Title: Adam of the Road
Author: Elizabeth Gray
Major Themes: Chivalry, England, Knights, Minstrels
Synopsis: When Adam finds himself separated from his minstrel father, Roger, he travels around England searching for him.
Adam is attending school at the Abbey of St. Albans, being taught by the monks. Together with his best friend Perkin, he visits his dog Nick, who is boarded at a local widow’s house. When his father, the minstrel Roger returns, however, Adam is overjoyed to be able to go on the road with him. Together they ride Roger’s new warhorse to London with the de Lisle family, Roger’s patron. There, Adam learns many of the skills the young boys who belong to the house are learning, skills used by the squires and knights. Trouble begins, however, when the minstrels are all paid after a wedding and Roger is lured into gambling away his horse. Their troubles grow worse and worse as Nick is stolen and Roger and Adam lose each other. Adam travels from place to place across England, searching for both his father and his dog, but the quest seems hopeless. Will they ever be reunited?
Adam of the Road is a great introduction to the role of minstrels in the Middle Ages. In our day, with books so plentiful, and radios, television, and online entertainment available at the flip of a switch or tap of a cursor, we don’t think about the way things were at one time. Back in the 13th century, when Adam and Roger were traveling around England, the only way most people would ever hear a story or song was from a minstrel. This is also a glimpse into the way knights were trained, and the vast differences in life between the lower classes and the nobility. I am glad that Sonlight Curriculum uses Adam of the Road, so I remembered to read it to my boys. This is a great story!
WARNING: Chapter 6 depicts boys swearing by St. Simon and St. Hugh.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15