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The Book of Boy
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
20 posts | 9 read | 7 to read
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 Gidwitzs The Inquisitors Tale and Grace Lins 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 townuntil the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boys 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 endfor what if St. Peter can make Boys hump go away? A surprising and unforgettable tale for readers of all ages.
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BucklingBookshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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I had no clue how this book would end — and still feel I missed some point the author was trying to make, but I loved this ending for our two main characters & the meditations on home in the last chapter or two. The idea of leaving home in order to really find it when you return resonates, especially for young people. I‘m old enough now to really embrace the idea of “settling down,” but getting there can be a journey in itself. #buddyread

smilingshelves Nice summary thoughts! I'm glad you took the lead on this one, because my main thought when I finished was "This was a weird book." ? It's like historical fiction but with an angel?? It really gave a picture of life in the Middle Ages, but then it turns out it couldn't really have happened after all. I mean, I believe in angels, but I don't think that's exactly how they'd show up on Earth... Or that someone could escape from Hell. 3mo
smilingshelves And yes, I feel like I missed some profound point at the end, too. I'm kind of surprised the Newbery committee picked this one. I guess it goes with the pattern of preferring more literary books. I don't see a lot of kids really picking this one up and loving it. What do you think? 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves you made a lot of good points! I too liked the historical fiction aspect most and kinda gave the book the side-eye when I realized there were essentially supernatural elements lurking beneath. I think the book could have been just as good or even better if they were both just human, but on a similar quest. Though the author seemed to emphasize that Secundus wasn‘t a demon or anything like that, but “just a man” — which worked well. 3mo
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BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I think there are kids who would like it, but I agree it was an unorthodox pick for the Newbery. Betsy Bird who‘s an author and kidlit reviewer wrote a great review of it before it won the Honor that‘s worth a read: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2269889812 3mo
smilingshelves That was a good review, especially the last paragraph! I follow her on Goodreads, but I honestly don't read many of her reviews because they're so long. 😀 Have you listened to her podcast with her sister? It's hilarious and one of my favorites! 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves you‘re right - they are sooooo long 😆 but when I‘m looking for an in-depth review of a MG book, I love checking hers out. I listened to the podcast from the beginning, but then sort of lost interest. I‘m not sure if it was the book selections or what — maybe I should check it out again and cherry pick a few episodes rather than letting it build up in my feed without listening to any of them! 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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This was such a touching moment, too. #buddyread

smilingshelves Yes! And I loved the talking to animals thing, how every kind of animal had a different way of talking. It was a nice touch. 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I didn‘t understand the animal thing at first, but once I knew what was going on, I liked it too. 3mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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What a great moment this was! For a character I was so iffy about the whole way through, I like the way things turned out for Secundus. #buddyread

smilingshelves Yep, he turned out to be an all right guy. 😊 I loved the scene where he got him out of the tomb and Boy thought he'd be all concerned about the relics, but he was just glad that Boy was safe. That might have been my favorite moment of the whole book! 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I totally agree! “Neither are for sale. The pack is worthless!” (Or something like that was said right around that point) really got me. Definitely a high point. (edited) 3mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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It‘s getting harder and harder to read holding my wiggly almost 7-month old, but she still lets me get away with it sometimes! I haven‘t been finding too many discuss-able moments/quotes so far, probably since the focus of this book is on the action of a quest, but I‘m hoping once we get to the end there will be more to talk about overall. How are you doing @smilingshelves ? I‘m up to chapter 24 and eager to get to the end! #buddyread

smilingshelves I'm on chapter 18, but go ahead and read away! I should have time to catch up tonight. There was an unexpected twist there at the end of part two, and I'm curious to see where this is going! Have fun snuggling your little girl as long as she'll stay still! 😀 3mo
smilingshelves Okay, I caught up! My kids are finally to the point where I can read while they play in the sandbox. Well, my daughter did put sand in her mouth... But only once, so I call that a success! 😄 Are we trying to finish the book tonight? 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I‘d love to try to finish tonight! That sandbox trick sounds amazing to me! I find I‘m much less fazed by stuff in the mouth the second time around myself. 😆 My older one gave up his nap ages ago and it‘s kind of killing me now with 2! 😬🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️ 3mo
smilingshelves My kids take naps at completely opposite times, so I rarely get an overlap. But at least I'm down to one kid for some of the day. That must be so hard to have no breaks from the energy! 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I do get breaks when my son goes to my in-laws once a week, but YES, so much energy! I miss the solo time I used to get during naptime quite a lot! (edited) 3mo
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smilingshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Just when I really start to hate Secundus for how he's manipulating Boy, he does something endearing. He's turning out to be quite the complex character.

@BucklingBookshelves #buddyread

BucklingBookshelves Complex indeed! I‘m glad we are starting to learn more about him and him family. Seems there is more to him than meets the eye. But yes, when Boy asked ‘milord‘ if he was quacking 😆😆😆 — there have been a few unexpectedly funny moments for me so far! 3mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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It‘s #buddyread time! So excited to dive into this one with @smilingshelves this weekend — and then we will have read all the 2019 Newbery titles! 📚📚📚

smilingshelves I'm excited to start! I probably won't get to it until tonight, though. We're going to Day Out with Thomas today, so my day will be taken up by a very excited three-year-old! 😄 3mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves oh my goodness, my son would LOVE that — I can imagine how excited your little guy must be! We have 2 birthday parties this weekend, so I‘m trying for an early start. I‘m only a chapter in and I‘m getting drawn in already! I think it will be a quick read — it‘s shorter than it looks if you see how the pages are formatted. 📚📚📚 3mo
smilingshelves Thomas was amazing yesterday! Highly recommended if there's any railroad in your area that does it. I hope your birthday parties are a lot of fun. I only read a few pages last night. I was mainly trying to finish the book I was in the middle of (mission accomplished!). What page are you on? I'll try to catch up tonight. 3mo
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BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I‘m only on page 34 right now! I am hoping to read a little more today/tonight — it seems fast -paced once I get the chance to actually sit down and read it! 3mo
smilingshelves Oh, good! I'll aim for at least page 50 tonight. 😀 3mo
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TheBibliophile1
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I love the way the author took the structure of stories similar to The Wizard of Oz and Planet of the Apes, and wrapped it up with biblical references, time period specific issues, and the curses of the human condition. I‘m 19 but still love reading some youth books such as this because I can learn something from almost any reading. Love the depth in this very simple novel!!!

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smilingshelves
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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@BucklingBookshelves Picked up my library hold today! When do you want to start? No rush, since it's not due until September. Just let me know what works for you!

merelybookish I'll be interested to hear what you guys think of this book. Its on my TBR. 3mo
BucklingBookshelves I was just remembering it‘s buddy read month! How about the weekend of the 17th/18th? (Or that Monday if you‘re busy on the weekend) — I‘m trying to finish up a couple others for my library‘s adult summer reading program then I can focus a bit better! 📚🤓 3mo
BucklingBookshelves P.S. The Modern Mrs Darcy challenge has a category to read a recommended book, so when a friend of mine asked for a recommendation for that challenge, I went with Merci Suarez (or the Vanderbeekers if she wants to wait closer to Christmas!) 📚📚📚 (edited) 3mo
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smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves 17th sounds good to me! I wonder if we have the same library summer reading program. I used this one for my book to movie adaptation. 3mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves Merci Suarez is a great recommendation! I made sure my school library had a copy, and I can't wait to put it in kids' hands once school starts! 3mo
BucklingBookshelves I think the ALA has a theme every year that lots of libraries use (A Universe of Stories this year) Not sure if all categories are the same everywhere but I settled on The Secret Garden and just borrowed the movie today! I‘ve been meaning to read Time Traveller for ages! 3mo
BucklingBookshelves The 17th it is then! 📚📚📚 3mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves Yup, ours is the same one! The Secret Garden is a great choice. I should reread that soon! 3mo
BucklingBookshelves A reread would be fun! Of course now I know we have the same challenge I want to ask which books you picked for all the categories! 😆 I‘ll just stick with the science fiction in space one though — I may not even get to it but I had a hard time choosing and finally settled on CS Lewis‘ Out of the Silent Planet. I‘m reading The Enchanted Hour now for book published in 2019. I‘ll have to post my stack here when I‘m done 📚📚📚 (edited) 3mo
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review
DrSpalding
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Mehso-so

I finished the book last Saturday. I was surprised that BOY was an ANGEL! Did any of you see that coming? He was so loyal to Secunda until the very end. The photo is in St. Peter‘s Cathedral and the tomb is down below. #UCFBC19

