I made it to the 50’s! I don’t know what I was expecting, but when I picked up the book and glanced at the cover, I knew is was no Leave it to Beaver.
This book is only 120 pages long, but it is a looong 120-pages. I usually enjoy a good medieval setting, but not a whole lot happens until the end. The main character, a whiny 10 year old son of a lord, gets polio (At least, I’m pretty sure it’s polio. It’s not named since they didn’t know what it was back then.) and as a result, he learns how to read, write, work with wood and play music because he can’t really do much else. I did appreciate the premise that a lot of good can come out of something terrible like polio. If he hadn’t gotten sick, Robin probable would have continued being a little spoiled jerk and would have grown up to be a pretty terrible lord. Even though the novel is short, you can see him change throughout the story. By the end, he’s a pretty likable character, and you find yourself wondering at what point in the book it actually happened. That takes some artistry on the part of the author.
Speaking of artistry, the illustrations in this book were pretty magnificent. You can tell that a lot of time-consuming work went into the tiny details
The Door in the Wall isn’t my favorite Newbery winner, but it’s definitely not my least favorite.( The wasn’t a whole lot of American competition. Narnia was going on over in Britain, but wasn’t eligible) It has a really good, optimistic message without being preachy at all.
I give it three out of five Newbery Pies
ps. Did anyone else notice Geoffery in the book? I’m pretty sure that kid grows up to be Chaucer, but I couldn’t find anything online to back that up.
Next up: Ginger Pye. (Jake and I already covered Amos Fortune, the 1951 winner, last summer.)