Crispin: The Cross of Lead – Avi

About the Book:

Crispin is a poor boy who lives with his mother in a small town in England.  When his mother dies, however, something strange happens.  Crispin is accused of stealing money, something he didn’t do, and he is declared a wolf’s head, meaning that anyone can kill him with no consequences.  Crispin flees, and soon meets Bear, a huge juggler who takes Crispin on as an apprentice.  Together, they make their way to Great Wexley, a city that holds danger for Crispin, even if he doesn’t know it.  Will Crispin figure out why he was falsely accused of stealing?  Will he discover why he is wanted dead?  And will he ever find out why Bear’s so eager to get to the city?

My Thoughts:

Okay, first things first.  With a name like Crispin: The Cross of Lead, I knew there would likely be some religious content in this story.  I was really hesitant to pick this story for one of my book clubs because of this, but all of the reviews I read said it was a “medieval adventure”, so I decided to give it a go.

This book really didn’t have a “medieval” feel to for me.  This is a story about a child who is ignorant of the world around him, and relies on God for everything.  I found it really religious…which isn’t necessarily bad, but just not what I was expecting.  It wasn’t preachy, but every page had at least two or three references to something Holy…I don’t know if this is how life would have been at the time or not, but it was a bit too much for me.

Aside from this, I just didn’t connect with the plot of this tale.  It’s not a terribly long book, but it took me a long time to finish it.  It’s slow-paced, and not a lot happens.  My book club kids really liked it, although some of them found it a little scary…generally, though, it went over well with them.  So it was a good story for the kids, just not for me!

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