The Door in the Wall

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NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1950

The Door in the Wall

by Margeurite de Angeli

Age: 9+

Interests: history, medieval history, British history, knights, castles, religion, overcoming physical handicaps

Doubleday: 1949

121 pp.

Also by this author: Henner’s Lydia, Yonie Wondernose, Bright April, Black Fox of Lorne

Next: Adam on the Road, The Trumpeter of Krakow

Young Robin’s plans to receive a knight’s training are abruptly derailed when he becomes ill and loses the use of his legs. His father and mother happen to be away in the service of the King, and Robin finds himself alone as the bubonic plague sweeps through his town. Taken in by the kindly Brother Luke, Robin adjusts to life in a monastery. He learns to get about on crutches and slowly overcomes his anger and depression to become a kinder, gentler soul. And when the castle is under seige, Robin is the only one able to slip out and fetch help. He succeeds and returns in time to watch the battle from the church tower. Robin is rewarded by the King, but more importantly his father and mother return, happy to see their son and proud of his accomplishments.

“Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.”

This book is a heartwarming tale of overcoming adversity. At the start Robin is more handicapped by his own self-pity and anger, and his gradual change of perspective thanks to the selfless deeds of Brother Luke and others is well told. Details of daily life in medieval times are also interesting. If your reader is an action fan however, they may find this book slow and uneventful, save for the battle at the end.

(this title available at amazon.com)

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.