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Newbery Medal

 
 

A Year Down Yonder (Newbery Medal Book, 2001)

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A Year Down Yonder (Newbery Medal Book, 2001)

Grandma Dowdel's back! She's just as feisty and terrifying and goodhearted as she was in Richard Peck's A Long Way from Chicago, and every bit as funny. In the first book, a Newbery Honor winner, Grandma's rampages were seen through the eyes of her grandson Joey, who, with his sister, Mary Alice, was sent down from Chicago for a week every summer to visit. But now it's 1937 and Joey has gone off to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, while 15-year-old Mary Alice has to go stay with Grandma alone--for a whole year, maybe longer. From the very first moment when she arrives at the depot clutching her Philco portable radio and her cat, Bootsie, Mary Alice knows it won't be easy. And it's not. She has to sleep alone in the attic, attend a hick town school where in spite of her worn-out coat she's "the rich girl from Chicago," and be an accomplice in Grandma's outrageous schemes to run the town her own way--and do good while nobody's looking. But being Grandma's sidekick is always interesting, and by the end of the year, Mary Alice has grown to see the formidable love in the heart of her formidable Grandma.
Peck is at his best with these hilarious stories that rest solidly within the American literary tradition of Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Teachers will cherish them as great read-alouds, and older teens will gain historical perspective from this lively picture of the depression years in small-town America. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery Medal Winner, 2000)

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Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery Medal Winner, 2000)

"It's funny how ideas are, in a lot of ways they're just like seeds. Both of them start real, real small and then... woop, zoop, sloop... before you can say Jack Robinson, they've gone and grown a lot bigger than you ever thought they could." So figures scrappy 10-year-old philosopher Bud--"not Buddy"--Caldwell, an orphan on the run from abusive foster homes and Hoovervilles in 1930s Michigan. And the idea that's planted itself in his head is that Herman E. Calloway, standup-bass player for the Dusky Devastators of the Depression, is his father.
Guided only by a flier for one of Calloway's shows--a small, blue poster that had mysteriously upset his mother shortly before she died--Bud sets off to track down his supposed dad, a man he's never laid eyes on. And, being 10, Bud-not-Buddy gets into all sorts of trouble along the way, barely escaping a monster-infested woodshed, stealing a vampire's car, and even getting tricked into "busting slob with a real live girl." Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, once again exhibits his skill for capturing the language and feel of an era and creates an authentic, touching, often hilarious voice in little Bud. (Ages 8 to 12) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

 

Holes (Newbery Medal Book, 1999)

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Holes (Newbery Medal Book, 1999)

"If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy." Such is the reigning philosophy at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility where there is no lake, and there are no happy campers. In place of what used to be "the largest lake in Texas" is now a dry, flat, sunburned wasteland, pocked with countless identical holes dug by boys improving their character. Stanley Yelnats, of palindromic name and ill-fated pedigree, has landed at Camp Green Lake because it seemed a better option than jail. No matter that his conviction was all a case of mistaken identity, the Yelnats family has become accustomed to a long history of bad luck, thanks to their "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather!" Despite his innocence, Stanley is quickly enmeshed in the Camp Green Lake routine: rising before dawn to dig a hole five feet deep and five feet in diameter; learning how to get along with the Lord of the Flies-styled pack of boys in Group D; and fearing the warden, who paints her fingernails with rattlesnake venom. But when Stanley realizes that the boys may not just be digging to build character--that in fact the warden is seeking something specific--the plot gets as thick as the irony.
It's a strange story, but strangely compelling and lovely too. Louis Sachar uses poker-faced understatement to create a bizarre but believable landscape--a place where Major Major Major Major of Catch-22 would feel right at home. But while there is humor and absurdity here, there is also a deep understanding of friendship and a searing compassion for society's underdogs. As Stanley unknowingly begins to fulfill his destiny--the dual plots coming together to reveal that fate has big plans in store--we can't help but cheer for the good guys, and all the Yelnats everywhere. (Ages 10 and older) --Brangien Davis

