Crispin: The End of Time

Written by Avi
Review by Cecelia Holland

The writer known as Avi has written more than 70 books for children, and is a master of historical narrative. Crispin: The End of Time is the third volume of Avi’s medieval trilogy, following its young hero’s quest for a better life through England and northern France in 1377. Starving and alone, Crispin falls in with a family of thieving musicians, who take him to the great port city of Calais. From this seaport he hopes to find a ship to Iceland, where, his old mentor Bear told him, he would find a free life. But Iceland is a thousand miles away, and many people around him mean him evil.

Avi has done a lot of research, often rather dutifully laid down as stage dressing, but it never slows the story. Young Crispin grows into a braver, more confident boy as he outwits the thieves and plans his way to Iceland. This tale is timeless, a child’s delight, and the book is a pleasure to read aloud for adult and child.