Special Selections from Perrot's Youth Services Staff
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery.
It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association,
to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Our staff have picked their favorite Newbery Award-winning novels from past and present:
Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse
1998 Newbery Medal
Mrs. K, ever organized, prepared her book selections for the next several month's lists in advance. We hope you will read her favorites and think of her.
10th anniversary!-- Billie Jo’s father refuses to plant anything but wheat, which is repeatedly blown away in the winds of the 1930s Oklahoma dust bowl. Times are desperate, and her parents are barely able to eke out a living from the land. Playing the piano provides Billie Joe some solace, but there is no comfort to be had when her pregnant mother mistakes a bucket of kerosene for the bucket of water kept near the stove in case of conflagration. Hesse’s haunting novel-in-verse was awarded the 1998 John Newbery Medal.
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32
by Joan W. Blos
1980 Medal Winner
Written in diary form, this is the story of young Catherine’s life on a New Hampshire farm in 1830. Rich in historic detail, it is a lovely coming-of-age story filled with hardship and triumph—a real gem!
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E.L. Konigsburg
1968 Medal Winner
Choosing one book from the Newbery Awards was like going on a trip down memory lane. So many choices that I remember reading as a young child. My mind, however, kept going back to what was probably the first Newbery book that I read. It is a wonderful story about 12-year-old Claudia Kincaid. She is going to run away from home. Her parents and 4 younger brothers didn't appreciate all that she does for them. She is going to leave the quiet suburban town of Greenwich, CT, for elegant, busy and important New York City. How will Claudia get there? Where will she stay? Claudia has it all organized. Join her and see if her adventure turns out the way she planned. -Dawn
This is a lovely departure from the traditional running away story. The main character, Claudia Kinkaid, and her brother, Jamie, run away to one of the most beautiful places imaginable-- the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I especially enjoyed descriptions of the children roaming around the Museum at night. . . sleeping on antique beds, and discovering Michelangelo's beautiful statue. This book- like the Museum itself-is a treasure! -Mrs. Weicher
A Single Shard
by Linda Sue Park
2002 Medal Winner
A Single Shard is the story of Tree Ear, an orphan boy in 12th century Korea who longs to become a potter. Tree Ear begins doing grunt work for Min, a cantankerous local potter said to be the best in the village. How far will Tree Ear go to win Min’s favor and gain the chance to someday become his apprentice? Although A Single Shard takes a little while to hook you in, once it does you are utterly transported, and you might find yourself literally holding your breath to find out what happens next. The historical context is also fascinating—be sure to visit Linda Sue Park’s website once you’ve finished the book to take a look at real ancient Korean pottery that inspired the pieces in the book. [Also, resist the urge to judge this book by its cover—the art from the original hardcover edition at left, is, in my opinion, utterly horrible.]
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1992 Medal Winner
What if you find a dog that you think is being mistreated by its owner? How far would you go to save it? Marty faces many challenges trying to help the young beagle he finds who he thinks is being abused.
A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeline L'Engle
1963 Medal Winner
This story has it all—fantasy, adventure, and the fight between good and evil, as well as a courageous heroine who is piercingly smart rather than conventionally beautiful, and her captivating family. It’s exciting from the first page to the last and the characters will stay with you forever.
by Lois Lowry
1994 Medal Winner
The Giver tells the tale of Jonas, a young boy who is appointed to the position of The Receiver of Memory. In his "utopian" society, Jonas is responsible for receiving memories from the time before the Sameness. As Jonas struggles through each new memory, readers learn the importance of individuality, community, family, and leadership. A wonderful and thought-provoking story.
Check this page monthly for recommendations from our staff! Each month focuses on a different category or theme.
We'll pick our favorites, and tell you all about them! Each book cover is a link to that item in the catalog, so click there to place a hold.
Have questions about our picks, or need other recommendations? Call us! Our number is 203-637-8802.
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