Adam of the Road written by Elizabeth Janet Gray, and illustrated by Robert Lawson
Winner of the Newberry Medal in 1943
A meandering wander through medieval Britain- written for children in 1943. I found this novel slow, but enjoyable. It appealed to me, as I was familiar with the geographical region where it was set- London and South West England.
The protagonist is a young boy- aged 11- Adam Quatermayne. This winsome young lad, undertakes a treacherous journey on foot, to find his father, and his canine companion Nick, from whom he was tragically separated.
Adam must endure difficult conditions on his journey. He is taken in by kind strangers, but often has to work in uncomfortable positions to earn his keep. Medieval Britain is not the most congenial atmosphere for an uneducated youngster, with frequent inclement weather. Adam makes valiant attempts to support himself. During his travels he has some frightening accidents. He even falls off a wall and sustains a head injury, and loses consciousness. The author highlights the lack of creature comforts poor Adam must endure, and the reader deeply longs for him to find safety.
This is a gentle book. It is one that may not be so appealing for young readers today- as the language can be a bit unapproachable. However, it is excellent for period study, and increasing vocabulary.