Spring 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List
“Boy (not 'boy') is a youngster living in an isolated community following the Crusades. Boy, who has a hump on his back and can speak to animals, grows under the care of Father Petrus, who has taught him to read and care for himself and has protected him from the community. Secundus, a wandering pilgrim, hires Boy to carry his bag on a trek to recover the relics of St. Peter. The tale of Boy begins and ends with wonder and encourages readers to think about who Boy is and how his relationship with Secundus evolves during their quest. An exceptional novel, The Book of Boy is a winner sure to satisfy the curiosity of middle readers of all ages.”
— Jack Blanchard, Fairy Godmother, Washington, DC
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.
“Scuffles and sacrifices, ferocious animals, and dastardly thieves abound as Boy and Secundus are slowly revealed to readers—and each other. This is also a beautiful piece of bookmaking, from the woodblock-style design elements to the manuscript-like paper. A vivid, not-to-be-missed story.”
“Light and darkness have never clashed with such fierce majesty and eloquent damnation. Murdock weaves an engrossing tale. ...Blend epic adventure with gothic good and evil, and add a dash of sly wit for a tale that keeps readers turning the page.”
“Fresh, immediate, and earthy: the fakery, the faith, the embedded stories, the escapades. The story is beautifully served by its package...Most remarkable and unusual is the character of Boy, a complex and compelling being whose defining quality is goodness.”
“This is a medieval tale that blends historical fiction with magical realism. Readers will enjoy the adventures of Boy and Secundus, rife with twists that give the story more depth than a straightforward historical novel. ... Boy is an admirable protagonist.”
“A tale of ingenuity, daring, dread, and tenderness, in which neither man nor Boy is quite what he seems, The Book of Boy is a treat from start to finish.”
“Boy shines with unique, good-hearted brightness. This action-packed tale, with a luminous central character, unspools with a strong message about how appearances can deceive.”
“Young readers intrigued by history, and those who love a good quest, should find much to keep them interested. Beautiful illustrations with the look of woodcuts grace each chapter.”