Newbery Loves History–Again

Last week, the 2012 Newbery Award and Newbery Honors were announced.  Personally, I have aspired to win a Newbery since I was about ten, and I don’t know too many children’s authors who don’t let themselves dream of it every so often.  It’s the most prestigious award in American children’s lit, the one that guarantees that librarians and teachers will take note of your book, and it also comes with a posh awards ceremony later in the year.

Lucky for my inflated-ego daydreams, the committees often favor historical fiction.

This year is no exception.  The winner and the two honor books are all set in the past.  I am sorry to say I haven’t gotten the chance to read these books yet, so I can’t give my own opinion, but here’s what the Newbery Medal Homepage on the ALA site had to say:

2012 Medal Winner
The 2012 Newbery Medal winner is Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar Straus Giroux

The importance of history and reading (so you don’t do the same “stupid stuff” again) is at the heart of this achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice.

“Who knew obituaries and old lady death could be this funny and this tender?” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Viki Ash.

2012 Honor Books
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers

Hà and her family flee war-torn Vietnam for the American South. In spare yet vivid verse, she chronicles her year-long struggle to find her place in a new and shifting world.

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

On the eve of his induction into the Young Pioneers, Sasha’s world is overturned when his father is arrested by Stalin’s guard. Yelchin deftly crafts a stark and compelling story of a child’s lost idealism.

Any Damsels readers want to share their thoughts on these books? Or you can head over to Kirby Larson’s blog and check out her list of books she wishes could have also been honored.  (I’m totally with her on The Trouble With May Amelia.)

2 Responses to Newbery Loves History–Again

  1. QNPoohBear says:

    I haven’t read these yet but I read last year’s winner Moon Over Manifest and felt that there were much better books that deserved the prize. A full review is on my blog.

    • Emilie says:

      I really enjoyed “Moon Over Manifest,” actually. I will be interested to read your review all the same–I like the reviews even if I don’t always agree:)

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