The View from Saturday (Newbery Medal Winner, 1997)

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The View from Saturday (Newbery Medal Winner, 1997)

A powerhouse sixth-grade Academic Bowl team from Epiphany Middle School; the art of calligraphy; the retirees of Century Village, Florida; a genius dog named Ginger; and a holiday production of "Annie" all figure heavily in the latest book by E. L. Konigsburg, who has produced a Newbery Medal-winning children's tale to rival her classic From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which won the Newbery Medal almost 30 years ago. The new book centers around a group of four brilliant, shy 12-year-olds and the tea party they have each Saturday morning. Konigsburg's wacky erudition and her knack for offbeat characters make this a funny and endearing story of friendship.

Out of the Dust (Newbery Medal Book)

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Out of the Dust (Newbery Medal Book)

Like the Oklahoma dust bowl from which she came, 14-year-old narrator Billie Jo writes in sparse, free-floating verse. In this compelling, immediate journal, Billie Jo reveals the grim domestic realities of living during the years of constant dust storms: That hopes--like the crops--blow away in the night like skittering tumbleweeds. That trucks, tractors, even Billie Jo's beloved piano, can suddenly be buried beneath drifts of dust. Perhaps swallowing all that grit is what gives Billie Jo--our strong, endearing, rough-cut heroine--the stoic courage to face the death of her mother after a hideous accident that also leaves her piano-playing hands in pain and permanently scarred.

Meanwhile, Billie Jo's silent, windblown father is literally decaying with grief and skin cancer before her very eyes. When she decides to flee the lingering ghosts and dust of her homestead and jump a train west, she discovers a simple but profound truth about herself and her plight. There are no tight, sentimental endings here--just a steady ember of hope that brightens Karen Hesse's exquisitely written and mournful tale. Hesse won the 1998 Newbery Award for this elegantly crafted, gut-wrenching novel, and her fans won't want to miss The Music of Dolphins or Letters from Rifka. (Ages 9 and older) --Gail Hudson

A Collection Of 3 Newbery Medal Winners: "M.C Higgins, the Great", "Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH", and "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"

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A Collection Of 3 Newbery Medal Winners: "M.C Higgins, the Great", "Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH", and "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"

Here is a wonderful gift for any young reader--a boxed set of three highly acclaimed, immensely popular Newbery Medal-winning books. The set includes M.C. Higgins, the Great, by Virginia Hamilton; From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg; and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O'Brien.

Newbery and Caldecott Trivia and More for Every Day of the Year:

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Newbery and Caldecott Trivia and More for Every Day of the Year:

Introduce your students to award-winning and classic books, authors, and illustrators and pique their interest in reading with more than 1,000 fascinating facts and tantalizing tidbits of information. Arranged in calendar format, the book is perfect for newsletters, bulletin boards, or introducing lessons in author studies.

About the Author
CLAUDETTE HEGEL is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Brief Garland

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Brief Garland

I read this book in 1974, while I was playing girls' basketball in Oklahoma. Not only is it based on real people, but it could be any of a number of girl's basketball teams in the state. (Oklahoma had high school girls basketball long before Title 9.) As a girls' basketball coach myself over the past 20 years I have remembered this book often and experienced all of the things that are a part of coaching girls, both the triumphs and the heartbreaks. Harold Keith touched on them all with first-hand knowledge. I tried for years to get my own copy, so I'm thrilled it has been reprinted. It would make an excellent read for anyone who plays, coaches, or even knows about the sport of women's basketball. I am certain you will enjoy it.

Hooked on the Newbery Award Winners: 75 Wordsearch Puzzles Based on the Newbery Gold Medal Books

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Hooked on the Newbery Award Winners: 75 Wordsearch Puzzles Based on the Newbery Gold Medal Books

To pique interest in reading the best children's books, these puzzles are based on the 75 Newbery Award winning authors, titles, topics and genres from 1922-1996. Includes answer keys.