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Publisher's Summary

In the small 14th-century English village where he has lived his entire life, the boy has grown up with no name of his own, known only as "Asta's son". But when his mother dies, the boy receives both his rightful name, Crispin, and a lead cross, inscribed with a secret that soon has him fleeing for his life.

Best-selling, award-winning Avi delights children and adults with historically accurate tales of high adventure.

©2002 Avi; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Avi's plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns and treachery aplenty, but it's the compellingly drawn relationship between Crispin and Bear that provides the heart of this story." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Rebecca
  • Fairbury, IL, USA
  • 05-09-08

6th Grade Class Review

Crispin the Cross of Lead is an outstanding book. It's about a 13-year-old boy in England during the Middle Ages. In the beginning his mother dies and gives him a cross made of lead which proves to have special meaning. The story is filled with twists, turns and great descriptions. This book may be difficult for kids who don't understand the dialogue of the Middle Ages, yet you can learn a great deal about what life was like during that time period. You really find out about how religious everyone was in the Middle Ages. Ron Keith did such a great job reading the book I felt like I was running right along next to Crispin. I loved the book so much I'm going to read the sequel. I recommend this to anyone looking for an exciting and adventurous book.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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One of my all time favorite books

If you could sum up Crispin in three words, what would they be?

Honorable, courageous, intelligent

What did you like best about this story?

The way Avi was able to not only bring the characters to life but to describe the times they were living in very well. It was well researched and the characters are great. The bad guy oozes bad and the good guys are great but flawed. Often, that is the way real heroes are.

Which scene was your favorite?

Crispin entering the castle and finding John Aycliffe who shows his lack of character, lack of honor and cowardice all in that one scene. The ending is pretty good too.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and I did. I will no doubt do it again in the future as well. This is one of my all time favorite books.

Any additional comments?

These books are fantastic. Yes, they are supposed to be for kid and when i was first recommended this book I said "It is Crispin and the CROSS of Lead and I am Jewish so no thanks" and threw in "it's also for kids and what do you know, I am an adult" (yes I am very sarcastic LOL) but it was so highly recommended I thought "ok fine fine fine" and enjoyed it. Then when I got the audiobook it was like entering the world rather than just reading about it. Ron Keith brings Avi's words to life. I think adults would like this book just as much and maybe more so than kids. <br/><br/>I sure wish they would make this into a movie already.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Listened with my 4th grader

Excellent voice actor character adaptations and a story with many profound life lessons. This was assigned reading for my son, and he thought the book was boring – until we started listening to this audible as he read along in the book. It really helped bring the book to life for our young reader!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • djack
  • Fountain Valley, CA
  • 03-30-15

Amazingly rich

This audio version of Crispin was extremely well done. The voice over captured our entire family. It exceeded our expectations!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Amazing and intense read! I didn't want to take a break from it at any point I was listening.

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Really engaging piece of historical fiction.

Compelling, and hard to put down. I love the reading, he brings the characters to life.

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A story about true honor and faithfulness

Avi penned a story about honor, friendship, and true love. It tells of how it really doesn't matter who your parents are/were, each of us has a choice to make. This book is captivating.

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enjoyable book

This book was quite enjoyable especially with all of its' action and twists and turns. While it was somewhat predictable in the sense that we knew Crispin was not just "Crispin," I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Classical Conversations Challenge A Booklist!

Would you consider the audio edition of Crispin to be better than the print version?

Yes

What was one of the most memorable moments of Crispin?

In the 1st town bear and Crispin perform in, Bear grabs a mazer from a one eyed man in crowds and adds it to the items he is juggling. The man shrilly storms only to later reappear in the story to cause problems for Crispin and Bear.

Which scene was your favorite?

Bear offered Crispin bread then grabs his hand and forces him to serve him forever saying " now swear it or your blood shall flow as water and in such a forsaken place as this no soul shall ever know"

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Bear asked Crispin about his mother.

Any additional comments?

This book is part if the Classical Conversations Challenge A Curriculum. My children 13 & 14 enjoyed it enough to request the sequels. Please note most of this review was written by my children.

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enter a headline for your review (optional) enter

good book narrator was good I struck led to finish because,there,are,better,things,to,do sorry about the commas

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  • Roz
  • 03-29-17

Young adult historical fiction

This was a good book to listen to with a few of my year 8 and 9 students while were studying historical fiction in English and Medieval Europe in History. They enjoyed the story and mystery element and learnt a lot (including vocabulary, but I made up a glossary). It's a bit of a slow start and in patches, but they got into it.