Children’s literature is really important to me not only as a children’s librarian but also as a reader and a parent. There is something about the books that we read as children that shape the readers we become later in life. They can often sometimes even depict or affect whether we will become readers at all. The John Newbery medal is an award given by the American Library Association to an author for their contribution to American literature for children. The award has been given since 1922. It is named for John Newbery, an 18th century English publisher of juvenile books.
I recently saw a friend and former library colleague at Learning to Play the Bassoon create a sort of reading challenge by looking up the Newbery winners at certain points in her life and I wanted to take it and make it my own by doing something similar. Below I have created a list of books that have won the Newbery Medal during my lifetime. I thought it would be fun to read each of these books this year. I really don’t read as much children’s literature as I should anymore now that I am at home with Little Man and this seems like a fun way to incorporate some into my current reading.
I would love for others to undertake this challenge with me or even just commit to reading one Newbery winner this year such as the book that won for the year you were born. You can easily look the winning and honor books for each year here. Just for the fun of it….I would love for everyone to share what book won the year you were born and whether or not you have read it?
My Life in Newbery
The year I was born: 1981
Newbery Medal Winner: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
The year I started kindergarten: 1986
Newbery Medal Winner: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
The year I turned 10: 1991
Newbery Medal Winner: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
The year I started high school: 1996
Newbery Medal Winner: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
The year I graduated from high school: 2000
Newbery Medal Winner: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
The year I graduated from college: 2005
Newbery Medal Winner: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
The year I received my Master’s Degree: 2006
Newbery Medal Winner: Criss Cross by Lynn Rae Perkins
The year Little Man was born: 2009
Newbery Medal Winner: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This year’s Winner for 2012
Newbery Medal Winner: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos