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Adam of the Road (1942)

by Elizabeth Janet Gray

Other authors: Robert Lawson (Illustrator)

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3,328254,009 (3.72)36
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.
  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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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
AR: 6.5
  ASSG.Library | Nov 21, 2023 |
Eleven-year-old Adam loved to travel throughout thirteenth century England with his father, a wandering minstrel, and his dog, Nick. But when Nick is stolen and his father disappears, Adam suddenly finds himself alone. He searches the same roads he traveled with his father, meeting various people along the way. But will Adam ever find his father and dog and end his desperate search?
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 23, 2023 |
A classic. Thoroughly enjoyed the story and narration.

FROM AMAZON: Eleven-year-old Adam loved to travel throughout thirteenthcentury England with his father, a wandering minstrel, and his dog, Nick. But when Nick is stolen and his father disappears, Adam suddenly finds himself alone. He searches the same roads he traveled with his father, meeting various people along the way. But will Adam ever find his father and dog and end his desperate search? ( )
  Gmomaj | Mar 6, 2023 |
I've owned this since I acquired it as a library discard when I was in junior high, and that's when I last read it. I'd really forgotten all details of the story.

This Newberry Award winner from 1943 follows Adam, an 11-year-old minstrel, son of a minstrel named Roger. As the book starts, Adam is being educated in an abbey, eager for his father to return from what is essentially a business trip to France. He loves his spaniel Nick and his harp best of all things in the world. When Roger returns, they set off on a road trip. Another minstrel steals Nick, and when father and son set off in pursuit, they are soon separated. Adam spends months on his own, meeting a variety of people around England in 1294.

Foremost, I was surprised by the wealth of medieval details worked into the book. Gray's research was immense, and she gracefully incorporates everything. This is also very much a boy's adventure book. Girls and women have almost no roles, and Adam regards all girls with outright disdain after one thinks cats are better than dogs. The ending feels weirdly tidy and abrupt. I do adore the Robert Lawson illustrations throughout--he's one of my favorite illustrators and authors of this period.

I don't think this is a book I need to keep on my shelf after thirty years, but it was good to read it again. ( )
1 vote ladycato | Mar 5, 2023 |
Adam is a young minstrel, son of a minstrel, in medieval England. He loves his father, Roger, his dog, Nick, and being a minstrel. We meet the characters and go along with them for a good third of the book before Adam becomes separated both from his dog and his dad. Nick is stolen, and in the chase to catch the dog-napper, he loses his father as well. The rest of the book is Adam's quest to find at least one, but preferably both members of his family. Each chapter is its own small adventure, and we definitely are given a view of the middle ages through heavily rose-tinted glasses.

I had mixed feelings about this one. Definitely enjoyed it more than most Newbery winners as old as this (1942 copyright), so it holds up better than some. Adam was a likable protagonist too. But the tale didn't seem have much of a point beyond just following Adam around England hunting for his father and dog. He didn't really learn any lessons, or become a better person. So, while an entertaining enough book, it felt sort of empty at the end. Enjoyable, but probably forgettable. ( )
  fingerpost | Dec 11, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Janet Grayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lawson, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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!
Dedication
First words
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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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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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.

Available online at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=t...
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