's cross of lead. Crispin is saved from a fate of starvation or capture by a possibly mad juggler called Bear. This huge man forces Crispin to become his servant and for the first time in his (Crispin's) life he is encouraged to think for himself by his new master. As Crispin learns how to play the recorder and perform for Bear as they travel to the town of Great Wexly he also learns that he is still being hunted, why do Aycliffe and his followers have a desire to kill him? In an exciting climax Bear, to whom Crispin has become like a father, is captured in Great Wexly, the capturers thinking they can draw Crispin to them by taking the one man who has cared for him as a father. Now, as the truth of his past has been revealed and the question as to why others want him dead answered, Crispin goes forth to rescue Bear. As a chance of escape shows, Crispin must, to save both their lives, become a different person and claim a life of his own. This book has a breathtaking, twisting plot and believable, growing characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure and suspense.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...a bit gory... I thought that this book was pretty good. There was adventure, excitment and mystery, but it was a bit gory during some parts of the book, especially when the preist died. Some might argue that without the negative parts, the book ould have been just some boring old sissy book, and I agree with them, but I've never really been a person who has enjoyed these types of medieval stories. I suppose you could say that I had mixed feelings about this book.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...complicated and controversial... He has no name but Asta's son. He is taunted for his lack of a father. Now, he is falsely accused of thievery and made fair game to kill. He is a wolf's head, considered an animal fit only to be killed. However, when the boy stumbles upon a large man called Bear, he finds out his true name, which is engraved on a cross of lead. Crispin, Son of Furnival, Bear reads. Crispin realizes that he is considered a weapon, to be used to conquer the kingdom. When Bear's life is in jeopardy, he must change from Asta's son to his new identity as Crispin in order to escape alive. This book was rather more religion-based than the type of books I like. For me, it seems that unless an author describes a completely new religion, such as Tamora Pierce created in her Circle of Magic quartet, or does a completely different thing with an existing religion, like Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, then they usually make out that one of the religions that already exists in the world is the only religion. I just feel that it makes the book complicated and controversial. It isn't much fun to read about a world dominated by just one type of religion, because it makes it seem as if our world is not as diverse as it truly is. I would change this book quite a bit, given the choice. I think that books are more effective if the enemy does not give in so easily when it is time for the hero to win. Also, I believe that Crispin should have kept the cross of lead, then use it to make Bear the ruler of the land. I think Bear would make a much better ruler than Crispin, who seemed a rather cowardly character to me. I wouldn't recommend this book to any of my friends, or call it one of my favorites. The plot was a bit shallow for people like me. I suppose that everyone would see this story a different way, so I would recommend that people try it and make up their own minds on whether or not it was good. Finally, I would give this book three stars out of five because it wasn't a dry book, it just isn't the genre and style that I prefer. I think that many readers would enjoy Crispin and the Cross of Lead by Avi.
Date published: 2005-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...not a favourite... A boy known as Asta's son was left alone because his mother, Asta, died and his father was dead. Asta's son learns his name is Crispin and there is a mystery behind his parents, he becomes swept into a dangerous journey. He learns from a friendly priest that he has been claimed a wolf's head ever since he heard John Aycliffe and another man speaking in the forest. Anyone was allowed to kill him because he was a wolf's head. Crispin's crime for becoming a wolf's head was stealing money from the manor of Lord Furnival's, which he didn't do. The priest told him to get away from their village. The priest was killed by either John Aycliffe or one of his men to stop the priest from telling Crispin something. Crispin escaped only to come upon a deserted town where a huge man known as Bear was singing and eating. Crispin became his slave by force. Bear taught Crispin to play the recorder and Bear danced and played drums and they made money. Soon Crispin became Bear's apprentice. They went to many towns, and then they went to Great Wexly because Bear said he had some business to do there. They played and danced there way into the town and they went to the Green Man tavern. A woman knew Bear and they stayed. Bear had a couple meetings with some men while they stayed in Great Wexly and Crispin was almost caught by John Aycliffe because he was in Great Wexly to! Soldiers caught Bear and he was taken to jail. Crispin went back the Green Man Tavern and the woman told him to get out of town. Crispin tried to save Bear. He learnt that on a special lead cross his mother gave him said Crispin-son of Furnival. His father was Furnival and that was what the priest was going to tell him! John Aycliffe tried to kill Crispin because when Furnival died, Lady Furnival was going to be ruler and have power. Crispin was supposed to be the one with the power but the queen wanted him killed. Crispin's mother was actually Lord Douglas' daughter; Crispin had royal blood. When Crispin went to rescue Bear, he met John Aycliffe and made a deal with him: if he let Bear and him go, he would give John the lead cross and would leave Great Wexly and never return to claim his position. The deal was made and in the end, Crispin and Bear left Great Wexly. I disliked the beginning and the middle but it was excellent in the ending (I don't have a better ending because it was so good). I've never read a book like it or seen anything like it. This book is for someone who can read a book, even if it gets boring. It's a very serious book. I would've changed the beginning so it was more interesting. It was a good book, but I wouldn't have chosen it myself to read.