Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Door in the Wall (MG)

The Door in the Wall. Marguerite de Angeli. 1949/1990. Random House. 128 pages.

Robin drew the coverlet close about his head and turned his face to the wall. He covered his ears and shut his eyes, for the sound of the bells was deafening. All the bells of London were ringing the hour of Nones. St. Mary le Bow was nearest, St. Swithin's was close by, and not far away stood great St. Paul's. There were half-a-dozen others within soun, each clamoring to be heard. It seemed to Robin as if they were all inside his head screaming to be let out. Tears of vexation started to his eyes, but he held them back, for he remembered that a brave and "gentil" knight does not cry.

This is my first time reading this Newbery winner. It's not a title I would have been drawn to as a kid, much like Adam of the Road, but I am glad I read it as an adult.

Robin, our hero, is all alone. His father is fighting in a war; his mother called to serve the queen. He was supposed to become a page and begin his training to be a knight, but, an illness left him weak, unable to stand or walk. A compassionate monk, Brother Luke, saves him from an uncertain (at best) fate--for his caretaker, his nurse, falls ill with the plague. Robin begins to heal and begins to learn. He learns to read and write. He is strengthened by swimming. And then there's the whittling. (Exciting stuff.) The book chronicles his journey through these dark and sometimes dangerous times. Readers get a glimpse of the Middle Ages.

The Door in the Wall is a pleasant enough read. While I didn't find it the most thrilling book ever, not even the most thrilling book ever set during the Middle Ages, I didn't find it painful either. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

You might also be interested in: Adam of the Road, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Crispin: At The Edge of the World, Crispin: The End of Time. Not to mention Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schiltz.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Charlotte 8:15 PM  

This was one of the books that I checked out on the first visit to the library near my grandma's house every summer--I loved it so much back then. But as an adult, it seems weaker...

Brambling Editors 9:07 AM  

"There are worse ways to spend an afternoon."
Hmmm .. I may pass on this one.

JD

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP