I’ve been working on reading my way through the books that have been awarded the John Newberry Medal Award. The books that have won the award are really varied and have made for fun reading. Below, you can find links to my reviews of each book (organized in 20 year chunks) as well as a list of my favorites from the time period.
My favorites so far: A Single Shard (for some reason I LOVED this book), Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
There are a couple of books that have been favorites for a long time: The Hero and the Crown (which I fell in love with in college and have read a number of times since), Jacob Have I Loved and Sarah, Plain and Tall. Some others that I discovered: Shiloh, Dear Mr. Henshaw (how did I miss this one when I love Beverly Cleary?), Lincoln: A Photo Biography, Missing May, Walk Two Moons, and Bud, Not Buddy. Really, this set of award winners has lots of gems.
Even though I still have a few to read in this batch, there are some of my favorite childhood novels in this group: Island of the Blue Dolphins (which a teacher read aloud to us in 4th grade – and I read by myself in a Las Vegas library when our car broke down there), A Wrinkle in Time (which I have read again and again, along with its sequels – my first introduction to science fiction), From the Mixed-up Files … (it captured my imagination to read of kids running away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and it was the winner the year I was born!), and The Westing Game (which I loved trying to figure out as a kid). And I’ll never forget my first experience with The Bridge to Terabithia – it was the first book I read where a main character died. I was amazed that a book could make me cry. Some others that I discovered through this project and loved: It’s Like This, Cat, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and Julie of the Wolves. Can’t wait to see what else there is in this batch!
Some of my favorites: Johnny Tremain – this is a good one to read to kids, particularly because it is history that is so relevant to the freedoms of America, The Twenty-one Balloons – because it is so outrageously fantastical, Miracles on Maple Hill – I loved the themes of family and healing, The Wheel on the School – just a lovely, quiet story of community, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch – another excellent historical look at the early days of the United States and the power of perseverance.
My favorites include: The Dark Frigate, Smoky the Cow Horse, Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze, Caddie Woodlawn (a favorite from childhood), Roller Skates, and Thimble Summer.