Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Award Winning Books

Last night I finished the book "Dobry" by Monica Shannon. Not a particularity great book, but boy oh boy do I know a lot about Bulgaria peasants now. I mention this book because it marks the end of a project I've been working on. I have been trying to read all the Newbery Award winning books and last night I did it!

If you are not familiar with the Newbery Award you can learn all about it here. In a nutshell, every year the Newbery is awarded the best new book in children's literature. It was first awarded in 1922 and I'll save you the math, that makes it 84 books right now that have won. I started reading them because these are the book you find on the teacher shelves in elementary classrooms, where I spend oodles of time. Our local library down the street also helped out by having all the Newberys in their own special section, saving lots of time on searching for titles. I didn't read them in any particular order, just what I happened by next. The last few I had to order in from other libraries because ours didn't have them. But now it's done. The boy asked me which was my favorite. Out of 84 books, that's a tough choice, but here's a few that I really loved:

  • Tale of Desperaux-- Kate DiCamillo-- Okay, maybe this one is my favorite
  • Year Down Yonder-- Richard Peck-- Or maybe it's this one...
  • Number the Stars-- Lois Lowery-- got to love a good Nazi story
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry-- Mildred Taylor-- excellent writing
  • From the Mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler--E.L. Konigsburg -- long title, great book
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins-- Scott O'Dell-- girl power!
  • The Twenty-One Balloons-- William Pene Du Bois-- strange book, but neat
  • Johnny Tremain-- Esther Forbes-- I'm sorry E. I liked this one!

Just choosing these was difficult! Most of the books were wonderful in some way (otherwise, I guess they wouldn't have won!). I would have been easier to make the list of books that were real stinkers!

If you are looking for something easy, quick and satisfying to read, I would recommend almost any Newbery winner. It's been quite an experience. I still read out loud each night to the kids and it very often the book I just finished. So what will I read now? I just happen to have a fabulous little book here listing 50 great young adult novels. It's a whole new section of the library for me! My first book is "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier. I remember liking it in High School. Let's see if it's still got it!


orenthalian said...

This has been a great project! I've learned more things just by osmosis from J's reading of these books than I would have ever imagined possible! Just look at all the great movies that have come from this genre of writing--it's storytelling in its purest form, I think. Plus, my great-grandparents were Bulgarian peasants! I loved The Choclate War, too, and can't wait to see what J picks up next.

Weaver Brewer & Fam said...

Sounds like an awesome "expirement!" I may have to look some of those up. Well, except for Johnny Tremain. I started to sweat just reading the title and hives are breaking out cause I had to type it! (yes, I remember having to read this in school-ugh!)

You guys read the Artimus Fowl books? they have been our bedtime reading lately and we really liked them.

J. said...

Ethan is reading the last Artimus now. He really loves them. I might have to take some time out and check them out.