Crispin: The Cross of Lead – Literature – Evaluation

This novel is a thrilling adventure story that takes place in medieval southern England. Crispin, the 13 year old protagonist, is the same as as the target group the novel was written for. It is possibly more appealing to boys, who can identify themselves with the protagonist. But all young readers can enjoy the historical mystery. And all young readers are focused on questions of identity and social relationships.

Moreover, Avi makes it clear that loyal friends are not always the ones we think of at first sight. Sometimes, as in the case of Bear, a closer look is needed.

Avi gives the reader the opportunity to immerse himself in the Middle Ages, to feel how it was to live as a peasant at that time. Generally, the impressions we have of the Middle Ages are from the perspective of the nobility or the clergy. This book provides insight into how life was for the majority – the peasants. It also helps to bring to life real events like the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Moreover, this books gives a sense of how teenagers in the Middle Ages lived, which is, of course, entirely different than teenagers today – and could provide interesting points of comparison for the readers.

I would recommend this book for teenagers about the same age as Crispin. It is thrilling and informative, and they will be able to identify with the protagonist who is on a journey of self discovery, just as they are.