He's used to the people who throw stones at him. He's used to Cook who is constantly at him to do more and do better. And it just comes naturally to Boy that he can talk to the goats and the dogs. It's the year 1350 and Boy, an ostracized and feared hunchback at his young age, who had been saved by the local priest, is firmly established in his small place in the world and the lonely fate of never being seen by anyone as a boy, a living soul.
Until the day when the Pilgrim, Secundus, comes through on his journey, Boy herds goats, climbs trees, cares for Sir Michael who sits waiting for judgment day. The Pilgrim easily blackmails Cook into letting Boy come along on his journey as a servant boy. Boy's job will be to carry the heavy pack upon his back. This unmatched pair is going in search of the 7 Relics of Saint Peter. Together, these saintly bits of bone and cloth are the key to the Pilgrim's salvation. This journey filled with adventure, danger and a tapestry of medieval life, might hold the key, the awakening, the miraculous aperture for Boy to discover an incredible truth about who he truly is on this Earth.
Richly told story rings of the medieval period complete with the ragged faithful who offer their hopes to the Church, the wolves who threaten the populous and the sights and sounds of the remains of a Rome once glorious. Boy is a heart-grabbing underdog whose infirmity isolates him from the world. As he travels well beyond the boundaries of his own known world, to Avignon and on to Rome, his gifts unfold and his determination blossoms as he experiences what it's like to be seen as a boy... just a boy.
Boy's adventures are seen through the lens of history but his story will move every heart today. Powerful, unexpected and inspiring.
288 pages 978-0062686206 Ages 8-12
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
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.
This epic and engrossing quest story 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.
Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large 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 suspensful expedition across Europe to gather the 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 can make Boy’s hump go away? A surprising and unforgettable tale for readers of all ages.