I first saw "Crispin" by Avi at my local library. A Newbury Medal winner, the book did catch my eye mostly because it was by Avi but I never took it out of the library to read it. Then my sister-in-law Kathy, who loves children's books as much as I do, was visiting recently and told me how much she liked this book even though 'it looked like a boys' book'. My thoughts exactly which surprised me that I would even let that stop me from reading a book that had the potential to be a great read. That did it. The next time I drove uptown, I stopped at my library and checked out "Crispin".

And of course, I'm glad I did take the time to read it for like all Avi books, it was another winner.

Set in England around 1377, the story tells about the peasant boy who lives an extraordinary life, especially once he befriends a wandering juggler. On the run from his enemies when he is accused of a crime he did not commit, the juggler, Bear, takes the boy under his wing, determined to protect Crispin from his evil pursuers. Not until mere pages from the end do we find out the truth about Crispin and his real identity.

An exciting story with unexpected twists and turns, like all Avi stories, it is both memorable and engaging until the very end.

I rate Crispin 5 out of 5 stars.

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