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Adam of the Road

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  7,555 Ratings  ·  322 Reviews
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 ki

Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 5th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published 1942)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I picked up Adam of the Road at a library sale several months ago for a dollar. As a Newbery Award winner in 1943, it was one of those books that I remember seeing frequently during my childhood but had never read. And it fits into one of the squares in my 2016 Classics Bingo card, so here we are!


Adam of the Road is the story of a couple of years in the life of a young boy who is a minstrel in training in England in the late 1200s. Adam’s father Roger is a quite successful minstrel who has left
Melissa (ladybug)
I loved this book. Yes, it started out slow and I didn't understand why Adam called his father Roger; but otherwise a very nice book. Adam does some growing up and learns about the world. The author really did her research on the details. I feel that I have really learned somethings about England in the 1200s - 1300s and I wasn't even trying.
Evan Hays
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A classic that I also read back in 3rd grade. All I really remembered was the excellent feel of the book, which makes sense now because that is the main takeaway. The plot is take it or leave it, and there are several characters who you would have liked the author to develop more, thus why it gets 4 stars. But for its portrayal of Medieval England it gets a high rank. For example, she works in details such as there was only one coin minted in England at the time, how it was fashionable to swear ...more
I read this because Katie's on a Newbery kick. Although here it says first published in 1973, it was actually from 1942, and it reads as such, but it's a nice little medieval story anyway. I found interesting the way Gray describes friendships between males - for instance, there's an innocence in the way Adam just earnestly loves his friend Perkin, with the two boys always walking arm in arm, sharing beds and doing anything for each other, that wouldn't as likely be written in that way in the cu ...more
The story of a dog and his boy...set in medieval England. This is a charming little book, if slow moving. Adam is the son of Roger the Minstrel. While accompanying his father around England, his dog Nick is stolen. He sets off in search of his dog, is separated from his father, and has an episodic series of adventures.

In the Newbery Project, there have been some really horrible books recently (I'm looking at you Daniel Boone and The Matchlock Gun). It's the second Newbery book that I've read so
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun coming of age story placed Medieval England. It gives a good picture of what life was like then- and not just for Adam, but for all the other people you meet along the way. At times the story and conflict seemed a bit slow. And then the conclusion came all of a sudden and resolved very quickly, which I didn't love. But it was a fun educational read. And it made you proud of Adam, just like his father.
Steve Shilstone
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This pleasant, easygoing tale set in late 13th century England describes the medieval life and times of a young minstrel looking to reunite with his dog and his dad.
Justine Carbo
Apr 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
i thought this book was horrible. i wouldn't reccommend it .
Aj Sterkel
The plot of this book would be a kid’s dream. The main character gets to wander around England and have adventures every day. That would’ve been my ideal life as a kid. (Well, maybe not the part where I’m cold, exhausted, and hungry. I was a wimpy kid. Still, NO SCHOOL!)

Adam, his father, and their dog are minstrels in thirteenth-century England. They earn a living by traveling around the country, entertaining people with songs and tricks. One night while Adam is sleeping, another minstrel steals
Deanna Anderson
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This title is a Newberry Award, but I was not familiar with it prior to today. It is about a young lad in England who is at a school until his father finishes Minstrel training. After five months at the school, he is reunited with his father and travels with him and his faithful dog, Nick. However, Nick is stolen and Adam soon loses sight of his father. The remaining book is Adam learning the hard truths of travel on the road, in addition to the goodness in people, as he searches for both his do ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Well, survived it. It really wasn't that bad, if you find minstrels and that whole lifestyle intriguing than you may enjoy it. It wasn't for me, but, at least it didn't have anything really cringe-inducing in it. You could safely recommend it to anyone, but, I'm not sure who would enjoy reading it.

Even the strictest parents shouldn't be able to find anything to object to in it. It's got plenty of little morals in it. Just not much fun to read unless you are really interested in that time period
Dana Bailey
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have had to exercise discipline in finishing some of these older Newbery winners but this one was so engaging I found myself looking for opportunities to pick it up. I even read a chapter to my three year old and she was just as engrossed as I was!
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent story of young Adam, a minstrel, and unobtrusively teaches much about life in 13th century England.
James Kennedy
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this is a really good book. I am surprised I didn't read it as a child.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really did not like this book. it was not very eventful, and very predictable. I do not recommend it.
Seriously, it took me so long to read it because I hated it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Martin
Definitely not the most exciting Newbery Medal winning book I've read, but still, worth reading for anyone who is dedicated to reading the entire Newbery list of books... in other words, people like me. Well, I read this quite some time ago - more than ten years ago - but still remember it. That speaks well for it, really. If I can't remember what a book was about, it didn't make much of an impression on me, right?