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...an excellent read... Hi! This is Kinetic Kait. Once again, Avi creates an excellent read. It's exciting, with lots of suspense. It's about a 13-year-old boy, who's grown up under the name of Asta's son. As for his past, he knows nothing about his father except that he died from the plague, and his mother is all he has left. Set in the past, the book shows us the hardships Asta's son goes through. He loses his mother, and is left all alone in a village where you must work hard to survive. The village, Stromford, is owned by Lord Furnival, but as he is at war, an evil man named John Aycliffe is in charge. All day the villagers work in Lord Furnival's fields, to earn enough to buy a loaf of bread, or some ale. Times are hard, especially for Asta's son, who is shunned by the villagers, like his mother. After his mother dies, weighted down with grief, he runs deep into the woods, where he stumbles upon Aycliffe talking with a stranger. He doesn't understand what they are talking about, but when Aycliffe spots him he runs away. When he returns to Stromford the next day, he finds that his home of 13 years is burnt down, and learns after visiting his priest friend, Father Quinel, that he has been declared wolf head, which means that he may be killed by anyone who sees him. He has been accused of stealing, a crime which he did not commit, and is forced to flee the village, taking with him his only possession, a lead cross his mother wrote on, something no other peasant can do. Along the way he meets a huge man called Bear, who takes him in, and teaches him how to sing, dance, and juggle, things he never imagined possible. He also learns to accept his new name Crispin, which he learned before leaving Stromford. They go to the city of Great Wexly, where Crispin learns that Bear is part of an illegal rebellion. Bear, and his group, want equal rights, with no Lords and Ladies, a thought that at that time, was unheard of. Even thinking of it was treason. Everywhere he turns, people are after him, and he doesn't understand why, until he learns what the inscription of his cross says. Then he realizes that his life is worth a lot more then he ever imagined. I like how Avi describes everything so well, so you can get a picture in your mind of how things worked back then. I think the book is about discovering yourself and who you really are underneath. It shows how you can change the way people think about you. And no matter where you're born, or who you're born as, we're all equal, and just as special under God's eye. The theme is definitely self-discover, and self-confidence, and proves that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...a book of bravery... Crispin The Cross of Lead was a book of bravery. At first Crispin's mother died and he was falsely accused of stealing from the steward's house. He was declared a wolf's head, which meant anyone could kill him. He was forced to flee. He met a juggler named Bear who allowed him to be his apprentice. Crispin learned many things and they travel to Great Wexly to find that the steward (John) is there himself! John also sees him and took Bear away to lure him. Crispin doesn't want to go at first but he's so fond of Bear so he decides to risk his life for it. When he gets there, he sees John.He makes him, swear not to harm him or Bear before they leave the gates. Bear and Crispin are at the gates when John suddenly attacks them.Bear manages to kill John first and he and Crispin leaves the town. I think this book teaches you to be brave and not to be scared of doing things you want to do.Itreminds me of war, because so many soliders risked their lives to save their loved ones. Read this book if you want to find out about the Medival Times.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from ...4/10... Crispin is rejected from his village because he was blamed for the murder of the priest. In his rush he runs into an entertainer who is more than he says he is. I didn't really enjoy this book as much as some others on the list. 4/10
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...must read! The book that I've chosen to review is Crispen: The Cross of Lead by Avi. This is a complete 5 star novel! It's unlike any book or movie that I have ever seen or read. It can't be compared to anything. It's very uniquely remarkable! The story line is about a boy who struggles to find freedom, his history and a life of his own. Throughout the novel Avi introduces you to a cast of memorable characters during this extremely realistic story. There's no excuse for anybody (even adults) to miss out on this incredible book. No matter what type of story you usually read, you'll still love this book. I guarantee it! I wouldn't change a thing about it, even if I could. So, to all you booklovers out there, pick up this book. Trust me, it's a definite must read!
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...amazing... Crispin is one of the most amazing books that I've ever read! It's exciting listening to this boy's story. You laugh, you cry, you jump with amazement at what happened in the end. But then you get so angry, not at what happened in the end but when you jumped in amazement the book fell to the floor and you lost your page! In any case, Avi is an amazing writer and anyone who hasn't read Crispin yet should read it. The story's about a young boy who travel's through different little towns with a man he met, named Bear. The boy tries to find out who he is throughout the story. I think that's what makes the book so good. The way Avi makes Crispin's life so real, you feel as if you can realate it to your own life... as if you are Crispin. You feel like you're seeing swan white bread for the very first time, just like Crispin did when he and Bear traveled to Great Wexly and Crispin saw the bread in the store window of a bakery. With all the description it's hard not to get caught up in that book! Avi explains all his characters feelings and emotions so well. And when he describes the places that his characters see he puts forth so much more description then other books normally do. When you're reading Crispin it's almost like there's a movie going on inside your head. You really do need to know when to put the book down though. I mean, you really don't want the teacher catching you reading Crispin behind a Science textbook when it's really French class. Wow, that would be embarassing! As much as I love reading there is always going to be something that I don't like about a book, something I'd like to change in a book, or something I'd like to add into a book and in the case of Crispin I'd lile to add something in. I think that Avi should have had Crispin go to more towns and and had John Acliffe get closer on Crispins tail. I'd also like to see a sequel sometime in the near future. But over all Crispin was one of my very favourite books along with a number of other books and I would recommend it to anyone who just wants to escape into the pages of a great story.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...very intriguing... Crispin-The Cross of Lead is a great book. It is about a boy named Crispin (obviously) who lived in England in the Middle Ages. His mother dies at the beginning of the story, then he is declared a wolf's head for stealing something that he didn't steal. He has to either travel away from the small town where he was born and raised, or die. I think that the story is a bit slow in the middle, but it is very intriguing. It is a mystery in some parts and something else in others. I'm not sure I liked the ending, but decide for yourselves if, hopefully when, you read this book. It is another of Avi's masterpieces. I think that this book would make a very good movie, as it is a mystery, and has grief, happiness, bewilderment, and gore. It is a good mix and I think that it is good for youths to adults. I read it in a bookclub for girls and their mums and I think that most of us liked it. I know a few boys that have read it and they liked it too. I hope that you will read about Crispin, and that you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...9/10... Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi is a mix of adventure, action and historical fiction. The main character of the book is Crispin. Crispin is a young book who until a few pages into the book did not even know he had his name. He lived with his mother, a strange, quiet and nervous woman until she died. Although he does not know it until late in the book, he is actually heir to the throne of Lord Furnival. Soon after his mothers death he is declared a wolf's head meaning that he has committed such a crime that he is considered no longer human and anyone can kill him. His horrendous crime to become a wolf's head is merely the fact that he is the son of Lord Furnival and he poses a threat to his steward, John Aycliffe, because Lord Furnival is about to die. Crispin is extremely god-fearing and feels that he must have committed some great sin for god to have placed him in such a terribly position. Bear is among the most strangely depicted characters that I have ever read about. He is incredibly large, both in height and weight (thus the name Bear) and always wears a sort of jester's hat with bells on it. He is a professional juggler who sings, dances and juggles for money, at least that is who he pretends to be. He is actually a spy who dreams of a world where everyone can be truly free. He meets Crispin soon after Crispin runs away from his hometown and forces him to become his apprentice. This act I find fully against bears character but it was probably used as a plot device to make a way where Crispin is forced to stay with Bear. All stories need a villain; this story's villain is John Aycliffe. John Aycliffe is the steward to Lord Furnival. He does not want to lose his or his sister (Lady Furnival)'s power so he declares Crispin an outlaw hoping that he will die. Unfortunately for Aycliffe, in the process of trying to kill Crispin, Crispin meets Bear, and discovers that he is the heir to the throne of Lord Furnival. Hoping to trap Crispin he traps Bear in his dungeons hoping Crispin will fall into his trap. Unfortunately, his plan backfires and he ends up being killed by Bear. I really liked this book and would rate it 9/10. Although it has some predictable parts, the outcome was not at all predictable. I really love books that surprise me so I found this a very good thing. I also really enjoyed not knowing anything about who Crispin is or what is going on at the beginning but finding everything out (well, almost everything) as you go along. Avi should definitely write a sequal.