A medieval setting, ancient relics, a quest. It all sounds like something that has been done before, but this fantasy is peculiar in a way you wouldn’t expect. You see, Boy (the humble goatherd taken up by a passing sorcerer), well, he may not be a boy at all, but neither is he the opposite. What he is and what that means to him is something that will have to be discovered along the way. The Book of Boy is a rich, satisfying novel, drawing heavily on medieval mysticism and crafted with impressive literary aplomb by Catherine Murdock. Grades 4–6.
A Newbery Honor Book * Booklist Editors’ Choice * BookPage Best Books * Chicago Public Library Best Fiction * Horn Book Fanfare * Kirkus Reviews Best Books * Publishers WeeklyBest Books * Wall Street Journal Best of the Year * An ALA Notable Book
A young outcast is swept up into a thrilling and perilous medieval treasure hunt in this award-winning literary page-turner by acclaimed bestselling author Catherine Gilbert Murdock. The Book of Boy was awarded a Newbery Honor. “A treat from start to finish.”—Wall Street Journal
Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town—until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspenseful expedition across Europe to gather seven precious relics of Saint Peter.
Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end—for what if St. Peter has the power to make him the same as the other boys?
This epic and engrossing quest story by Newbery Honor author Catherine Gilbert Murdock is for fans of Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale and Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,and for readers of all ages.Features a map and black-and-white art by Ian Schoenherr throughout.
“A tale of ingenuity, daring, dread, and tenderness, in which neither man nor Boy is quite what he seems, The Book of Boy is a treat from start to finish.” — Wall Street Journal
“The Book of Boy, with evocative wood-cut-style illustrations by Ian Schoenherr, is a beautiful volume. . . .an original feat of imaginative storytelling.” — Wall Street Journal
“Scuffles and sacrifices, ferocious animals, and dastardly thieves abound as Boy and Secundus are slowly revealed to readers—and each other. This is also a beautiful piece of bookmaking, from the woodblock-style design elements to the manuscript-like paper. A vivid, not-to-be-missed story.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation. Murdock weaves an engrossing tale. ...Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Fresh, immediate, and earthy: the fakery, the faith, the embedded stories, the escapades. The story is beautifully served by its package...Most remarkable and unusual is the character of Boy, a complex and compelling being whose defining quality is goodness.” — Horn Book (starred review)
“This is a medieval tale that blends historical fiction with magical realism. Readers will enjoy the adventures of Boy and Secundus, rife with twists that give the story more depth than a straightforward historical novel. ... Boy is an admirable protagonist.” — School Library Journal
“Boy shines with unique, good-hearted brightness. This action-packed tale, with a luminous central character, unspools with a strong message about how appearances can deceive.” — Publishers Weekly
“Young readers intrigued by history, and those who love a good quest, should find much to keep them interested. Beautiful illustrations with the look of woodcuts grace each chapter.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Fun, enchanting. . .A perfect choice for a middle-grade reader who likes historical fiction, magical realism, mystery and a rich story centered on good vs. evil.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution