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Avi; Crispin The Cross of Lead

SKU: Avi AB051811-188 $79.95
Autographed First Edition Fifth Printing (stated) of: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi published by Hyperion New York in 2002. Inscribed and dated by the author on the title page. Publisher trades original binding and dust jacket. In as newcondition. Octavo. Newbery Medal Award For the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children. SIGNED and dated by the author ''Best to Brian Avi - 6/8/4'' directly on the title-page: Avi's Newbery Award winning tale about thirteen-year-old boy Crispin. Set in Medieval England he has been accused of a crime he didn't commit. Crispin who has been declared a ''wolf's head'' must flee his village if he wishes to remain alive. Plot summary In 1377 England a 13-year-old boy known only as Asta's Son lives as a peasant in a small village. His village is part of the territory of the feudal Lord Furnival. As the lord has been away for years fighting in a war in France the village has long been under the direct control of the steward John Aycliffe. When his mother dies Asta's Son is left alone as he has no other known relatives. Shortly afterwards John Aycliffe falsely accuses him of theft and declares him a Wolf's Head one who may be killed on sight. Asta's Son turns to the village priest his only friend who gives to him a lead cross that belonged to his mother and reveals that his true name is Crispin. The priest promises to reveal to Crispin the truth of who his father was but before he can Aycliffe's men murder him forcing Crispin to flee the village by himself pursued by the steward. Having lived his whole life as a poor peasant Crispin has no knowledge of the outside world and no useful skills. He is saved from starvation by a traveling jester named Bear who forces Crispin to swear an oath to become his servant. Realizing that Crispin is still being hunted by Aycliffe Bear asks to view the writing on the lead cross that Crispin still carries. Bear refuses to tell the illiterate Crispin what the words say although Crispin realizes that he is hiding something. Bear initially treats Crispin with disdain criticizing his lack of knowledge and his subservient personality. Crispin is likewise initially put off by Bear's seemingly treasonous and blasphemous attitudes about freedom for the common man from both noble and religious control. During their travels together however Bear begins to teach Crispin various skills and Crispin slowly begins to gain confidence in himself. A true bond of friendship begins to develop and Bear eventually releases Crispin from his oath of servitude. Instead he asks if Crispin will become his apprentice which he happily agrees to. Posing as a father and son the two travel towards the city of Great Wexly. Although it is the capital city of Lord Furnival's lands Bear insists that he has important business to complete there. After arriving in the city they discover that Lord Furnival has recently died. The two companions stay at the inn of the Widow Daventry a close friend of Bear's. Bear is revealed to be a compatriot of John Ball and serves as a spy during his travels. Ball and his group are eager to begin a peasant revolution. Bear however claims that it is not yet the right time which causes strife between him and the others. Bear instructs Crispin to stay in their room while he conducts his business with Ball however Crispin sneaks out to explore the city. Unfortunately during his exploration he comes face to face with John Aycliffe and the chase begins anew. Bear is captured and arrested by Aycliffe's men and taken to the Furnival estate hoping to use him as bait to lure Crispin to them. Crispin flees back to the inn where the Widow Daventry reveals to him the truth about his past which Bear had told her. Crispin is actually an illegitimate child of Lord Funival which is what is written on his lead cross. After an affair with another lord's daughter resulted in a child Lord Furnival faked her death and sent both the woman and her child to live in poverty under the guard of John Aycliffe. After Lord Funival's death however his widow feared that Crispin could potentially try to claim to be the rightful heir to the estate and thus ordered Aycliffe to kill him. Widow Daventry tells Crispin to flee the city before he is captured. Crispin however sees Bear as his family and refuses to abandon him. Crispin initially goes to John Ball's group for aid but due to their earlier disagreements with Bear they refuse to help. They agree to only lead Crispin to where Bear is being held leaving him to sneak in by himself. He manages to evade the guards and catch John Aycliffe by surprise. Holding