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Crispin: The Cross of Lead After mourning the death of his mother and the mysterious murder of his families priest, Crispin sets off in a dangerous journey to figure out the words on the back of his Cross. Are the deaths somehow related to this piece of jewellery? Who can Crispin trust to find out the answer? The cross is of great important to Aycliffe, who will do anything to get it. Crispin is on the run for his life.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...heart-warming... A heart-warming novel, an award-winning book, a touching story. These are some of the words that can describe Crispin: The Cross of Lead . This particular novel is one, which transports you into another world where you forget everything and become a bystander in the story. The plot of this magnificent novel is about an innocent boy known as Asta's son, grew up knowing that his father perished before he was born and currently lives with his mother in a village where neither of them have friends except the priest. One gloomy and bleak day, Asta passes away and her son remains with nothing. The priest tells Asta's son his birth name, Crispin, and advises him to reside at a certain woman's home for the coming night and the priest will arrive and speak to the boy about his heritage, his father, and his mother. Meanwhile, the steward of the village informs the people that there was money stolen from his house and he blames it on Crispin. He says that Crispin robbed his house even though the boy is completely innocent. That night, when Crispin attempts to sneak to the woman's house, he is stopped by a man who claims that the priest wanted to pass the message on to Crispin that he should run to the west instead of settle at the woman's house. Crispin, not knowing what to do, believes this man and when he runs toward the west, the steward and the army of men who proclaim him as a wolf's head catch him. Crispin is terrified because he knows that a wolf's head means that anyone can kill him anywhere. The army charges at Crispin but he runs with all his might and escapes their strong grasp. During Crispin's escape, he encounters a man called Bear who he travels with and visits many different towns. You will become amazed by their discoveries and the real truth about Crispin's parents. Avi created a novel that many children ages 10 and up can take pleasure in. I enjoyed this book very much and I would not like to alter any aspect of this story. I recommend this novel to anyone who likes the genres adventure and mystery. You should read this book and discover what secrets Crispin's family has!
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...really liked it... Crispon discovers new things. About himself, others, and you got to have faith in yourself. I really liked the book, and how the author described how she thought people would think in the middle ages. The only thing I did not like about the book is that I could not put it down before bedtime. I think it was tempting not to put the book down, but it was worth the bags under my eyes in the morning. If there would have been a different ending and I had to pick, I think my idea of and ending would be some thing like Crispon being declared king just because of who he was but instead he got something better a friend. During the book as read, and then a scary part came my heart would stop untell the next chapter. At times i felt very shocked to hear the voice in my head, You are Lord Furnival's Son, Crispon... or, It was Father Quinel, dead. I actually felt like I went back in time for moments. When I was in Chapters in Calgary I was just looking the kids section for some books and then I saw this author's name I never heard of before and I read the first couple of pages, it sounded pretty good so I asked my mother if I could get it, and lucky me, I did. I don't think all people would go for this book. Some people don't like Zoneing out as I do. But a pretty fair group of people would like this book. If I had to change one thing about this book I would change that Crispon would become rich at the end and not be so unfortunate. This book highly reminded me of two movies made into series of movies. Lord Of The Rings and, Harry Potter. Pick me! Oh Pick me! Thanx for the contest! From Jewel Winkler.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...interesting... Lord Furnival, lord of the manor of Crispin's home, passes away the day after Crispin's mother Asta dies. Crispin's father, according to Asta, had died in the plague so Crispin was now an orphan. When Crispin runs away and hides in the woods he overhears a meeting between the steward, John Aycliffe, and another man, plotting to take over Lord Furnival's riches. Crispin is caught and pronounced a wolf's head, meaning that he can be killed by anyone. This forces Crispin to run away from Stromford. Crispin has never left Stromford and so he becomes lost very quickly and easily. A few days later, he comes across a village deserted due to the plague. There he meets a large man named Bear who takes Crispin under his wing and teaches him to sing, dance, juggle and play music. Together they make their way to Great Wexley, where a large fair is set to take place. When they arrive they find John Aycliffe looking for Crispin. John reveals Bear as a spy and arrests him, hoping to capture Crispin. Widow Daventry, a kind friend of Bear's, reveals to Crispin that he is Lord Furnival's son by reading to him the words Asta had carved into the lead cross she left to Crispin when she died: Crispin - son of Furnival. Crispin, after learning the truth about his father, sets out to rescue Bear and finds John guarding him. Crispin makes a deal with John, promising to leave Great Wexley and never return again if Bear is set free. At the gates of the city, Bear and Crispin are walked into a trap and a great fight breaks out. During the fight, John