The Book of Boy
Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr
Publisher: Greenwillow Books. an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2018
The year is 1350. The place is France. One third of Europe’s population has been wiped out as the bubonic plague sweeps across the continent and starvation is a constant threat. War has ravaged many countries: England, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain. During these difficult times, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are making their way to Rome.
This is the backdrop for The Book of Boy. He doesn’t have a name; he is simply known as Boy. He is working as a goatherd at the manor of Sir Jacques. Recent years at the manor have also been hard. Sir Jacques was kicked in the head during a tournament and now sits senseless in his chair. His wife and children have succumbed to the plague. The manor and its grounds are falling into disrepair. And on a cold March day, a pilgrim – a dangerous pilgrim – arrives at the manor.
The pilgrim, whose name is Secundus, is on a mysterious quest. He needs assistance and despite the fact that Boy is a hunchback, he is young and able-bodied. The other servants look at Boy as a monster and are more than willing to let him go when Secundus acquires his services as a temporary servant.
So begins an adventure of a lifetime. Boy will face dangerous brigands and wolves; pirates and ghosts; liars and heroes. Secundus’ quest, to gather holy relics, will remain a mystery and prove to be a miracle in which an angel teams up with a man who has been to hell.
*NOTE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.