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Newbery Award Winners Page 1


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.




Whipping Boy
The Whipping Boy

Sid Fleischman (Illustrator - Peter Sis). This is a book surely to be read for the sheer joy of reading. It's very humorously entertaining. Sid Fleischman paints fabulous word pictures. The story is about Prince Brat and his whipping boy, Jemmy-from-the-streets. One day, Prince Brat runs away and makes Jemmy come with him. They are subsequently captured by two highwaymen and held for ransom. The rest of the story is about how Jemmy and the Prince escape and how they become friends along the way. One of the best things about this book is the humorous colloquialisms--such as "He's got enough lip for two sets of teeth" and "Cows would give beer first."
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, New York, 1986.
General Grade Level: Intermediate (3rd-5th).
Award: John Newbery Medal Other Category: Humor, Vocabulary.
Other Works: Mr. Mysterious & Company, Chancy and the Grand Rascal, The Hey Hey Man, Humbug Mountain, and the McBroom Stories.




Johnny Tremain
Johnny Tremain

Esther Forbes (Michael McCurdy). This story is about Johnny Tremain, a boy who was an apprentice silversmith but because of an injury to his hand, became a horseboy for the Boston Observer. He becomes a messenger for John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, and other Sons of Liberty. Johnny is involved in pivotal events of the American Revolution--such as the Boston Tea Party and the conflict at Lexington.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1998. (Originally:1943).
General Grade Level: Advanced (193 pp). Other Category: Real-life Information.
Award: John Newbery Medal.
Other Work: Paul Revere and the World He Lived In.




White Stag
The White Stag

Kate Seredy. This book is about the migration of the Huns and Magyars from Asia to Europe--where they settled in the Hungarian Plains. It is about Nimrod, Hunor, Magyar, Bendeguz, and most importantly, Attila, the Red Eagle. It is a story about pagan gods, fairies, and warriors. The White Stag is a creature that leads the Huns to the "promised land." This story is written in poetic prose; the illustrations are magnificently clear.
Publisher: The Viking Press, New York, 1965. (Originally: Viking, 1937).
General Grade Level: Intermediate. Other Category: Real-life Information.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Robert C. O'Brien (Illustrator - Zena Bernstein). This book is about a mouse named Mrs. Frisby whose husband has died and her quest to find help. A friendly crow takes her to see a wise old owl and he sends her to visit the rats that live under the rosebush and have a reputation of being odd. Mrs. Frisby finds out that her husband and the rats had been imprisoned for several years in the NIMH laboratories and had been injected with concoctions that made them wise, long-lived, and inventive.
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, 1971.
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.
Also adapted as a motion picture in Secret Of Nimh available on DVD.




From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E. L. Konigsburg. This is a story about Claudia and her brother, Jamie. Claudia decides to run away and asks her brother to come along. They decide to live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While staying there, Claudia and Jamie discover a statue so beautiful that Claudia does not want to go home until she discovers its maker.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster, 1967.
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Wringer
Wringer

Jerry Spinelli. This selection is about a boy named Palmer who doesn't want his 10th birthday to come. Every summer in his town, there is a festival. On the last day of the festival, the town releases 5,000 pigeons, which they shoot for sport. When the boys in town turn 10, they become wringers--meaning that they wring the necks of the pigeons that don't die when they're shot. Palmer doesn't understand why his town does this and he doesn't want to be a wringer, especially since he has a pet pigeon.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc, New York, 1997.
Award: Newbery Honor Book.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Other Works by the Author: Maniac Magee (Newbery Medal), Jason and Marceline , Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush? , There's a Girl in My Hammerlock , Crash , The Library Card , Space Station Seventh Grade .




Number the Stars
Number the Stars

Lois Lowry. This is the story of two families living in German-occupied Denmark during World War II. Ellen Rosen and Annemarie Johansen are the two main characters and best friends. The Rosens are Jewish and the Johansens are part of the Danish Resistance against the German Nazis. The Johansens help the Rosens escape by boat to Sweden, which is unoccupied by the Nazis.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1996 (originally 1989).
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.
Other Category: New Concepts (Nazis, World War II).
Note: this edition also includes Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal acceptance speech and a piece about Oskar Schindler and other Gentiles that helped save Jews during World War II.




