The Door in the Wall
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The Door in the Wall

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  6,923 ratings  ·  385 reviews
The bells clang above plague-ridden London as Robin lies helpless, cold, and hungry. The great house is empty, his father is fighting the Scots in the north, his mother is traveling with the Queen, and the servants have fled. He calls for help but only the stones hear his cries. Suddenly someone else is in the house, coming towards Robin. It is Brother Luke, a wandering fr...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 10th 1998 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1949)
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The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
44th out of 93 books — 2,052 voters
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Best Children's Historical Fiction
31st out of 479 books — 492 voters


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Community Reviews

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Patti Richards
This is a sweet and simple story of triumph over adversity in a time when answers to illness were rare, wars were plenty and commitment to duty often meant great sacrifice. Lots of hard lessons for a ten year old to learn in any time period and in any culture, but Robin learns his lessons well and in believable ways. The author is almost prosaic in her use of language as the story flows with a lovely rhythm and meter throughout Robin’s adventures. Her mastery of the medieval language structure a...more
MizziQ
HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! To clarify...HATED IT! Ok so I was willing...totally willing to give this dumb book a chance, what do I get? THIS! The kid got sick and because in that time there were very little cures for anything, especially serious illnesses, the kid is now a cripple. He is a brat. The book clearly states that. I can't remember whether directly or indirectly. But ANYHOW he is such a brat that he scares away anybody and everybody willing to help him or care for him...Oh yha and h...more
Michelle Isenhoff
I love a story with a wealth of meaning behind its words. This one is exemplary. Within, young Robyn’s father has left for the Scottish wars, his mother has gone to wait on the ailing queen, and Robyn awaits John-the-Fletcher who will escort him to the manor of Sir Peter where Robyn will serve as squire. But Robyn takes ill and loses the use of his legs, John-the-Fletcher never arrives, and the servants flee for fear of the plague that rages through London.

A monk named Brother Luke carries Robyn...more
Julie
I had to read this and do a book report on it in 5th grade (approximately). I remember it being the most dry, torturous book I'd read up to that point. I wonder what I'd think of it now?
Jill
Sep 22, 2010 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 10+
Shelves: newbery-medal
1950 Newbery Winner.

I liked this more than other Newberys set in the middle ages. I liked the writing more in Good Masters! but this was much more pleasant overall (for kids) and had less death and suffering...maybe it's not as true to the experience of living during that time but it's a good story to get kids interested in Medieval England. I'd have them read this before Good Masters!.

"The weather was neither rainy nor fair, neither hot nor cold, but somewhere in between, "as English weather...more
Laura
Marguerite de Angeli, you may remember, wrote The Skippack School which I recently reviewed.

The Story.

Robin should have been training with Sir Peter de Lindsay in the noble ways of knighthood. Instead, he is lying in London on a sick bed – crippled. Thinking that he would be joining Sir Peter soon, Robin’s mother, Lady Constance is serving the Queen, while his father is fighting with the king. Robin feels helpless and alone – what will become of him?

Praise be, a monk by the name of Luke takes hi...more
Ilona
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary: Robin, a young boy that is separated from both his mother and father, becomes crippled and loses the use of his legs. After being rescued by a friar and taken to St Marks, Robin learns his mind is a very powerful thing
Critique:
a. Area for comment: This book carries many themes but one that stands out is perseverance.
b. As a young boy being groomed to become a brave knight, losing his the use of his legs at an early age is hard to comprehend. To make things wors...more
Ryan Patrick
I think I understand why this won the Newbery, since the message of the book is a good one - with patience and hard work one can overcome great obstacles. However, for me, the book felt a bit flat. Not only were some of the characters a bit unrealistic (why does Brother Luke take such an interest in Robin?), but the historical background felt inauthentic (friars are not monks, for example) and often too generic (no date, the king is never named, etc.). The story itself plods along, and even the...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Robin, the son of a knight, is all set to set off for the home of a noble lord where he is to begin training as a page. Then tragedy strikes. Robin is beset with an illness that leaves him unable to walk. His servants come down with the plague and he is left alone. Just in time he is rescued by a monk who carries him to safety at a monastery, a monk who helps him find the door in the wall Robin needs to leave his castle home and the doors in the wall Robin needs to find in order to make his life...more
JohanaL CLC
The Door in the Wall is a short, sweet tale about a boy named Robin from the Middle Ages as he learns to accept his crippled state and become a hero against the odds. His wise mentors and insolent friends, modest adventures and meaningful life lessons all add to the charm of his story. This fast-paced little book includes key morals about opportunity, wisdom, acceptance, and patience. One small attribute of this book that I was not particularly fond of the was the old english language. It made t...more
Alicia
A great book, with an essential life-lesson. A boy, Robin, who becomes ill and loses the use of his legs has to re-think his life. A monk who come to his rescue teaches him that whenever you find a wall, follow it and there will be a door eventually. Robin struggles with impatience and frustration, but eventually he is a hero. The pace is slow and deliberate, and the author sets the scene beautifully.

I have three young boys and have been reading some boy-centric books to find some that are good...more
D.C.
A decent story, I suppose. But it is so torturously slow-paced that my mind wandered off so many times that I can't keep track of them all. I was left with many questions at the end. What sickness did Robin have? Why did he of all people go out to get help for the war? Why did it have to have such a cutesy-wrapped, unrealistic ending? The medieval language is terrifyingly accurate, and the pencil illustrations are gorgeous. But unless you really love slow-paced stories or medieval history, I wou...more
Nola
I picked this book up because it was suggested extra reading for my sixth grader, and found it quite enjoyable. A spoiled, selfish, rich child is brought by adversity, but ultimately learns the value of patience, hard work, and courage.

