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Adam of the Road

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Overview

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,...

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Overview

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.

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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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
The year is 1294; the hero, 11-year-old Adam Quartermayne, good-natured son of "Roger the minstrel." Shortly after the story opens, Adam has a joyous reunion with his father, who's been gone five months. Upon his return, (along with Adam's beloved dog, Nick), they set off on the road together. Life goes smoothly until Roger gambles away both money and horse to fellow minstrel Jankin. Things get even worse when Jankin steals Nick and Adam gives chase, losing Roger. Over a period of many months and miles, Adam goes it alone, searching for Roger and depending on strangers: "Adam knew why Roger said the road was home to the minstrel. It was because people were kind." Along the way, the reader gets a good feel for the time period and, by journey's end, Adam has found both father and dog once again. Although over sixty years old, Gray's story (like Avi's Crispin: The Cross Of Lead, another Newbery-winner recounting roughly the same time period) remains one that today's reader can relate to: "If [grown-ups] told you anything, they expected you to remember it forever… when you told them something half the time they forget it…" Engaging and beautifully written, Adam and his travels are worth the journey, but frequent use of words like "demesne," "villein," "reeve," and "hauberk" make me question the "Ages 8 and up" readership the publisher claims. The illustrations by Lawson (also a Newbery winner) are perfect, and their placement directly before the chapter creates a nice sense of anticipation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140324648
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1987
  • Series: Newbery Library, Puffin Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 140,867
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Lawson (1892-1957) received his art training at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. His favorite medium, pen and ink, is used expressively and with detail in his black and white illustrations inThe Story of Ferdinand (by Munro Leaf). In addition to illustrating many children's books, includingMr. Popper's Penguins, Robert Lawson also wrote and illustrated a number of his own books for children. In 1940, he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his picture book illustrations inThey Were Strong and Goodand in 1944, he was awarded the Newbery Medal for his middle grade novelRabbit Hill.

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Table of Contents

1 Adam 13
2 Nick 21
3 Roger 35
4 The Road 43
5 Going to London 55
6 A Blush of Boys 69
7 Jankin 83
8 Red in the Morning 95
9 Night in Westhumble Lane 109
10 Here, Nick! 125
11 Adam Swims the Wey 139
12 The Ferryman's House 149
13 Arrows in the King's Forest 163
14 Adam to the Rescue 177
15 St. Giles's Fair 193
16 "The Fall of Adam" 209
17 Adam Meets Some Minstrels 217
18 Hue and Cry 235
19 News of Roger 251
20 "What Have You Done with Him?" 265
21 Adam's Song 279
22 Adam Helps a Plowman 293
23 Loud Sing Cuckoo! 307
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It practicaly was a time machine.

    It had a rather absorbing story, but what i liked the best about it was that it really makes you feel like you are in the mddle ages. It helps you understand the life at that time, how different things were, but at the same time how unchanging feelings are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2008

    Why can't there be 0 Stars?

    Like the title of my review, I wish there could be 0 stars. I had to read this for a school assignment, and I litterally fell asleep reading this book! It was about this boy in medevil times being a 'minstrel', a terrible entertainer that tells stories and plays the harp, and he loses his father trying to find his dog [what a loser!] I wish Will Smith was Adam instead, it would be WAY better, funnier, and enjoyable!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book is about a boy name Adam, his dog nick and his father Roger. Adam and his father Roger are minstrels who basically live on the road singing and telling stories to people for money. His dog is a red spaniel and is Adam and Roger¿s only dog. and his father gambled and lost his horse to a guy named Jenkins. Then Jenkins decides he wants the dog more, so he kidnaps the dog. Then Roger and Adam set off to find nick, but have difficulties on the way finding him such as him losses his father and he his harp. And if you want to find out if he finds his dog and father, you have to read the book to find out. It is very suspenseful and full with adventure, which is why I would like to recommend reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    Worst/Slowest/boaringest book EVER!

    This was the worst book ever! I do not recomend this book to anyone. It dragged on. I can barely finish this book!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    Fun Book

    This book reminded me a lot of the Renaissance Festival. I couldn't put the book down it was so good! Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2005

    not much of an award winning book

    I didn't like this book at all. it was very boring and confusing. I started the book, but never finished it because I couldn't focus beacause it was so boring. I'm NEVER reading one of elizabeth gray's books again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    great book

    this is the kind of book i'm talking about. yes, iknow. it was a little slow at parts but very interesting and enjoyable. i'm not going to tell you about the book because you simply need to find out for yourself.great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    Truly Spectacular and Amazing!

