|Sold by:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|File size:||203 KB|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Scott O’Dell (1898–1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. Some of his many books include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, and The Black Pearl.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read this book many years ago as an adolescent and through the years carried a strange, bittersweet recollection of the story. Now that my daughter is nearing on that stage in her life, I thought I'd give it another read to see if she might like it only to discover that I am still susceptible to the rich, lyrical, historic beauty of Scott O'Dell's novel. This is the story of Francis of Assisi, as told through the enamored eyes of young Ricca di Montanaro, a fictional contemporary. Her story is not just the point of view for this historical novel, but the decadent substance of the book. Through Ricca we see in full color the vibrancy of 13th century Italy. The pettiness of the noble and merchant classes, the undercurrent of treachery in the church, and the breathtaking beauty of an already ancient landscape. At the beginning, Ricca and her friend, Clare, swoon over Francis Bernardone's playboy antics. But when Francis infamously strips naked in the public square and declares himself a mendicant for Christ, their paths diverge. Ricca's continued obsession with Francis disregards completely his devotion to peace, nature and God. Her jealously of Clare's burgeoning involvement with Francis's way of life is one of many clear illustrations of just how blind her 13 year old mind is to his commitment. Even a brief stint in an Italian convent cannot shake her conviction that Francis can and will change for her, if she can only prove her love. Soon, all of Italy is religiously obsessed: the Fifth Crusade has begun. The Road To Damietta is a journey that Ricca undertakes to follow Francis, and it ends in heartbreaking realizations for both of them. The notion that I could be as moved by this story as an adult as I was as a child is a clear indication of Scott O'Dell's master craftsmanship. As an adolescent Ricca was my best friend, my mirror, my secret identity. As a grown woman and mother, she is my daughter, my coming-of-age memories, my first heartbreak. The setting is as brilliant as any photograph and the story is a country road through it. But the characters are our portal into that world and they compel us urgently, faithfully, and beautifully to the end of that road.
I had a deep understanding of the book. That's how school really is in my life and know the feelings of Lexi Anderson.