Thoughts on Newbery: My Reactions to the 2013 Newbery Medal and Honors

My good friend fairosa was on this year’s Newbery Committee so I think what was most important for me this morning as I headed into the Seattle Convention Center for the award announcements was that I could feel sincerely happy for this committee’s decisions. That said, I admit I was nervous.  We were roommates, but she was absolutely mum, mum, mum as she had to be (and as I was when she was my roommate my Newbery year). But oh my goodness am I happy with their choices.  I’m not generally a crier, but I keep getting tearful thinking of these.

First of all, congratulations to Katherine Applegate for receiving the Newbery Medal for The One and Only Ivan. I was waiting to see if this year’s winner would be one I hadn’t yet shared with my 4th graders and would be good for them and this is it. So I look forward to using it in literature circles later this year.

Personally, the Newbery Honor for Laura Amy Schlitz’s Splendors and Glooms is the most significant to me. I was on the 2008 Committee that gave Laura her first Newbery medal for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! so it is wonderful to see her get this so well-deserved second honor, especially for this book of which I wrote in my New York Times review, “Filled with heart-pounding and heart-rending moments, this delicious, glorious novel is the work of a master of children’s literature.”  YESSSS!

And then there are the multiple honors (Sibert Medal, YALSA Nonfiction winner, and Newbery Honor) for Steve Sheinkin’s Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.  I can only add: woo-hoo! What an affirmation for this author’s style and this book.  (My blog review here.)

Finally, I am absolutely thrilled about the Newbery Honor for Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky. While I never dedicated a blog post to this book I liked it tremendously as did my 4th graders (and we listened to the excellent audio version), had it on my Newbery list, and am just so tickled that it was recognized.


Filed under Newbery

2 responses to “Thoughts on Newbery: My Reactions to the 2013 Newbery Medal and Honors

  1. I must say that I agree with you completely! Thinking of years past when I was left wondering about some of the choices, I was thrilled to see that this year’s committee went the distance in honoring such fine books. My class cheered as awards were given to books we shared, but the loudest cheer went up when The One and Only Ivan received the top prize as we are just nearing the end of it as our current read aloud. Thank you, Newbery committee for your hard work and for inspiring so many readers!


  2. Love this! Thanks for sharing and I admire everyone that has served on these wonderful committees! It’s amazing responsibility, and I can only imagine the time that it requires! I hope that your friend could hear the excitement coming from my school (all the way from Kentucky)! Please pass on our praise!


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