Crispin at the Edge of the World
Hyperion, 2006
teaching guide
more adventure
more historical
Crispin at the Edge of the World

The more I came to know of the world, the more I knew I knew it not.

He was a nameless orphan, marked for death by his masters for an unknown crime. Discovering his name—Crispin—only intensified the mystery. Then Crispin met Bear, who helped him learn the secret of his full identity. And in Bear—the enormous, red-bearded juggler, sometime spy, and everyday philosopher—Crispin also found a new father.

Now Crispin and Bear have set off to live their lives as free men. But they don’t get far before their past catches up with them: Bear is being pursued by members of the secret brotherhood who believe he is an informer. When Bear is badly wounded, it is up to Crispin to make decisions about their future: where to go, whom to trust. Along the way, they become entangled with an extraordinary range of people, each of whom affects Crispin and Bear’s journey in unexpected ways. To find freedom and safety, they may have to travel to the edge of the world—even if it means confronting death itself.

In this riveting sequel to the Newbery Award–winning Crispin: The Cross of Lead—the second book in a planned trilogy—Avi explores themes of war, religion, and family as he continues the adventures of Crispin and Bear.

Behind the Book

Avi writes:

Sequels are hard to write. Sometimes your reader comes to it knowing a great deal about your characters. Sometimes they know nothing. The writer has to please both—at the same time. And when the book has been widely praised and has been successful (such as the Newbery award winner, Crispin: the Cross of Lead) it seems almost foolish to go on.

But in this case, when I first thought of the Crispin story I thought of it as a multi-volume saga. Thus it was when I put my fingers to the keys, I had a sense of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go.

And yet, and yet, as always, writing a book is like setting out on a journey without knowing exactly where you are going. You will get somewhere, but just where is an adventure, even for the writer.

So it was for this Crispin. I liked where he went, but no one was more surprised at the ending than me. And now I’m writing the next installment: the third Crispin.

Awards and Honors

ALA Notable, 2006
Starred Review: School Library Journal
Starred Review: Booklist
Starred Review: Kirkus
Starred Review: Kliatt
Child Magazine Best Children's Book of the Year, 2006
National Parenting Publication Award (NAPPA) 2006, Honors Award
Kansas City Star one of best books of the year, 2006
Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2007
Booksense Winner 2006-2007 Children’s Pick

Review

School Library Journal:

“This second book in a planned trilogy explores even more thoughtfully the themes of religion, war, the motives of men, and the meaning of family. This is an extraordinary work of lyrical simplicity, nearly flawless in its execution, and a haunting tale of love and loss. Readers will devour this story and eagerly anticipate the conclusion of Crispin's adventures.”

Listen to Avi read from Crispin at the Edge of the World.

 
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