When a kind monk heard that young Robin is crippled and alone in a plague-infested city, he brings the boy to the monastery to care for him. There, he encourages the bed-ridden boy to tasks that require patience, something Robin clearly has little experience with...more
Lobstergirl
I didn't quite understand why this merited a Newbery Medal, but maybe the pickings were slim that year. The story, about a young boy living in medieval England who loses the use of his legs and is helped by monks until his parents come back from their courtly duties, reminded me of this comic strip:

Mary
Just before 12:30. I started this book in the late afternoon and finished a few minutes before half past midnight. I admit, I was inspired to the idea by my older sister, who stayed fearlessly up until two in the morning to finish a book. The thought sounded cozy and pleasurable, and in the course of trying to catch up on our Newberry Medal reading challenge, I decided I wasn't going to bed until "Door in the Wall" was behind me.
I remember reading this book when I was younger - and liking it. S...more
Wendy
I wanted to like this more than I did, but found I just couldn't click the 3-star button. The characters were all right, but I didn't find the story very engaging, there were hardly any female characters, and it was a bit message-heavy. As far as boy-in-medieval-times-Newbery-winners go... I preferred ADAM OF THE ROAD.
Lauren
You know those classic stories you read as a child, the ones that inspire you and stay with you long after the actual book has collected dust on the shelf? More often than not, these stories are not written with a unique structure or clever underlying themes. They are not overanalyzed by critics or literature lovers. And they are not filled with complicated characters or particularly profound ideas. Instead, these classics tell a story in a straightforward way simply because they have found a me...more
Maya CLC
I liked this book. The language was a bit challenging and their were a few words that we didn't get, but it was very good. This is great for lovers of historical fiction in the medieval period.
Cindy
I'm glad I stuck with this book as it has a wonderful moral. At first it just seems to be about a bratty boy/ son of nobility who is upset that he got sick and his legs don't work. After he goes to live at the monastery, the monks slowly help him get better in body and spirit. He finally gets to have a little adventure while traveling to his Godfather's house and then helps by slipping through a seige by the Welsh to get someone to help. May be a little slow for modern children but really worth...more
Soccerfields
Dec 04, 2008 Soccerfields rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: noone
Recommended to Soccerfields by: mom
DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! This is the worst book I've ever read in my whole entire life. If there was a zero star I would rate it a zero star. WARNING: DO NOT READ!


Debbie
Dec 30, 2013 Debbie added it
65 1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday)

7/31/13 124 pages

From the dust jacket: "Poor Robin has been crippled by an unknown malady. His father is a knith, away fighting the war with the king, and hismother isserving as the queen's lady-in-waiting. He is supposed to be a page for Lord Peter and on his way to knighthood, but he cannot even walk. His parents do not know how sick their son has gotten and all the servants have been stricken by the plague. A good monk arrives t...more
Holyhoneybucket
May 30, 2008 Holyhoneybucket rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to be tortured.
I took me six weeks to read what could have been finished in a night. I found it very slow and dull. Toward the end, I skimmed.
Peyton
A great book!! One of learining to move past life's bumps in the road, and learning to willingly forgive.
Jisun
IT WAS A BAD BOOK!!!!!!!!! DO NOT READ IT! IT WILL HAUNT YOU AND GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES!! >:(
Rachel Heffington
A very dear, very simple, very accurate little book. One I think every child ought to read.
Melekaloni Kailahi
This book was very interesting and worth listening to take advice. You can tell the author is a very descriptive person. When I read this I can really imagine the scene, but it had some pictures in it so I was able to compare my image to the book's images. This book is a very interesting book about a young boy who is sent away to be trained to be a knight just like his father, but he becomes very ill and looses the use of his legs. A friar helps him learn patience and life lessons. He also tells...more
Angela
Mar 14, 2008 Angela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are interested in Knights
Recommended to Angela by: James
This is a tail written in the time of knights. It is a classic and still remains one.
Ruth E.
1950 Newbery winner - author/illustrator Marguerite DeAngeli - The soty of 10 year old Robin the son of a Knigh who was off to the Scottish/English war and a mother who was caring for the ailing queen of England. He becomes ill with the results being his legs don't work. The plague was raging in London and the boy is left to survive on his own. He is rescued by Brother Luke and taken to the monistey at St. marks where he is nursed bck to health though he doesn't regain the use of his legs. He le...more
Andrea
Outline of a very interesting story executed in rather dull fashion.
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For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margueri...

There is an extensive collection of her works (both literary and artistic), letters, etc. at the Marguerite De Angeli Library, in Lapeer, Michigan. http://www.deangeli.lapeer.org/
More about Marguerite de Angeli...
Skippack School Thee, Hannah! Yonie Wondernose Marguerite De Angeli's Book of Nursery & Mother Goose Rhymes Henner's Lydia

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“A fine and beautiful life lies before thee, because thou hast a lively mind and a good wit. Thine arms are very strong and sturdy. Swimming hath helped to make them so, but only because thou hast had the will to do it. Fret not, my son. None of us is perfect. It is better to have crooked legs than a crooked spirit. We can only do the best we can with what we have. That, after all, is the measure of success: what we do with what we have.” 7 likes
“It is better to have crooked legs than a crooked spirit.” 5 likes
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