is killed and Crispin and Bear leave the city, never to be seen again. This book began quite slowly, but once you started reading deeper into the story, the plot became more interesting and the story moved along with more speed. I think that after John Aycliffe died, Crispin should have revealed himself as Lord Furnival's son and stayed to rule over Great Wexley and Stromford instead of disappearing. Bear was my favorite character in this book because he always looked on the bright side and helped everyone out, even people he had just met. By teaching Crispin how to sing, dance, juggle and play music, Bear ensured that Crispin would always be able to provide for himself and wouldn't starve. He also helped many innocent people escape from John Aycliffe when he was after Crispin, putting himself in danger. All in all, I think Bear was the best character in this book because he put others ahead of himself and always helped out the little guy.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from ...very bored... This book was about a boy named Crispin who lived in a very poor village. After his mom died, another man proclaimed Crispin a wolf's head and accused him of stealing. Crispin had to run away, and then he found a deserted village. Read the book to find out more. I did not really like this book. A good idea for another ending? How about another STORY?!?! I felt very bored when reading this book. Anybody who likes to be bored and reads boring adventure stories will like this book. Good luck to anybody who likes to be excited reading this book! If I could change one thing about this book, I would change the whole plot. I did not think the plot was interesting enough. It needs more action and excitement. It also needs some funny parts. This story had no funny parts at all. There should also be a more evil villian, and there should also be less talking, but this story does not need a bunch of blood and gore. This is only my opinion, you might like this book.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...utterly delighted... Who is he? Asta's son has no idea. That's all he has ever been called and now with his mother dead, he's deeply baffled. The only life he has ever known is that of a peasant, in fourteenth-century England. When he inadvertently overhears a conversation between the town's steward and a stranger, an inevitable course of perplexing events begins to unfold. Now declared a wolf's head ”someone no longer considered human whom anyone may kill” he's forced to flee. With nowhere to go and no one to help him, he must abandon everything he holds dear. He embarks on a perilous journey into unfamiliar terrain where he discovers not only the motives of his pursuers, but also his own identity. Since I'm a history buff, I was utterly delighted by the graphic portrayals of medieval England. Avi did a beautiful job of describing not only the architecture ”from the cobbled streets to the ornate cathedrals” but also the atmosphere of the period, as well as how people thought and behaved. Readers who appreciate adventure novels with a touch of history, will surely enjoy this book. While I was reading this book, I couldn't help but envision myself as this thirteen-year-old boy. Had I been alive in the thirteen hundreds, it would be within his world I would have lived. Having to work from dawn to dusk for a master (i.e. a rich, greedy lord living in a manor) though not a slave. Living on nothing but watery ale and stale bread, and eating meat only at Christmastime if the harvest was good. Constantly haunted by the possibility execution for a treasonous act, such as complaining about taxes. The tremendous injustice and unfairness of it all made my blood boil. My outrage changed to disgust when I realized that in some parts of the world this is still happening, and we are doing nothing to stop it!
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...a challenging, godly adventure... Son of Asta runs away from his home village when he is declared a wolf's head (a human considered an animal). He finds Bear, who teaches him the skills of the circus. Son of Asta has a cross that says Crispin: Son of Furnival . Lord Furnival wants the power to himself instead of Crispin (who used to be Son of Asta) taking over. I like this book alot and I would not change anything except the ending. My version of the ending would be that he took over Lord Furnival's kingdom. I think this book would be best for those who enjoy a challenging, godly adventure. It was a serious book and those who like laughter would not get much from it. It reminded me of Enid Blyton's Five Go Off in a Caravan because it had that type of adventure in it. Thanks for reading my report.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...extraordinarily well-written... Crispin: the Cross of Lead tells the story of a young boy's journey of self-discovery. He begins as a nameless boy, known only as ˜Asta's son , with no knowledge of who his father is. He and his mother are outcasts in their village, shown benevolence only by the village priest, Father Quinel. Shortly after Asta dies, Asta's son is proclaimed a wolf's head (a barbaric animal whose death is rewarded) and is turned against by his fellow villagers. Father Quinel promises to help Asta's son, and tells him that he must run for his life. He promises to tell him of his father when he meets him later on. One secret he does divulge: the boy who has been known simply as ˜Astaâs son his entire life was given at his christening the name Crispin, a name of royalty that his mother has kept secret. It is then that Crispin flees the only home he has ever known, taking with him only his mother's lead cross. When the priest is mysteriously murdered, Crispin realizes that he is on his own, and that finding out who he really is will be a lot harder then he has ever imagined. He then meets Bear, a traveling musician, and journeys with him as his apprentice. He begins to uncover the startling reality of his father's identity, and the implications it holds. This book was truly enjoyable and well-written, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I especially enjoyed the vivid character and place descriptions throughout the book; they helped me feel as though I was living the story, rather than simply reading it. It is evident that the author spent considerable time planning out the novel before writing it, as it fits together very well and has excellent foreshadowing. This book reminds me of Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur Trilogy, as they are both set in the same time period, and the trilogy's main character, Arthur, shares many personality traits with Crispin. Both boys are both curious and determined, and they both discover the truth about their parents' identities. Another major similarity is the importance of religion in the main characters' lives. The religious influence of the time period is highly evident in both works. I also thought that the ending was especially apt. At first I was slightly disappointed that Crispin had no intention of claiming his relation to his discovered father, but I then realized that it would have been out of character for Crispin to have done so. I cannot think of a more suitable ending than the one in the novel. I can think of very little I would change about this novel; it is one of my favourite books, and is extraordinarily well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and believe that many other readers will enjoy it as well.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoy! It was a truely unbelievable book! It makes you feel happy and sad at the same time. You can also really relate to how Crispin (also known as Asta's son) feels. For instance when he has just discovered what his mother wrote on her cross of lead, he felt kind of sad and kind of like now everything made sence. We as kids can relate to this feeling because we would feel the same way when, say our friend started acting really mean and then we find out the only reason they're acting that way is so that they can get into a secret club that you wanted to get into. Basicly what the book is about is a young boy whose father died when his mother was pregnant with him. Then when his mother dies he starts to uncover the many secrets that were kept from him! Also along the way he meets one very unpredictable jester calle Bear. Now I don't want to give too much away about the book incase you haven't read it yet, but I will tell you one thing: Things aren't always what they seem. Enjoy the book (I know I did)!
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...well done... Although this was the first book I've read from Avi, it was definitely worth the risk of trying a new author and genre. What drew me to this book was, as always, the excerpt on the back. It was a good reflection on the events in the book from the perspective of the main character, Crispin. This book tells the tale of a thirteen-year-old peasant boy living in medieval England. After his mother's death, he is accused of crimes he did not commit and is declared a wolf's head; meaning that any and all could kill him on sight. His only possession is a lead cross, engraved with an inscription. As he flees from his pursuers he comes upon a juggler nicknamed Bear, who tricks him into becoming his servant. Little does Crispin know that his new master will become his truest friend. This is a book centred about the growth of Crispin from leaving behind the only way of life he'd ever known to discovering his true identity and coming to terms with whom he has become. When I began reading, I was surprised to see it written in first person. This helped the story in the sense that it made it more personal, as though you had a special seat inside Crispin's head. However, I thought it would limit the value of the other characters since I wasn't able to hear their thoughts. Luckily, I was proven wrong. The author seemed to have put extra effort in portraying Bear and how Crispin's impression of him changes. On the other hand I would've liked to know more about the villain in the story, Steward Aycliffe. Did he truly want to kill Crispin or was he only acting on what he thought was best for his country? Both situations could've inspired the hate he felt for Crispin. This is the one thing I would've changed; I would've spent more time showing Aycliffe and potential depth to his character. In a few cases I found the book to be a bit predictable and Crispin's curiosity aggravating, but his curiosity is essential to the plot and makes him all the more human. His character reminded me of Merlin from The Lost Tales of Merlin series by T. A. Barron. On the other hand, I absolutely loved Bear and what he stood for. He had radical ideas for the time, which showed he questioned authority and the ways of society. The latter is something that I do quite frequently. I thought the ending of the book was well done. It finished off a tense chain of events with Crispin and Bear as the victors and continuing on with their lives as they had before. Although it did make you wonder if they had any more adventures, it was still a satisfying ending. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction and of books with a slightly darker nature.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...adventurous mystery... CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD gets off to a rough start. Asta has died, and her 13 year old son, who has been known only as 'Asta's son' all his life, is left alone in the world. His unknown father dead before he was born, Asta's son has only Father Quinel, the village priest, to confide in. Living in fourteenth-century medieval England is hard enough with no parents, but life is about to get harder for Asta's son. With Lord Furnival away at the crusades, John Aycliffe is in charge of their little village. John had never been known for his kindness and nothing changes when it comes to Asta's son. Accused of a crime he didn't commit, Asta's son is forced to flee, but first gets some shocking news from Father Quinel about his name - Crispin - and about his father. Fleeing to find freedom in another village, Crispin's enemies from Stromford follow. Knowing that he has been declared a wolf's head, (allowed to be killed on sight) makes him willing to go on. But as he passes through a village, Crispin meets an unwanted visitor. Bear, as he is called, catches Crispin when he learns that he is without a mother and father. Forcing Crispin to swear an oath to him, Bear becomes Crispin's new master. Bear is headed towards Great Wexly to make some money - and for a secret meeting. At first Crispin is frightened and hateful towards Bear, but as Bear teaches him to juggle, hunt, and play music, Crispin begins to have confidence in himself, and for the first time ever to have fun. But Crispin's troubles aren't over - John Aycliffe continues to follow him. Once in Great Wexly, John kidnaps Bear as a trap to lure Crispin to him. After learning the truth about his father - and himself, Crispin must become a different person if he wants to save Bear“ and himself. CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD was an adventurous mystery. A little slow in the beginning, it reminded me of Robin Hood at first. Lord Furnival away at the crusades and the evil John Aycliffe taking over the village. But then the story took a whole different turn and became more interesting, with mysterious kills and chases to the death. When Bear captured Crispin, I knew exactly how frustrated he would have felt. To have a plan that was suddenly destroyed would torture me. But after I learned more about Bear, I was glad that he and Crispin had found each other. With the whole mystery about Crispin's father, I took a wild guess at the beginning and it turned out I was right, which didn't make it much of a surprise to me when Crispin found out the truth. Although Crispin's decision to rescue Bear was a surprise, that it actually worked out was an even bigger one! The ending was very abrupt, but also good, with Crispin and Bear going off freely into the night.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ... a great story... I loved this book. This book is about a boy without no name. When his mother dies he is forced to flee his small English town when he is accused of a crime he didn't commit. I really connected with the characters of this story do to the fact they were so realistic. It is not only educational but is a great story. It really opened my eyes to how hard the peseants had it in the middle ages. It also opened my eyes to how much the peseants were reasured by god. If you want a book that has lots of action and will restore your faith in god read this book.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...really good... When I saw this book at my school book fair , I wasn't that interested in it so I didn't buy it. I then saw it in the summer book scene flyer and decided to borrow it from the library. It turned out to be a really good book. Some parts were pretty predictable but it was nevertheless a very well written story. In my opinion though, Crispin should have became the next lord instead of just going with Bear. Then they could've been rich but it was still a really good book. But I guess he didn't want to give up playing the recorder with Bear juggling so he made a pretty good choice.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ...descreptive and engrossing... It feels like you are watching as a hidden spectator,with the character sharing their thoughts and feeling with. One of the most descreptive and engrossing books Avi's written.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not for everyone It is a book that would not fit all readers. It depends on what kind of subject you like to read; otherwise it is a very well written book.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ...interesting... I found the book interesting. I did not like the goriness of when early in the book Crispin finds the father dead with a slit throat. The book is about betrayal because people declare him a wolf's head for something he didn't do. I like it when he befriends a man named Bear. It had a surprise ending.
Date published: 2005-09-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from a bit boring.... crispin and the cross of lead is a bit of a boring book not much action. I think it was supposed to be a bit more dramatic than a fast paced thriller/good book....
Date published: 2005-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Read! It is a very good book --interesting storyline and Avi creates such wonderful suspence. Incredible book, however it procedes slowly. The suspence is what kept me reading it. Great book but slightly lower on my favourite book list compared to others.
Date published: 2004-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WHOA! Well, Avi has done it again! I just finished reading, The True confessions of Charlotte Doyle, and I loved it! So I decided to look up a few more of Avi's books, and when I found out that Crispin had just won the Newberry Award, I thought it was a must-read. I was absolutely right! This book is full of amazing description, awesome information, and characters that you feel you know personally. If you haven't already read this book, read it again!
Date published: 2003-12-10