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This is an amazing book and I flew through it. The adventures and trials that Adam faces are realistic and I felt as if I was inside the story. This book is definitley worth reading!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2005

    BAD BOOK!

    I hated this book, though I did write a summary.:Summary: Eleven-year-old Adam would like to become a minstrel, so he goes out to walk the roads with his father, Roger, who¿s also a minstrel. So they set off with Nick, Adam¿s red spaniel. They decided to go to London. While traveling they meet lots of interesting people, and do lots of interesting things. While traveling they somehow lost Nick. So they searched for him, but when they were done they had no luck finding him. Even worse was that now Adam didn¿t know where Roger was either. Adam was filled with fear and grief. He didn¿t know what to do now. A little while later he met some other minstrels. They accepted him into their group, and they said they were going to London. They were a different kind of minstrel than Adam was used to. They didn¿t have the nice living conditions that Roger had, and they could barely pay for food. Sometimes one of them used Adam¿s harp, but he wasn¿t very good at it. Adam didn¿t like the minstrels very much, but they were the only people he had to keep him safe, so he stuck it out. One night they were hunting in the king¿s forest, and one of the king¿s men saw them, so they ran very far, until they thought they were safe. They tried to ask an old friend to let them in, but he wasn¿t home and it was past curfew, so another guardsman caught them. They all scattered, but the guardsmen called all the people of the town into an angry mob. They weren¿t caught, but one of the other minstrels had run off with his harp, so he had almost nothing left. Adam went to Winchester to look for Roger. He saw a large crowd and thought Roger might be there, because he¿s a minstrel, and people gather around minstrels. So he climbed on a high wall to see what was going on. It wasn¿t Roger, but a play about Adam and Eve. He decided to stay and watch. He enjoyed the play, but soon he lost his balance and fell off the wall. When he woke up he was in a nice room with linen sheets and a linen bandage on his head. He was very dizzy, so he closed his eyes again. The next time he opened them there was a lady standing next to him. He recognized her from somewhere. Then he realized she was the person playing Eve in the play he was watching when he fell. The lady was very nice, and told him he shouldn¿t move until he was all better, and that he would stay with her and her brother, who played Adam in the play, until he healed. When Adam was feeling much better he moved out of the actors¿ house. He still needed to find Nick and Roger, and he didn¿t want to lose time. He went to the Saint Gilles Fair, and looked for Roger and Nick there, but there was no luck. Adam felt like he would never find his friends. At the fair he did run into the person who took Nick. He said the dog had chewed his leash, and he had looked all over for him but couldn¿t find him. He also said that if Adam found him he could keep him. He thought he knew where Nick would be, so he went there. Nick had been there, but Adam¿s friend Perkin had come to pick him up. He had taken him to Oxford. Eventually he found Perkin, who did have Nick. Now he just needed to find Roger. Adam continued home, and stayed there for a while. One day there was a knock at the door. Adam opened it and there was Roger. They were all happy to be together again, and they knew they wouldn¿t ever be apart again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2004

    An usual book

    Not very interesting but has some good parts. Later it has some adventure but not very fun or exciting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2004

    How did it win a Newbery Medal?

    In my opinion, Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray merely deserves 3 stars. It¿s a mystery how the book won the Newbery Medal award. Adam of the Road is a book about an 11-year-old minstrel¿s son named Adam who travels throughout England searching for his father Roger and his dog Nick. The story takes place back in the medieval times around London. Adam went to school at St. Albans. Adam was always bragging to kids at school about stories of his father the minstrel. He was constantly on the watch for his father¿s homecoming. One day, while Adam, his best friend Perkin, and his beloved dog Nick, were out playing in the field, they noticed a procession of carriages and horses coming down the road. As their eyes investigated every individual rider they noticed a familiar figure mounted atop a dappled, grey warhorse. Adam and Perkin, and even Nick were ecstatic to see that Roger had finally come home. The following morning, Roger gave Adam permission to come with him on his next journey. Roger and Adam both mounted Bayard, the minstrel¿s loyal warhorse, and Nick eventually learned to trail Bayard. Roger, Adam, and Nick traveled far and wide, singing and entertaining as they went. One night, as Adam was out swimming in a nearby stream, Roger, who was inside the pub, got carried away gambling. Sadly, Roger ends up losing Bayard to another, rival minstrel by the name of Janken. Janken soon realized that Bayard is so aged that he is worthless. In the middle of the night, Janken kidnaps Adam¿s red cocker spaniel, Nick, and runs off into the night. The last third of the story is about Adam¿s adventures through London, at first searching for his dog, but while doing that, he ends up losing Roger also. He encounters many new characters along the way. I think the book got a little long and mundane while Adam was searching for his dog and father. The 317 page story could have easily been well-written and enjoyable in less than 200 pages. While on his journey, I believe Adam learned about patience, loyalty, and how trusting the road could always result in a happy ending. Some other titles I would recommend are: Hatchet, Walk Two Moons, Frightful¿s Mountain, and Brian¿s Winter. As you can see, my recommended author is Gary Paulsen.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2002

    Great book!

