Every year, the Association for Library Service to Children awards the Newbery Award to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children (ALA Website). This year’s award was awarded to The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, an epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. While you’re checking out the newest award winner, you might also want to take a look back at some of our other favorite Newbery Award winners.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell: Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg: Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George: Thirteen-year-old Julie, whose other name is Miyax, runs away from her Eskimo village only to find herself living with a wolf pack.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien: Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse, must move her family immediately to escape imminent danger. However, her youngest son, Timothy, is deadly and can’t be moved. Fortunately, Mrs. Frisby meets the rats of NIMH who help her out of this dire situation in exchange for a great service.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson: Jesse Aarons is in the 5th grade and has trained all summer to become the fastest runner in school. He becomes upset when new classmate Leslie Burke outruns him and everyone else. Despite this and some other striking differences, the two become fast friends. Together, they create Terabithia where they rule as king and queen and is a land filled with monsters, trolls, ogres, and giants. This friendship helps Jesse cope with a tragedy that makes him realize what Leslie taught him.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli: After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee’s life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech: After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother’s route; along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.
Holes by Louis Sachar: As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.