The Book of Boy

The Book of Boy

Book - 2018
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In 1350, a boy with a large hump on his back becomes the servant of a shadowy pilgrim on his way to Rome, who pulls the boy into a dangerous expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter.--Provided by Publisher.
Publisher: New York : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062686206
Characteristics: 278 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Schoenherr, Ian


From Library Staff

Juvenile fiction: A young outcast is swept up into a thrilling and perilous medieval treasure hunt in this literary page-turner by acclaimed bestselling author Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

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Dec 01, 2020

Historical fiction—my favourite genre
A quest—Love stories about quests and journeys to magical places
Miracles—Oooh, some added interest here. (Note: time period 1350, when the majority of the population accepted miracles on Faith alone.)
What’s happening? — a plague has just swept through Europe—timely

I also chose this title because it has the appearance of books from the 1940’s to 1960’s; books from my youth.... plain cover, little colour, torn paper edges and because it’s a Newberry Honor Book. A prestigious award. But, I struggled. I thought it slow moving and didn’t feel attached to the characters until more than half way through. The last 40 pages are the most interesting. So, a bit disappointing. But, it’s all good. We can’t enjoy the same topics or writing style otherwise we’d all want to read the same 20 titles at the same time. Now, that would be tragic. Viva la difference!
I can’t see many middle grade readers picking this one up.

Jul 08, 2020

A very sweet and funny adventure of “Boy” in the rough medieval era. Captivating from start to end with sweet surprise revealed about midway to the story. The writer is amazing in making this middle age story alive in 21st century I could visualize it. A story that makes you smile and your heart warm. A memorable story.

Oct 30, 2019

BL 4.3

Feb 14, 2019

Boy, was his name, an abandoned boy with a hunch back was cared for by a priest but tormented by villagers when they threw stones and called him a monster. He spent most of his time tending to the goats and talking with them. You see, he could understand them and they him. A stranger arrived, a pilgrim named Secundus, and requested the services of Boy. He needed someone to carry his pack on a three day journey to St. Peter’s Step. Later Boy learned that in the pack, that made his hump feel warm, was a rib that belonged to St. Peter himself.

When they arrived to their destination, Boy was treated like a regular boy because the pack covered his hump. Boy helped Secundus, via a heroic feat, and they secured a shoe that belonged to St. Peter. Boy understood, he memorized the list, that together he and Secundus will be traveling and acquiring various St. Peter items. They will return them to the rightful resting place of St. Peter in Rome. Boy hopes that when he gets their a miracle would be bestowed upon him and remove his hump. Unfortunately for the pair, the journey will be ridden with others seeking their treasure. Will they make it to Rome with a completed list? Will Boy be rid of his hump?

Author Catherine Gilbert Murdock has created a wonderful story filled with heart and heroism. This fast-paced read is filled with lots of humor and friendship. If you love a good mystery and miracles, this is a read for any young adventurer. Parents and teachers could use this as a read-a-loud for fun and discussion of persons that are different from ourselves.

IndyPL_SteveB Feb 13, 2019

A strangely compelling mixture of Middle Ages history and miracle play. I am tempted to call it a fantasy or supernatural novel but it is really more like what people in the Middle Ages might have called reality.

In 1350 a boy known only as “Boy” is an animal keeper on a small, miserable farm. He is a hunchback and scorned by others as a monster, but he has a special way with animals and so can be useful. A stranger named Secundus, who calls himself a pilgrim on a quest, borrows Boy to carry his burdens, with the intent of sending him back home in a couple of days. However, as they find out more about each other, they form a tentative bond. Both are harboring major secrets. As they move through the chaos of France and toward the half-destroyed Holy City of Rome, with very different goals in mind, each one needs the other to survive.

It’s very tricky process for a modern writer to tackle this sort of plot and make it believable within the framework of the story; but Murdock makes sure her *characters* believe what they are doing. That made me believe it, too. The descriptive details of the journey, the history, and the people they meet along the way make the setting real.

IndyPL_DeborahB Feb 04, 2019

The Boy of Boy is set in Europe during the Holy Year 1350 and concerns a boy who can communicate with animals, a strange and perilous pilgrimage, Holy relics, and a land recovering from the Black Death. For fans of Marguerite de Angeli (The Door in the Wall),, Karen Cushman (The Midwife's Apprentice and Catherine called Birdy),and Frances Temple (The Ramsay Scallop). 2019 Newbery Honor Book Grades 5-8.

Jan 14, 2019

I was surprised by this one! Part pilgrimage, part treasure hunt, part deep thinker, this one. Boy--who is considered a "monster" for having a hump on his back--is taken away by a pilgrim named Secondus with a goal to find seven relics of Saint Peter. SO MUCH STUFF HAPPENS, and Boy comes to some surprising realizations. I don't want to give anything away. I do think this is a read for an older middle grade crowd, it's the kind of book that, once it grabs you, keeps you turning pages. Set in Medieval times; would make an excellent movie.

Dec 24, 2018

An adventure tale set in the 14th century about a boy (Boy) and a mysterious pilgrim (Secundus)as they gather relics in anticipation of redemption at St. Peter's tomb in Rome. Boy can speak to animals and his hunchback may not be the handicap he perceives it to be. His relationship with Secundus grows and changes ultimately showing Boy that there is work to be done and meaning to be found in serving others. Beautifully written and reminiscent of classics like "The Door In the Wall" and "Adam of the Road". Fans of Laura Amy Schlitz will love this new medieval epic.

JCLChrisK Nov 14, 2018

To be honest, this fell short of my vague expectations. Something about the humor and narrative voice didn't quite connect with me. But that's me. It's a lovely, witty story in a cruel setting with lovely illustrations. I have a feeling many readers will find it delightful.

Sep 28, 2018

Very moving, enjoyed it, but don’t know that kids will be interested in a book about pilgrims and relics in the Middle Ages.

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