Rereading: BIG JOHN’S SECRET by Eleanore M. Jewett

Thirteenth century England is torn by strife under the rule of King John, and one teenage boy, also named John and large for his age, knows he is somehow connected to that strife, though his guardian, a healer named Old Marm, won’t tell him who his father was. Young John works as a serf on the lands of Sir Eustace, but when he helps another visiting knight, the Earl of Warenne, he’s chosen to be a page in Warenne’s company. John is thrilled, and brings the sword Old Marm has saved for him, and the ruby necklace that she tells him will confirm his parentage if he ever finds his father.

Life in the Warenne castle is sometimes difficult, but John perseveres, and is chosen to go on a Crusade to the Holy Land with Warenne and other knights and their companies. There he gets word his father may be a prisoner of the Saracens, and he’s determined to find him, no matter the cost. A new friend, Francis of Assisi, may be able to help.

I enjoyed rereading this, though it’s not as good as my favorite Jewett book, “The Hidden Treasure of Glaston.” The illustrations by Chapman are excellent. Recommended.

Big Johns Secret by Eleanore M Jewett

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