Monday, October 13, 2008

Newbery Picks

This week the book carnival over at 5 minutes for books is about the Newbery Award winners.

Children's Classics

I thought I'd just head over to the Newbery site and see which of the listed books I'd read. I started copying them down and... well, you can see the list below!

Needless to say, either my school librarians were really good at keeping these books on the shelf or they are just good books! I prefer to think it's the later since they have won or at least been honorable mentions.

I was surprised to find that this award dates back to 1922 and I have read one from 1929. Many of the more recent ones I've read compliments of my mother - a 5th and 6th grade teacher - either wanting me to preview books for her class or simply having it lying around her house! I'm a sucker for books! (you couldn't tell could you?) I also read a half dozen or so of these while doing my grad school program and student teaching.

Of all these books my favorite by far is 1994's winner - The Giver by Lois Lowry. We read this in my senior English class and it is one of my all time favorite books. I really should just buy myself a copy. It's about a fictional world - still earth - where "Big Brother" has completely taken over. It deals with euthanasia and loss of individuality and choice. I HIGHLY recommend it. Plus, it's a short book so you can read it easily. It would make a great book to read alongside your tween or teen and then discuss current world issues.

Lois Lowry's other book on the list that I've read is called Number the Stars. It's about a Jewish girl during the Holocaust. Also very thought provoking. I read this one as well as The Devil's Arithmetic (by Jane Yolen - and I think should be on the list as well) and The Diary of Anne Frank when there was a traveling exhibit in Portland about the Franks. I read all of these as a pre-teen and I think that was a good age - at least for me - to be aware of these things.

Of course, I have also read many of Madeline L'Engle's books and I highly recommend them, even if they're not all on this list!

I hope you will consider reading some of these you haven't. They're great reads for kids AND adults!

Newbery Award winners and honored books I've read:

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - 2006 honor

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park - 2002 winner

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis - 2000 winner

Holes by Louis Sachar - 1999 winner

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech - 1995 winner

The Giver by Lois Lowry - 1994 winner

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi - 1991 honor

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - 1990 winner

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - 1988 honor

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan - 1986 winner

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary - 1982 honor

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson - 1981 winner

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle - 1981 honor

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin - 1979 winner

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - 1978 winner

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor - 1977 winner

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIM by Robert C. O'Brien - 1972 winner

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - 1963 winner

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - 1961 winner

The Cricket In Times Square by George Selden, pseud. (George Thompson) - 1961 honor

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George - 1960 honor

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare - 1959 winner

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson - 1957 honor

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White - 1953 honor

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry - 1949 winner

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry - 1948 honor

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - 1942 honor

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder - 1938 honor

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink - 1936 winner

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly - 1929 winner


  1. OMG i thought i was the only person in the world who had read The Giver. My local book store had to search forver just to find it. I read this book in the 6th grade and feel in love with it. I have read it about 10 times since including one time most recetly. I fell in love with the characters and the plot. It truly is a great book and a good topic starter. Thank you for posting this about this book.

  2. Wow! You have a wonderful list there! I will have to visit that site if ever I'm in need of a good book and am stumped. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Yes, I too read most of the ones published in the 70's while I was in school (as well as most of the earlier ones you mentioned), but not the later ones. I need to read some of the Lois Lowry books definitely.

    We have a Books on Screen post coming up featuring the Devil's Arithmetic.

  4. Anonymous8:07 AM

    You are much better read than me, that's for sure but at the same time a lot of these are books I'd totally read given a bit of time. Great review!

  5. Love The Giver! We actually have a copy, thanks to my husband being an elementary school teacher.

    You should read The Tale of Despereaux (before the movie comes out), A Year Down Yonder (read A Long Way from Chicago first, though, for background), Out of the Dust, and Johnny Tremain (you haven't read this one before? I thought everyone had read this book.). These are some of my favorites that you hadn't already mentioned.

    We've read quite a few of the same books. They're all great reads!

  6. I loved the Giver... great book. :)

    You and I have read a lot of the same ones, although I haven't read the newer ones. :)

  7. I absolutely love Lois Lowry. The first book I read of hers was the Anastasia Krupnik series, then came The Giver (and sequels), and my favorite Number the Stars. Her ability to write so many different genres is amazing.

  8. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Ok. I have read Jacob have I loved, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Charlotte's Web, True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I actually completely forgot about that book until I saw your list, and now I remember how much I loved it and read it over and over.
    That and "Are you there God? It's me Margaret".

    Oy Vey.


Shower me with your wit, your wisdom, or your funny stories! And please leave an email address if you would like a reply.