Summer of the Swans
Summer of the Swans

Betsy Byars (Illustrator - Ted CoConis). This story is about Sara, a fourteen-year-old-girl who is feeling at odds with the world and herself and the world because of all the changes she is undergoing. She grudgingly tolerates her Aunt Willie, affectionately envies her pretty older sister, and feels uncomfortable with her own body. But everything changes when her mentally-retarded younger brother, Charlie, disappears and Sara is terrified while searching for the brother that she loves.
Publisher: Viking Penguin, Inc; New York; 1970.
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.
Other Works by the Author: After the Goat Man, The Cartoonist, The 18th Emergency, Go and Hush the Baby, The House of Wings, The Lace Snail, The Midnight Fox, Trouble River, The TV Kid, The Winged Colt of Casa Mia, The Cybil War, and The Glory Girl.




Island of the Blue Dolphins
Island of the Blue Dolphins

Scott O'Dell. This is the story of Karana, and Indian girl who was left behind on an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Year after year, she waits for a ship to come back and take her away. She keeps herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting off the wild dogs.
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc; New York, 1960.
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Single Shard
Single Shard

Linda Sue Park. This is the story of Tree-ear, an orphan boy living in 12th-century Korea. He is called Tree-ear after the mushrooms that grow on tree trunks without the benefit of a parent seed. Tree-ear used to spend his days foraging in fields and on rubbish heaps, but now all he wants to do is watch master potter Min at work. Even though Min is short-tempered, Tree-ear is irresistibly drawn to his workplace. He dreams of making a pot of his own someday.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, New York, 2001.
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Sounder
Sounder

William H. Armstrong (Illustrator - James Barkley). This is the story of a young black boy and his coon dog, Sounder. It is the true story of how this young man deals with the injustice of his father being falsely accused of a crime that he did not commit.
Publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1969.
General Grade Level: advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




The Giver
The Giver

Lois Lowry. This book is about a boy named Jonas who lives in the Community, where there is no fear, war, or pain. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from the Giver, to be the next Receiver of Memory. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life.
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, New York, 1993.
General Grade Level: Advanced.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Dear Mr. Henshaw
Dear Mr. Henshaw

Beverly Cleary. This story is about Leigh Botts, the number one fan of author Boyd Henshaw since second grade. Leigh is now in the sixth grade, lives with his mother, and is the new kids at school. Leigh is lonely and he misses his father, a cross-country trucker. He's also angry because someone keeps stealing from his lunchbag. When his teacher assigns a letter-writing project, Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw. When Mr. Henshaw writes back, his answer changes Leigh's life.
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc; New York; 1983.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Sarah, Plain and Tall
Sarah, Plain and Tall

Patricia MacLachlan. This story is about a frontier family that is missing a mother. Papa places an ad inthe newspaper for a wife and he receives a reply from a woman named Sarah, who lives in Maine. Once she comes, everyone hopes that she will stay, but Sarah misses her home in Maine. This is based on a true story from the author's family.
Publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers; New York; 1985.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: John Newbery Medal.




Amos Fortune, Free Man
Amos Fortune, Free Man

Elizabeth Yates (Illustrator - Nora S. Unwin). This is the true story of Amos Fortune, born of the At-munshi African tribe and abducted by slave traders at age fifteen. At the age of sixty, Amos finally bought his own freedom. He became an expert tanner and was an active citizen until his death in 1801. He also fulfilled his life's dream of buying the freedom of many other enslaved people.
Publisher: Dutton's Children Books, New York, 1950.
General Grade Level: Intermediate.
Award: John Newbery Medal.
Other Works by the Author: An Easter story; With Pipe, Paddle and Song; Carolina's Courage; Someday You'll Write; Prudence Crandall, Woman of Courage; Pebble in a Pool; The Widening Circles of Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Life; Patterns on the Wall; Rainbow Round the World: The Story of UNICEF; Mountain Born; A Place for Peter; Children of the Bible; Your Prayers and Mine.

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