Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
This 2003 Newbery Medal winner was really a great read. The story takes place in medieval England. After his mother dies, the boy, Crispin, must flee his town because of a mysterious political intrigue that threatens his life.
On the road, he meets Bear, a juggler, political activist, and spy. Together, the two encounter dangers, and become as close as father and son. Crispin discovers his true identity and makes some big decisions.
Traveling the roads with Crispin, we learn a great deal about life in medieval times. Avi certainly did his research. Crispin: The Cross of Lead is a good book!