The story of an orphaned boy in search of his identity in 14th-century England has won the top honor in children's literature from the American Library Assn.
Avi's "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" was awarded the 2003 Newbery Medal on Monday. Eric Rohmann's "My Friend Rabbit" won the Caldecott Medal for children's book illustration.
"Crispin," aimed at junior high school readers, is a coming-of-age adventure layered with historical detail. "My Friend Rabbit" is an illustrated story about a good-intentioned but trouble-causing rabbit.