by Kathryn Erskine
Grades 6 -9, 352 pages, available as audio
Some kids get off to a rocky start – no question.
A young, medieval archer is determined to prove to his father that he can be independent despite his misunderstood condition of albinism compounded by asthma and the cruel prejudice of his small village. Twelve-year-old Adrian who takes on the name Badger, follows his friend Hugh into battle against the pagan Scots hoping to return him to his family. The story is fast paced with many twists, fascinating characters, and the lead character himself, who is not always so likeable. Badger has much to learn, and these lessons are bitterly difficult. There is some mild language and understated references to prostitution and violence. Erskine’s treatment of war made this novel a superlative read for me. This book is a keeper, for sure!