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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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1,457175,137 (3.66)18
  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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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 |
Adam of the Road
This books starts off with a boy named Adam. It takes place in the year of 1294. Adam lives in the town of St. Alban, he lives in a school for boys. His dad left him a long time ago and Adam has been waiting for his return ever since. Adam always brags about how his dad is a minstrel. This is one of the richer people in the town. Adam always dreams of how his dad is going to come back for him. Adam also has a dog, the dogs name is Nick. Then one day Adams dream comes true. After the first night with His dad Rodger they head for London. At one of the inns that they stay at Adam sleeps really hard and when he wakes up nick is gone. No one is saying who took him but then finally someone told them who took him, the mans name is Jankin. After they find this out they go searching for him. They were on there way to guidford. Once they got there they went directly to the castle. Once they got there Adam spotted Nick and Jankin. So he went running after them but so did Jankin and Nick went running as well. Then Jankin and nick got onto a ferry but Adam had to swim across the river. But he did not get to them. So now Adam and Rodger are split up and his dog to. So now Adam is going after Nick because he figures that Rodger is going after nick as well. Finally one day Adam runs into Jankin but not Nick. And Jankin tells him that he chewed threw his leash and someone has him. So Adam goes and he gets nick back but on the way he is asking around for Rodger, his dad. Once he gets nick back the search is on for his dad. Then he finally finds him.
  whitejasper | Jan 16, 2012 |
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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)

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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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