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Adam of the Road ebook

by Elizabeth Gray

"A road is home to a minstrel," Adam's father says. But the rough roads of early England were also home to bands of thieves and robber knights. Before their journey has hardly begun, Adam's beloved dog, Nick, is stolen and his father disappears. Adam is eleven years old, but he is determined to travel the road alone, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.
Adam of the Road is a gentle adventure. It's an adventure because eleven-year-old Adam wanders alone through fields, forests, and cities, in freezing weather, without adequate food or clothing or money. It's gentle because despite the actual and potential dangers and hardships of Adam's journey, the story is never really scary or upsetting. Sometimes impetuous and sometimes sweet, Adam has an unusual combination of courage and innocence. There are a few anachronisms - the service of Evensong developed some three hundred years after the time of this book - but I've seen similar anomalies in other writings from the mid-twentieth century. I think some details of history were just not as well known then, and anyway this does not detract from Adam's story. I liked Adam and wanted him to succeed, but I didn't feel close to him. I enjoyed the book, and I think for a children's book written in the 1940s it was quite an accomplishment.
Happy to find this book, one of my favorites from my childhood. I read it out loud to my adult daughter as we accomplished a long drive from the northern edge of the U.S. to the southern. She was impressed by the development of the story and the fleshing out of the characters. The author also did a wonderful job of bringing this period to life.
If you're a fan of "road books," (or, as they're more fancifully called, "picaresques"), then ADAM OF THE ROAD should be in your to-be-read pile. The 317 pages -- seemingly too many for a kids' book -- turn like some book in a spring breeze thanks to the ease of its style and the friendliness of its young protagonist, 11-year-old Adam. The boy, a minstrel like his father, Roger, is thoroughly modern in that he loves adventure, dogs, showing off, and being in the thick of the action. This last trait will serve the reader well once Adam gets separated from his father and sees his dog, Nick, snatched. While searching desperately for both, Adam meets all manner of medieval folk, kind and surly, rich and poor, through the rest of the novel. Meanwhile, author Elizabeth Janet Gray embeds details of everyday life in England back then, especially the ins and outs of minstrelsy.

It's hard to believe that young readers would object to such an accessible book, but if it's assigned in class, the length and the slow start (typical of older books, where exposition at a book's beginning was de rigueur) may prove two strikes against it from the get-go. A teacher should also take time to introduce it, share some background information on the history and vocabulary, and finally get it off the ground with some spirited dramatic reading. With all that, I see no reason why kids would NOT enjoy Adam's vicarious friendship as he wanders about England on his quest. Really. It's old-school charming and fun, the type of book we adults read and say, "How did I miss THIS as a kid?" Luckily, for the young at heart, books can take you back to the halcyon days with the greatest of ease. Recommended.
Glad to have found this book again. I enjoyed it as a child. A fun view of medieval life from the perspective of a young minstrel, who encounters people from all walks of life while searching for his lost father and stolen dog.
In good shape and clean
We are a home schooling family and my son is 11. He is taking an online Writing class and this is one of the books he was required to read. Out of all the books he has read in this past year, this one was his very favorite. An easy and fun read filled with adventure. I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend The King's Shadow.
Good book, classic story, a little slow and dry for modern kids, but they enjoy it once they get into the story.
I like that it in low reading ability and high interest level. It is about the Middle Ages, which appeals to this group of students.
Adam of the Road ebook
Elizabeth Gray
EPUB size:
1939 kb
FB2 size:
1172 kb
DJVU size:
1416 kb
Scholastic (1970)
Other formats:
lrf doc mobi lit
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