This book featured a young minstrel in training, Adam, who set off on a journey wi
Teresa Garrett
I try to read an older Newbery winner from time to time to see if they still have appeal to current students. I am excited to say Adam of the Road did not disappoint. Adam is a 12 year old minstrel who is traveling with his father around 13th century England. His father has recently joined a family as their private minstrel and life is looking up for both Roger, the dad, and Adam his son who is training to become a minstrel in his own right. They have a fine war horse: Bayard and a beautiful red ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery-books
“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.”

Adam is a young boy of eleven, spending his time in school while awaiting the return of his father, a minstrel of some repute, and t
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery, on-the-road
"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."

Adam is a young boy of eleven, spending his time in school while awaiting the return of his father, a minstrel of some repute, and t
Buddy read with Cary but I've sprinted ahead of her. Sorry!!

It's slways a nice break to read a Newbery book. Though I personally would not have read this had it not had the seal, I realized and was able to appreciate the fact that there really are all sorts of writing styles and at the end of the day it boils down to telling a good story and getting your message across. This was such a book. A simple story about a young lad's journey to finding himself and of making his own mark. It is also abo
Newbery Medal Winner--1943

This was a fun little tale of an aspiring minstrel and the adventures he has while on the road. He encounters many people along his journey, including knights, robbers, and scholars. He spend much of the time searching for his father and his dog, and finds himself in all kinds of trouble. A good adventure tale set in Medieval Europe, but too much description and not enough dialogue for me to really love it.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adam is the son of Roger, a minstrel. Roger and Adam head on the road to find places to sing and tell their tales. Through a series of events, Roger gets separated from his father and goes in search of his father. I found this a quick, enjoyable read with plenty of adventure as well as a wide assortment of characters.
Maria Moyser
I found this book so charming, and loved how it was set in England in the 1200's. Listed as a young adult book but I loved it as an adult and felt like I appreciated it even more from my current perspective.
Michael Fitzgerald
There's a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary in this - some of it is explained right there, but much of it is not. A good deal of it can be understood roughly due to the context, but I think a glossary would have been a very useful addition to this book.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book I read as a youngster that I purchased to share with my kids when they're a little older. But the other day I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer before reading it again myself!
Julie Harris
My son rated this. "Too... much... walking..."
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a classic, in more ways than one. For starters, the characters are realistic and enjoyable, and they represent their status in life admirably. Secondly, the detail to everything is amazing, but it's not going overboard (not like Les Mis, with pages and pages of description). It suits the narrator's personality, and he gives enough information so that I never miss a detail. Thirdly, THE SETTING. Guys, this is like reading from a history book, only WAY better. You really get a sense f ...more
L Frost
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery-winners
I'm trying to read all of the Newbery winners so this one from 1942 was a must. It sounded boring and dull at first. The idea of a book set in 1294 in England about a wandering boy wasn't interesting. But I can see why it won. It's a sweet tale of adventure. Unlike much of today's writing, there is no objectionable content. It's historical and introduces the reader to the world and life of that time. Although there is no huge surprise or major elements of suspense, it is well written enough to h ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Adam of the Road is a book about a young minstrel who is waiting for his father to come and visit even though he has not for a long time. When Adam's father Roger finally came, Adam left with him to go to serve the king for his daughter's wedding. Once the wedding ended, Adam and Roger went back home. They spent a night at an inn, where someone stole Adam's dog. When searching for the dog, Adam and Roger got split up leaving Adam alone. Now he has to search for both Roger and his dog.

This is a g
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Elizabeth Gray Vining began her distinguished writing career with children's books because she said "they enjoy their books so much, read and re-read them—which is satisfying to a hard-working author." Later she began to write for adults as well, and they, too, read and re-read her books. among the most popular of these books are Windows for the Crown Prince, The Virginia Exiles, Friend of Life, T ...more
More about Elizabeth Gray Vining