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Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray

Adam of the Road (1942)

by Elizabeth Janet Gray

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1,585184,599 (3.61)23
  1. 10
    The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli (infiniteletters)
  2. 00
    Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman (gatheringofleaves)
    gatheringofleaves: Both books deal with being a teenager in the middle ages, but from different perspectives, a boy minstrel and a girl from a wealthy family.

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A pleasant jaunt through medevil England with a young minstrel and his beloved dog, Nick. Children may have enjoyed learning about this time and imagining what it might have been like for a boy walking all over England, playing for his food and bed. Not sure though if it would be enjoyed today. ( )
  GReader28 | Aug 8, 2016 |
Even though, as a child, I tended to avoid Newbery books, and even now am really not a fan of historical fiction, I did enjoy this several times then, and again this time, for Dec. 2015 Newbery: GR Children's Books. ?One thing that struck me this time was just how old the setting for this is. ?á Way before Shakespeare! ?áMy other observations/ book darts this time:

"If thou has a sorrow,
Tell it not to thy foe,
But whisper it to thy saddle-bow
And ride forth singing."

And I think some of the tidbits of history are fascinating, as at an inn: "Minstrels.... Good. I'm not ready to sleep and we can't read unless we pay for candles."

And there's humor. A self-important little girl named Agnes prompts Adam to think: "Her name meant lamb of God... but to Adam she was just a silly sheep, and not a sheep of God either."

And since Candlemas Day is Feb. 2, is this the origin of the Groundhog Day tradition?

"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight."?á " ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A book for history lovers, adventurers, and even some musicians out there, Adam of the Road takes you back to a time when mistrals entertained. Life on the road brings both good and bad, which seem to happen in equal measure within these pages. Overall strangers seem helpful, maybe overly helpful at times, but there are a few out there that Adam learns to be wary of. There is enough travel to make this a real journey through 13th century England and enough plot to keep a reader following along from home without really realizing where they are. An excellent choice for young readers who wish to live in the days of old. Certainly deserving of the Newbery Honor it received. ( )
  mirrani | May 4, 2014 |
It's a very long time ago that I read this book -- I was probably no older than the 11-year-old hero. I'm slowly reading all the Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, backwards in time, so eventually I'll be rereading it. I remember enjoying it very much as a child. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 14, 2013 |
I liked it, my kids not so much. It's an older book so rather slow-paced by today's standards. I enjoyed the glimpse it gave into 13th-century life in England. ( )
  TnTexas | Apr 1, 2013 |
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The road runs straight up hill and down, Beyond the bridge and mill wheel brown, Through field and forest, dale and town- But here stay I. Wayfarers pass with never a care, They walk or ride, or stand and stare, Meeting, no doubt, adventurers rare- They pass me by. Under the sky the birds fly free, squirrels and foxes have their glee, Free as air is the humble bee- I can but sigh. Matins to nones the bell does Dong, From nones again to evensong, Latin and prayers the whole day long- I think I'll die. I want to sing and jump and run, Mile on mile in the wind and sun, Sleep somewhere else when day is done- But here I lie. The cuckoo now has changed his tune, Each passing day leaves less of June, Roger, sure, will be coming soon- Away we'll fly!
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After a May as gray and cold as December, June cam in, that year of 1294, sunny and warm and full of birds and blossoms and all the other happy things the songs praise May for.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014032464X, Paperback)

Awarded the John Newbery Medal as "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children" in the year of its publication. "A road's a kind of holy thing," said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. "That's why it's a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It's open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it's home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle." And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father's words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen and Roger had disappeared and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.

Here is a story of thirteenth-century England, so absorbing and lively that for all its authenticity it scarcely seems "historical." Although crammed with odd facts and lore about that time when "longen folke to goon on pilgrimages," its scraps of song and hymn and jongleur's tale of the period seem as newminted and fresh as the day they were devised, and Adam is a real boy inside his gay striped surcoat.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The adventures of eleven-year-old Adam as he travels the open roads of thirteenth-century England searching for his missing father, a minstrel, and his stolen red spaniel, Nick.

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