CherylVDM I finished the book as well. I wasn‘t surprised that BOY was not “human” considering all the things he didn‘t do... I thought that perhaps he was in the “in between” and his task was to guide Secundus. Throughout the book I made connections to the relics, Catholicism, and my own belief systems. Rib, Tooth, Thumb, Toe, Dust, Skull, Tomb ... 🏡 6mo
Ehoffman I finished as well. As I said from the beginning, interesting book, but I don‘t think I would use it in the classroom. I did think Boy was there to “guide” Secundus, but was surprised that he was an angel! 6mo
DrSpalding I guess I saw SOME signs like when his hump was growing but I didn‘t think Angel. What genre would you think this book would be? 6mo
KarriW I really liked this book. I did not predict angel and was surprised (though not completely) at end of part 2. I loved the message at end and the focus on good. I liked the home/tomb mix - made sense toward end. I like the historical setting details. I think this would be hybrid - historical fiction/fantasy - though the faith side of me says not fantasy :). I think 5th / 6th and above. I liked it just as a piece of literature - thought provoking 6mo
DrSpalding I agree Karri! ❤️📚 6mo
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DrSpalding
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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In chapters 1-10 I was immediately enamored with Boy. He‘s pure of heart! He LOVES animals which many of us in this book club do and obviously cherished the idea of reading and books! I made T-W connections with the Hunchback of Notre Dame especially in light of the recent fires and with several other stories where children have disabilities and just want to be accepted. In latter chapters I was happy to see the pilgrim caring for him.

CherylVDM I‘m enjoying the text but am concerned about the safety of Boy. He is so sweet and caring. Secundus is evil but I‘m not sure why. 6mo
DrSpalding Secundas has some redeeming qualities but he is surely using Boy to access the seven relics of St. Peter! 6mo
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KarriW @CherylVDM I agree about Secundus though he did show some kindness to Boy. 6mo
KarriW I love Boy‘s connection to animals. I keep thinking that “never reveal yourself” means more than just the hump. 6mo
DrSpalding Oh… I agree Karri! 6mo
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Ehoffman
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock

So, interesting book! I am enjoying Murdock‘s use of language. Looking forward to where the story takes us.... #UCFBC19

DrSpalding It is interesting but I don‘t think it would be a choice of mine for LCs...you? 6mo
Ehoffman That‘s what I am thinking as well.... 6mo
CherylVDM I agree. It has a “Game of Thrones” meets the Catholic Church vibe going for me. 6mo
DrSpalding Yes for sure! Liz did you go to any of the Roman Catholic churches when you were in Italy last year? @Ehoffman 6mo
Ehoffman We went to sooo many churches and duomos. All incredibly beautiful! Our favorite was the duomo in Orvieto! 6mo
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DrSpalding
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Let‘s begin reading this tomorrow UCF CCIE colleagues. Post your thoughts here using the hashtag #UCFBC19. ❤️📚

review
ChristyM
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Pickpick

In the Holy Year of 1350 a special boy and a pilgrim journey from France to Rome on a quest for holy relics. I bought this middle grade book for my school library and I‘m afraid it‘s going to be a tough sell. The writing is lovely and the story moves quickly, with plenty of surprises, but my wonderful students are going to need some support to stick with it to the end. Lots of similarities with The Inquisitor‘s Tale (which never gets checked out).

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juliegumdrop
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Really enjoying this #middlegrade novel that takes place in the Middle Ages for #middlegrademarch

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Bookgoil
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Enjoying this book tonight as I wind down from a day out and about. Had a busy day with the dogs to keep them out of the way of our windows being installed and new patio door. Went to the park, a friends and then back. Even worked out tonight after all of that. They are very tired since we got home this afternoon. #dogsoflitsy

JoScho ❤️❤️❤️ 14mo
britt_brooke 💚🐾 14mo
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review
TracyReadsBooks
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Pickpick

If you liked The Inquisitor‘s Tale, you‘ll enjoy this MG read. Set in 1350, on the surface it‘s the story of Boy (yep, that‘s his name) who goes on an adventure with Secundus, a pilgrim collecting a group of relics on his way to Rome. At a deeper level it‘s a story of mystery, faith & belief, knowing yourself, redemption, acceptance & intolerance & much more wrapped up in tale about medieval Europe. Impossible not to❤️Secundus & Boy. A good read.

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TracyReadsBooks
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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“...but how can one try to be normal? Normal is what somebody is.”

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TracyReadsBooks
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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This was one of those days when work kept getting in the way of more important things such as reading. I did manage to get over to the new Jeni‘s Ice Cream which opened two blocks from our house. It‘s at Wrigley Field and they have a baseball themed ice cream—Popcorn! Peanuts!—you can only get at this shop. (It was delicious!) Now, it‘s back to The Book of Boy which I‘m really enjoying. Reminds me a bit of The Inquisitor‘s Tale by Adam Gidwitz.

tessavi Popcorn peanuts icecream sounds good! 2y
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TracyReadsBooks
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Tamra Awesome cover 2y
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TracyReadsBooks
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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One more library book to preview before Spring Break. The cover and the title certainly draw the eye.

Melissa_J This sounds good. 2y
Jabberwocky Such a good looking cover! 2y
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