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The Road to Damietta
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The Road to Damietta

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Rich in the atmosphere of thirteenth-century Italy, The Road to Damietta offers through Ricca di Montanaro’s eyes a new perspective on the man who became the famous Saint Francis of Assisi, the guileless, joyous man who praised the oneness of nature and sought to bring the world into harmony. “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace,” he said. “Where there is hatred, let ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 25th 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 1985)
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Jan 21, 2016 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-uns, ya, historical
I think I was eleven or twelve when I read THE ROAD TO DAMIETTA for the first time. I was in the middle of a serious Scott O'Dell binge and had just moved back to the States after living in Italy for a few years. So it had the added attraction of taking place in that country I loved at a time when I was having a fair bit of trouble transitioning back to the American culture and pace of living. I'd already burned through Sarah Bishop, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Serpent Never Sleeps, The Spa ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Kara rated it it was ok

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Oh Poor Ricca. Oh poor little rich girl Ricca. And I mean that sincerely. Poor girl, she’s in love with a living saint – and those types of stories never end well. Someone who has heard The Call is not going to notice if someone is in love with them.

We follow the story of Saint Francis of Assisi from the outsider perspective of a young noblewoman (girl, really) whose had everything she’s ever wanted handed to her on a silver plate and is more perplexed than anything els
Jose Phin
Jun 05, 2015 Jose Phin rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2009 Brooke rated it liked it
Completely new and refreshing subject-matter from the last book I read, but that tends to be the case. Having only been a distant observer of the folklore and life of St. Francis of Assisi, I look forward learning more and experiencing it from a woman's narrative.


Neat book. Ricca's love for Francis can be inspiring at times, but at other times the plot became very unbelievable and I couldn't really follow her emotions. I was genuinely surprised at the amount of freedom of choice she ha
Martina Villarreal
Sep 22, 2010 Martina Villarreal rated it it was amazing
For those readers who were surprised at the cover not being so innocent, its good to remember that Scott O'Dell himself did not think of himself as a writer of children's books. When I was in college doing research on this author for my children's literature class, my research actually said that he thought of himself as a writer of novels which children just happen to read. I think this is a distinct difference worth remembering. After all, how many books for children mention orgies (Ricca says ...more
Trixie Fontaine
Outstanding; I'm so glad I ran across this book that I'd never HEARD of before and wouldn't have bought if it weren't for vaguely recalling how hard Island of the Blue Dolphins rocked. I'm not someone who's into reading about saints or the crusades or Italy or any of that; it's just a frank, well-researched story of a girl's infatuation that doesn't resemble any other cliched overtold version of same. Pulls in so many provocative issues (but in a simply-told, objective way) but most of all is ...more
Rick Edwards
Sep 25, 2011 Rick Edwards rated it liked it
My daughter and I enjoyed reading this together. It offers an utterly contrarian portrait of Francis of Assisi, narrated by Ricca di Montanaro, a young woman of Assisi. Ricca carries the torch for Francis Bernardone from before his religious conversion. She nurses her unrequited love and continues to pursue him through many challenges, perhaps saving his life in Egypt during the fifth crusade where he walks through enemy lines to propose peace to the Muslim commander. The story is well told, and ...more
Maya Rock
Jul 21, 2007 Maya Rock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Shades of Gone With the Wind. Rich teenage girl who is a good illuminator in medieval or Renaissance Europe is in love with St. Francis of Assisi, before he is a saint, follows him around, realizes she should really be in love with her hot Muslim tutor who knows the stars. But it's too late.
Jan 14, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
Okay where do I start... alright with our main character it's safe to say i did not like her. She was foolish and irresponsible chasing after Francis. I felt bad for him because she was chasing after him. There were times where i enjoyed it and times were I didn't it did show how the new Crusade affected Italy and how Francis of Assis got his start and how his life transpired.
Feb 26, 2008 Ashley rated it did not like it
Well...this was kind of a strange book. Girl is in love with wild boy. Wild boy turns into a monk. Girl won't give it up. Girl never gets anywhere with boy. Girl ends up learning that the world doesn't revolve around her. So it has a good moral, but it's definitely not one that I'd give a shout out for.
Nov 17, 2009 Hilda rated it liked it
This was a pretty good tale about Saint Francis of Assisi, and of Ricca the young woman who became enamoured of him from their child-hood days up until his death.

The more Ricca professed her love for Francis the more he professed his love for Christ!
Dec 16, 2009 Jenn rated it liked it
Shelves: my_youth
I remember this book getting me interested in historic fiction as a young girl (5th/6th grade or so). The suggestive cover is strange to see, since the book is about a trip taken by St. Francis of Assisi. Perhaps there is an aspect of the book that was lost on me....
Sep 06, 2008 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of my O'Dell favorites-- an insightful, unique view of St. Francis of Assisi. Although O'Dell is a young adult author, this story is is filled with mature themes, and I've enjoyed re-reading this book several times as an adult.
Jul 11, 2008 Rebecca rated it did not like it
The book was written to portray St. Francis of Asissi through the eyes of the heroine, who was consumed by a kind of love for him. I did not consider the book, and the actions, views and motives expressed to be edifying at all. If you want to read about St. Francis, look for another book.
Ricca falls in love with Francis and follows him almost everywhere he goes, a novel way to learn about the personality and faith of St. Frances as he lives out his faith in the world in which he lives.
Nov 09, 2012 Viktoria rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Every girl should read it. It talks about this italian girls life, the boy she loves, her adventure to an entire different country just for her love.
good historical fiction! fantastic, actually. I learned a lot, just because I don't know my world history so well. but it was a very enjoyable read!
Rachel Noffke
Oct 04, 2008 Rachel Noffke rated it liked it
Well written, but I couldn't identify with the main character. She just didn't get it! If it had been written from Clare's point of view I would have liked it more.
Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2012
Jenn rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2015
Kelly rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2015
Eva rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2013
Theresa rated it did not like it
Jul 11, 2009
Gabbie Davis
Gabbie Davis rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2012
Potnia rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2013
Adi rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2009
S rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2011
Anne Osterlund
Anne Osterlund rated it it was ok
Apr 17, 2009
Nora rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2011
Hannah rated it it was ok
Oct 17, 2014
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Scott O'Dell (May 23, 1898 – October 16, 1989) was an American children's author who wrote 26 novels for youngsters, along with three adult novels and four nonfiction books. He was most famously the author of the children's novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal as well as a number of other awards. Other award winning books by O'Dell include The King's Fifth ...more
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