by Eleanore Jewett
Mystery surrounds the young peasant boy known as Big John. Raised during the strife-filled days of the reign of King John of England, his life is one day changed when a knight says, in passing, You remind me of someonesomeone I once knew and loved. It is from Old Marm, the herb woman, that John understands that injustice has been done his family. Though never telling him the family name lest he unwittingly betray himself, she does all she can to prepare him to one day reclaim his name and family honor. Then Old Marm dies, and John is left without a clue to his identity. In the next years Johns unusual size and strength and the knowledge he has gained of letters and of the art of healing earn him a place as page to an earl organizing the 5th Crusade. In the Holy Land John searches for a father he hopes is living still. Amidst battle, capture and setbacks, Johnnow a squire to a Knight Hospitallerencounters Francis of Assisi, who had come to the Holy Land just at this time to preach the Gospel to the Saracens. It is another meeting that changes the course of Big Johns life. .
Location: Europe, England , Asia, Holy Land
Time Period: High Middle Ages (1000-1300 A.D.) , Crusades
Age 10 and up