him at knifepoint Crispin forces Aycliffe to swear to release Bear and lead them both out of the city. In return Crispin swears that he will make no claim to the Furnival estate and will leave his cross the only evidence of his heritage with Aycliffe once they are outside of the city. Once they are nearly at the city gates Aycliffe breaks the oath and orders his men to kill Bear and Crispin. Bear and Aycliffe fight which eventually results in Aycliffe's death. The confusion caused by these events allow Bear and Crispin to escape the city. Before leaving Crispin leaves his cross with Aycliffe's corpse as he promised. Characters: cents Crispin - Is a 13 year old protagonist in the novel Crispin. Crispin lived as a peasant his entire life until his mother's death and subsequent accusations against him forced him to flee his village. He has very few skills and no self confidence when he begins his journey. However during his travels with Bear he begins to develop both and by the end has become an individual that he is proud to be. Although he doesn't know it he is secretly the illegitimate son of Lord Furnival which is the cause of his misfortunes. Crispin is deeply religious and often prays to his patron saint St. Giles. cents cents Bear - A traveling jester and entertainer who group during his travels. He has two sides like a bear gentle and harsh. cents cents John Aycliffe - The primary antagonist of the novel. Aycliffe is the steward of Lord Furnival and has full knowledge of Crispin's true identity. After Furnival's death his widow orders Aycliffe to kill Crispin and he spends the remainder of the novel hunting him. He is killed by Bear in their final confrontation. cents cents John Ball - The only historical figure in the novel who plays a small but important role. He and his group are seen preparing for their Peasants' Revolt despite Bear's insistence that it is not yet the right time. cents cents Father Quinel - The only friend to Crispin and his mother and is the one who tells Crispin his name and gives him his mothers cross. He is killed early in the book. cents cents Goodwife Peregrine - The old lady back in Stromford who gave Crispin's pouch that contained seeds and the cross. cents cents Widow Daventry - The barmaid at the Green Man Tavern who lets Bear and Crispin spend the night. cents cents Asta-Crispin's mother who was shunned and cast out of society by all except for Father Quinel. cents cents Cerdic - Traitorous young boy that tries to turn in Crispin to John Aycliffe for his twenty shilling reward. Edward Irving Wortis (born December 23 1937) better known by the pen name Avi is an American author of young adult and children's literature. He is a winner of both the Newbery Honor and Newbery Medal. Biography Avi and his twin sister Emily Wortis Leider (also a writer) were born in New York City to Joseph Wortis a psychiatrist and Helen Wortis a social worker. In the year after Avi's birth his family moved to Brooklyn. When he was young his sister gave him the nickname ''Avi.'' Two of Avi's grandfathers were writers and one grandmother was a playwright. In interviews he recalled his mother reading to him and his sister every night and going to the public library on Fridays. He is also the first cousin of the Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin. Avi's parents transferred him from Stuyvesant High School to Elisabeth Irwin High School a smaller private school. There he studied with a tutor Ella Ratner whom he credits for his writing success. Avi has written more than 70 books. He has written books for different age groups and in many different genres including historical fiction fantasies comedies mysteries ghost stories adventure tales realistic fiction and picture books. Avi has won awards for his books including a Newbery Honor for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle in 1991 and another for Nothing But the Truth in 1992. His fiftieth book Crispin: The Cross of Lead was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2003. Avi's book ''Iron Thunder'' about the ironclad Monitor and its battle with the CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads Va. was selected as the 2009 Beacon of Freedom Award winner by Williamsburg Regional Library and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. At of the end of 2010 Avi will have published 71 books all written for children/young adults. In 2006 Avi wrote a sequel to Crispin: The Cross of Lead titled Crispin: At the Edge of the World. The third part of the series `Crispin: the End of Time.' was published in 2010. After living in Providence Rhode Island in the 1980s and 1990s Avi now lives in Denver Colorado with his wife Linda Cruise Wright. He has adult children.