Which Newbery Winners Should I Read?

I need your advice.

I’m currently enrolled in ALSC’s on-line course on the Newbery Medal. Each week we’re asked to read at least one winning book from each decade. I’m having a hard time choosing my selections so I open the floor to you, dear readers.

Which Newbery awarded books do you recommend? Please share your suggestions in the comments.

If you need a reminder, check the (nearly) complete list of winners. I’d especially love advice for the period of 1922 – 1970, as I’m not as familiar with those titles. Advice regarding honor books is also welcome, since we’re choosing from those the last week.

Being an over-achiever I’m going to try to read as many new titles as possible. We’ll see how far I get. Is this when I finally read Julie of the Wolves (for obvious reasons)?

I’ll go first. Some of favorite Newberys are: When You Reach Me, One Crazy Summer, Caddie Woodlawn, Indian Captive, Sarah, Plain & Tall, Missing May, Ramona & Her Father, A Gathering of Days, Homesick: My Own Story, Number The Stars, An American Plague, True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Maniac Magee, Walk Two Moons, Ella Enchanted, and, in the interest of not rambling on, we’ll just say “all the Katherine Patterson titles.”

Random fact: Completely by accident (I just liked the spooky cover) the first chapter book I read was a Newbery honoree: The Headless Cupid.

Tag! You’re it.

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9 Comments

Filed under Audience Participation, Reading the Newbery

9 responses to “Which Newbery Winners Should I Read?

  1. Two you didn’t mention that I would highly recommend: One, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I loved that book as a kid, something about moving into a museum and trying to a solve a mystery really appealed (shocker). Two, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is awesome – lots of adventure and fun plus secret science testing that results in abnormally smart animals. The book is so much better than the movie (though the movie is decent on its own).

  2. Johnny Tremain and Thimble Summer. And The Witch of Blackbird Pond and A Wrinkle in Time, of course.

  3. Glad to hear you liked Thimble Summer. I hadn’t heard of it before looking at the list. It intrigued me.

  4. Meg

    “Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon” is a classic.

  5. The High King is very good and a great example of a book from a series that won. Island of the Blue Dolphin is also good and an even better audio book. Some titles that I keep meaning to get to because they are frequently checked out of my school library: Rifles for Watie and Ginger Pye.

    brenda

  6. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1968)! It’s one of my all-time favorites. And I second A Wrinkle in Time. Haven’t read (or even heard of) too many others.

  7. Leslie

    I highly recommend Missing May and The Westing Game. As for the older ones (I haven’t read too many) but Witch of Blackbird Pond and Call it Courage are my suggestions.

  8. missprint

    I’d suggest The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner–that whole series kind of changed me life. If anything but The View From Saturday (one of my all-time favorite books) had been the winner the year The Thief got its honor I’d say Turner was robbed. But with those two titles it’s impossible to say because choosing between them is like choosing my favorite arm.

  9. Susan

    I definitely echo the recommendations From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Westing Game, Wrinkle in Time and The Witch of Blackbird Pond

    Two Honor books that are generally regarded more highly than winning books by the same authors would make great choices too: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (who won for The Grey King) and Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (who won for Thimble Summer)

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