A Surprising Newbery Award Book

A picture book won the Newbery medal this morning!

The American Library Association announced awards this morning for the most distinguished children’s books.

The criteria for the Newbery award is as follows: “The Medal shall be awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year.”

We are used to the award going to a novel (which we call chapter books in the children’s room).

Newbery AwardThis year it went to a picture book!  I was particularly surprised because there were some outstanding novels this year.

I bought this book as a Christmas present for my grandchildren, because I love it so much.  The nana is a great, unforgettable character.  I should read this book daily to begin to look at the world through her eyes.

Last Stop on Market Street was also awarded a Caldecott honor award for illustrations.  The author did not do the illustrations, so it was lovely that both the author and illustrator were acknowledged by 2 different committees.

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The last time that an author and illustrator won the Newbury medal and a Caldecott honor for the same book was in 1982.  A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: poems for innocent and experienced travelers by Nancy Willard with illustrations by Alice and Martin Provensen.


Newbery Honor books this year:

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Two colleagues and one child tried very hard to get me to read this book.  I tried, but I got too sad at the beginning.  Perhaps I will try again.


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Roller Girl is told in comic format which is a really good choice to show the action of the sport.  It is a story of 2 best friends growing up and starting to grow apart.  I must admit that I have gone to several Roller Derby matches in Wilmington, MA and my oldest daughter’s sister-in-law has participated in roller derby for years, so I was very pleased that this story got an award.

Image of itemI thought Echo was going to win the Newbery award this year.  At 585 pages, it is very hard to compare to the picture book that won; both are outstanding books.  This one has 3 different story lines, so it is challenging for children to read.  A colleague convinced me to listen to the audio version, so I’m waiting for the audio book now.  I’m sure I won’t be finished reading before it is my turn for the audio.


In my next post, I’ll let you know about the Caldecott winners.