Monday, November 19, 2018
THE BOOK OF BOY by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch
The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch (February, 2018, Greenwillow, 288 pages, for ages 8 to 12)
Synopsis (from the book jacket): What a fine story this is!
For who does not want to read
about such things?
A boy who can talk to animals.
A terrifying, perilous journey
full of bravery and daring.
Knights and bandits and
ghosts and thieves.
Howling wolves, heroic
donkeys, and a bag of bones.
Lords, ladies, liars, and
riches beyond compare.
And mysteries and miracles--
of the sort that concern
the living and the dead.
Why I recommend it: The voice is superb. Boy himself tells the tale in first person. Masterful writing, a compelling plot, and intriguing characters (especially Boy and Secundus, a mysterious pilgrim who hires hunchbacked Boy to carry his pack on a pilgrimage) make this a novel you MUST read. Plus, the research is most impressive and the book jacket and chapter headings are beautifully designed.
I was still hospitalized when this book came out in February, so I completely missed it, but thankfully, the publisher recently sent me a copy, in exchange for an honest review. Set in 1350 Europe, this is a compelling, funny, earthy and yet religious tale, reminiscent of Chaucer, though with a touch of magical realism. I had no trouble divining the mystery of who Boy really is, but I'm sure an 8 or 9 year old would be kept guessing.
Favorite lines: Last night's conversation flooded my mind. I carried a rib of Saint Peter, the first pope of Rome--me, a humble goatherd! (from p. 28)
Catherine Gilbert Murdoch's website
Have you read The Book of Boy? What did you think?