The familiar Newbery Award has been around a long time! Nearly 100 years old, it was first awarded in 1922. Awarded annually, to the “author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,” it usually signifies a book worth reading. Still, though, remember that these books are judged by other people–it represents an opinion you are free to disagree with! They are worth getting to know because libraries stock them, and they often wind up on curriculum lists in elementary/middle school classrooms.

These are meaty books, even though they are for “children.” They also range from Millions of Cats to Frog and Toad to The Giver in level and content. It’s interesting to note that some of the now-standards were only “honor” books back in the day, partly because the committee wondered if their content was too dark (i.e. Charlotte’s Web and Old Yeller). Here’s the list of winners.

Here are Betsy’s faves (I haven’t kept up with the Newbery scene as of late; I haven’t read many of the newer ones):

  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (2002 Winner)
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (2001 Honor)
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (2000 Winner)
  • Holes by Louis Sachar (1999 Winner)
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (1998 Winner)
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1997 Honor)
  • Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman (1995 Honor)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994 Winner)
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1990 Winner)
  • Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples (1990 Honor)
  • Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleishman (1989 Winner)
  • Jacob, Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (1981 Winner)
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1979 Winner)
  • Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson (1978 Winner)
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1977 Winner)
  • The Perilous Guard by Elizabeth Marie Pope (1975 Honor)
  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1974 Honor)
  • Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (1973 Honor)
  • Sounder by William Armstrong (1970 Winner)
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1963 Winner)
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (1961 Winner)
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1959 Winner)
  • Old Yeller by Fred Gibson (1957 Honor)
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (1953 Honor)
  • King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (1949 Winner)
  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (1949 Honor)
  • The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (1945 Honor)
  • Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (1937 Winner)
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