    I like this book, compared to Catherine, Called Birdy it's great! It has great characters, all the trips they go on, it's just a fantastic book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2001

    Adam of the road

    Adam of the Road is a very adventourous story about a boy losing his dog and his father at the same time. So then sets out on foot to find them both. During his journey he comes upon many interesting poeple that help him while he is trying to find his good friend and his dog, Nick. In the end of the story Adam finds both his dog and his father and he's very happy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    A fun and exititing adventure for children.

    Adam of the road is such a good book, I could not put it down. You'll love the characters such as Adam of course, Nick, Roger, and Janken. Adam of the Road is a boy minstrel with an amazing voice. He is on a journey to find his dog, Nick. In the process of doing this, Adam managed to loose his father also. They soon find out that the person who stole Nick was a rotton gambler named Janken. Nick, Adam, and Roger all finally meet up and go on minstreling and finding a new adventure. The thing I most enjoyed about this book was that they go to so many different places and meet so many different people,(my favorite was the ferrymans house)...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    One adventurous and thrilling novel

    Adam is a menstrel as his father was.This novel is an exciting thriller for family of all ages.The book is mainly about his journey for his long lost dog, and his loving father. As he travels from town to town he meets many new and old faces along the way.You will enjoy this novel so much that you can picture every scene in your imagination.Adam of the Road is a medieval novel with great characteristics and personality, along with excitement.As he travels along the way he faces a great deal of danger and courage making efforts, and pride.I would recomend this novel to who ever not only enjoys reading, but people who love adventures and action packed excitement!!So will it end happily ever after or as a tragity.....Read it and you will find out how it turns out!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2001

    A minstrel's son travels throughout 1294 England.

    This book is a novel about an eleven-year-old son of a minstrel in the England of 1294. The boy, Adam Quartermayne, and his dog go on the road with his father. However, his dog gets stolen and Adam becomes separated from his father. The reader follows Adam as he searches for both his pet and his father. Children of ages 8 to 11 would probably enjoy this book which gives them a small glimpse of what life would be like in England during the Middle Ages. This wasnt my favorite book that i've read but it was alright. The book was the 1943 winner of the Newbery Medal for best contribution to children's literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    Adam Of The Road

    I think that the title explained alot about what the book was about. You can already tell that it is about a boy named Adam who travels on the road to find his father and his red spaniel named nick (dog). He meets many strange people and asked many strange questions. Every person that he talked to, he always seem to ask, 'have you seen a red spaniel and a man?'. Sometimes he got no answers and other times people told him yes and told him which way he saw the man and his dog going. Adam kept looking and looking for his father and his dog.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2001

    The #1 middle age book for children I have ever read.

    This book, Adam of the road, was so good, even I could not put it down, and I am a person that would not read everyday unless I had to.....WOW.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    Adam of the Road

    The book 'Adam of the Road' is about a boy in the Medieval times and he is a minstrel. A minstrel was a type of entertainer in the Medieval times. This book is a good book for people who are in to a type of quest. Adam is trying to rescue his stolen dog, and at the same time try to find his dad. The reason I think this book is a good book is because it almost can relate to the problems we have and the ways we use to solve it. But at the same time it has a Medieval twist to it and instead of a kid in schoos it is a boy minstrel, and instead of bullies taking things is it's a boy losing his dad and his dog, and last of all instead of telling a teacher it is the boy goes out and searches almost all of London and the other surrounding counties on foot. I really enjoyed this book and I hope to read more books that are similar to 'Adam of the Road.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    A walk through the Middle Ages

    Adam of the road is a great book that I am recomending to you. Reading Adam of the Road I learned a lot about what it would really be like to be in the Middle Ages. During the Course of the book, you will feel suspence, sadness, and adventure. Reading this book gives you information on the Middle Ages in a fun way. The events of this book are amazing. I recomend this book to anybody that loves adventure and likes to read a good book.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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