Medieval Treasure Hunt and Adventure

Today I have a book that is a medieval treasure hunt and adventure.  This book absolutely surprised me in the best way and I was completely caught up in both the story and characters.  However, while the old-fashioned language and the religious elements didn’t throw me off, they might give some pause to kids.  I hope they are able to see the larger narrative because I think this one will have some Newbery buzz come the new year.

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Title: The Book of Boymedieval treasure hunt and adventure book of boy

Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Target: Grades 3-6

Series: No

What this book is about:

The year is 1350 and Boy lives at a manor in France tending sheep.  He is a hunchback who can communicate with animals, a gift the local priest has told him to keep secret from everyone.  When a Pilgrim ventures through the manner he enlists the help of Boy on a quest to find a set of relics from St. Peter.  Not all the relics can be acquired through honest means, nor is the Pilgrim particularly righteous.  However, Boy is anxious to collect the relics because they represent an opportunity for him to become a real boy and perhaps lose his hunchback which has been a source of shame and a target of cruelty.

Why I love this book:

  • I really got caught up in the story after the first chapter.  The language feels “of the time” so once readers get used to the manner of writing they will sink right into this one.  I wonder a bit if kids will give it a go because of the writing style, however.
  • I loved the complexity of the characters and was caught up in the tactics used to acquire the relics.  I was drawn right into Boy and his kindness and longing.  I also loved the interaction between Boy and the animals which felt authentic.  However, this book does have religious undertones and it is high on the fantasy count.
  • In short, this is quite an adventure which is tightly written and quite entertaining.  I mean who doesn’t like a medieval treasure hunt?  It is the language and religious sensibilities which give me some pause.

Who this book is for:

Kids who liked Crispin or The Inquisitor’s Tale should like this book.  I appreciate that this book has shorter chapters and is not too long so kids don’t have to take on a tome.  It is really a good length for elementary school.

Final thoughts: 

This one surprised me.  It is good, I just hope kids give it a chance.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Book of Boy.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.