Despite my abhorrence of Newbery medal winners, I have read one or two by accident. This is another one, and while most have been awful, I'm forced to conclude that older Newbery winners are infinitely better than the more recent ones in that they're far less pompous and pretentious and therefore make for a better read.
This one, which won in 1950, was short - which helps when it's a Newbery - and educational. Set in the middle ages with a very small cast, it features young Robin, who is expected to become a knight like his dad, but who suffers some sort of debilitating disease which robs him of the use of his legs, and of which he only regains limited re-use over time.
Derailed from his life plan, and ending up at a monastery after scaring away his helper with his unappreciative behavior, Robin eventually finds strength in other pursuits such as reading, swimming, and wood carving, eventually moving on to build a harp.
The language in the book is period, but the wrong period. Most kids won't know the difference, however, and it has to be rendered intelligibly, let's face it! It's read amiably by Roger Rees, and the book is educational, so I consider it a worthy read despite being handicapped with the taint of a Newbery.