Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Newbery News

The 2011 Newbery Medal winner and the four honor winners have been announced. Of special interest to me is the fact that the winner and three of the four honor books are historical fiction:

2011 Newbery Medal Winner

by Clare Vanderpool
Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

Ages 9-12

2011 Newbery Honors

Heart of a Samurai 
by Margi Preus
In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

Ages 12 and up

Manjiro’s life story is f a s c i n a t i n g. I reviewed another book about him here.

One Crazy Summer
By Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Ages 9-12

I noticed over at The Fourth Musketeer that this author is so committed to literature for young people that she offers her own short story contest to encourage and reward young people's writing. Open to kids from 12-19, the winner receives a check for $100, a certificate, and a personal critique by Rita Williams-Garcia!

Turtle in Paradise
By Jennifer L. Holm
In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.

Ages 9-12

The other Newbery Honor book this year is Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman. It is a collection of twelve poems that celebrate the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark.

The Newberry Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children as decided by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Given since 1922, it is named after John Newbery, an eighteenth-century English publisher of children’s books. It was the first children’s literary award in the world.


  1. I would not have figured Moon Over Manifest to be the winner, there really was no buzz about it in the blogosphere, but now I am looking forward to reading it.

  2. I look forward to reading it too Alex. Maybe when I finish the 900+ page book I've currently got my nose in. It's Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutherfurd. I'm really enjoying it!