– More About This Product –

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

by Carol Avi

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 7.62 × 5.25 × 0.75 in

Published: June 1, 2004

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0786816589

ISBN - 13: 9780786816583

About the Book

In medieval England, 13-year-old Crispin has no home, family, or possessions. Accused of a crime he didn't commit, he takes his mother's cross of lead and begins an amazing and terrifying journey across the English countryside.

From the Publisher

H "Avi''s plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns, and treachery aplenty. . . . A page-turner to delight Avi''s fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel."-Publishers Weekly (starred review) H " . . . [T]he book is a page-turner from beginning to end . . . [A] meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action." -School Library Journal (starred review) "Historical fiction at its finest."-VOYA

About the Author

Avi''s books are loved by children and adults around the world. The author has written many novels for young readers, several of which have garnered prestigious awards, including two Newbery Honors and the 2003 Newbery Medal for Crispin: The Cross of Lead.

From Our Editors

Junior Booklovers Contest Winner Aaron, age 11, Surrey, BC

This book is an amazing example of current writing styles mixed with an enchanting medieval storyline. That old-world charm makes it, so that there are so many twists and turns in the plot that to relieve the mounting suspense, you have to finish the book all at once.

A nameless thirteen year old boy, known to all as "Asta's son" becomes an orphan when his mother, Asta, dies. When he is declared a "wolf's head*"for a crime he did not commit, he is forced to flee his town of Stromford. He takes only two things with him: his baptismal name - Crispin and his mother's cross of lead.

Every road-trip has a pit stop, and one on this journey led Crispin to Bear, a middle-aged giant of a man. Eventually, Bear and Crispin got along like father and son. Together they travelled to Great Wexly to find out the secrets behind the identities of Crispin's parents. What they uncovered during this journey will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

What I honestly thought about this book was that it was filled to capacity with emotion that poured through. In the beginning it was grief and sorrow, then fright and joy and then vengeance and happiness. Frankly, I just thoroughly enjoyed this book.


* wolf's head: Someone who is not considered human and can be killed on sight.

Appropriate for ages: 8