Miss M and I just finished Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray as a bedtime read aloud. I added “Adam” (the 1943 Newberry Award winner) to our read aloud list for the year to correspond with our history studies. However, I didn’t quite move it to the top of the list soon enough. We passed by the 1200’s in history at least a couple months ago.
Adam of the Road follows the journeys of Adam, the son of a minstrel and a budding young minstrel himself, in late 13th century England. Adam travels first with his father and dog, and then alone, as his two traveling companions are lost. The first several chapters of the book are interesting, but not “page turners” so to speak. Once father and dog are lost, the excitement level of the story picks up, and there were several nights when Miss M and I read two, three or even four chapters in our excitement to find out what Adam would discover on the road as he searches for his lost loved ones. Adam is forced to be resourceful and self-sufficient as he travels the English countryside alone.
I really appreciated the attention to details on all aspects of Medieval life in this book. Many real places and historical figures are woven into the story. The various characters that Adam meets in his journeys are from all across the social spectrum of the middle ages: nobles, members of the noble household, merchants, men and women of the church, farmers and minstrels less honorable than himself. As I have noticed with several books we’ve read this year, you really could use this book as a springboard for further history studies. As it was, it served as a nice review of this time in history for us.
I’m linking up with Read Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word: