When I was in 5th grade I aspired to reading every single Newberry Medal winner. I never succeeded, but I’m pretty sure I beat out everyone else in my class. The Trumpeter of Krakowhas been on my list for years; I never knew what it was about, but the title was always mysterious and intriguing to me.
Set in 1462 Poland, it follows the story of a boy and his family who are refugees from the Ukraine following destruction of their home by Tartars in search of a rumored treasure kept hidden for generations. We ultimately learn that it is the mythical Philosopher’s Stone–the holy grail of alchemists throughout history–which supposedly holds the secret to turning base metals into gold. Written mostly from the view of the fifteen-year-old boy, it’s an entertaining historical novel for kids (mostly boys) ages 8-12. There is plenty of adventure set against the backdrop of historical 15th century Krakow.