Category Archives: Newbery Award


Yes, I declared on my latest Odds & Ends post that we have begun a massive decluttering project.  And yes, it really is true.  I impressed myself by purging forty items (I counted them!) in a scant thirty minutes or so on Saturday afternoon!  (Only two of which, by the way, were books.)


The girls and I also went to the library on Saturday afternoon.  :-)  I just happened to spot on the sale rack a L.M. Montgomery title that I didn’t own.

Fifty cents?


I even limited the number of books the girls could check out (and held my ground with them!) so that we brought home a mere thirty-four books as opposed to our usual sixty-four or eighty-four.

We were doing well and on our way out the door when I noticed the “clearance rack” outside the library door, just inside the foyer.  It was there that my resistance crumbled.

DSC_0003All five of L’Engle’s Time Quintet, like new condition?  Fifty cents for the lot of them?  Yes, please.



Six books for the Newbery shelf?  Sixty cents?  Well, only because I’m hosting the Newbery Through the Decades Challenge. . . ;-)

DSC_0004A random assortment of books, only one of which we’ve read and loved (but that we didn’t own, or at least I don’t think we did, before)?  At eighty cents, this stack is a little more pricey.  A little.

$1.90 for all of them.  Less than $2.00.  What riches!  How could I say no?  :-)

If this is true, we’re in good great superb shape.

The decluttering mission, however, has just had a setback.



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2015 ALA Youth Media Awards

The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced today, and as is usual, I am late to the party.

Of the many awards the ALA gives, I have read exactly TWO of this year’s award books:

The Right Word:  Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, winner of a Caldecott Honor and the Sibert medal.   I love this book and think it’s very worthy of both awards.

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award in the middle school category.  Again, this is a very deserving title, in my opinion.  

The 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner is Donald Crews, an author whose books we’ve enjoyed again and again (and again!) here at the House of Hope.

The titles that most pique my curiosity now are (of course) all the Newbery titles, though I might wait to read them now that I have a plan to make my way through Newberys in general thanks to the Newbery Through the Decades challenge.

I also want to read the Caldecott winner and honor books that I haven’t read (which is a total of six books!)  It’s sort of funny to me that I’ve only even ever heard of one more besides the one I’ve read.

A few other titles that stand out to me that I’d like to read sooner rather than later are

  • Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd, winner of the young adult Schneider Family Book Award, sounds like a very challenging read.

  • The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming, winner of both a Sibert and YALSA honor, has been on my radar for a while.  

What is it that we always say?  So many book so little time.  :-)

Have you read any of the winners?  Which titles catch your eye?

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Newbery Through the Decades: 1930s

newbery through the decades

Welcome to the second month of the Newbery Through the Decades Challenge!   If you’re new to the challenge, please check out this post for more details.

February’s decade is the 1930s.  These are the eligible titles.  If I have already reviewed a title here at Hope Is the Word, I’ve linked to my review.

1939 Medal Winner: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright

Honor Books:

1938 Medal Winner: The White Stag by Kate Seredy

Honor Books:

1937 Medal Winner: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
Honor Books:

  • Phebe Fairchild: Her Book by Lois Lenski
  • Whistler’s Van by Idwal Jones
  • The Golden Basket by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Winterbound by Margery Bianco
  • The Codfish Musket by Agnes Hewes
  • Audubon by Constance Rourke

1936 Medal Winner: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Honor Books:

  • Honk, the Moose by Phil Stong
  • The Good Master by Kate Seredy
  • Young Walter Scott by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  • All Sail Set: A Romance of the Flying Cloud by Armstrong Sperry

1935 Medal Winner: Dobry by Monica Shannon

Honor Books:

  • Pageant of Chinese History by Elizabeth Seeger
  • Davy Crockett by Constance Rourke
  • Day On Skates: The Story of a Dutch Picnic by Hilda Von Stockum

1934 Medal Winner: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs

Honor Books:

  • The Forgotten Daughter by Caroline Snedeker
  • Swords of Steel by Elsie Singmaster
  • ABC Bunny by Wanda Gág
  • Winged Girl of Knossos by Erik Berry, pseud. (Allena Best)
  • New Land by Sarah Schmidt
  • Big Tree of Bunlahy: Stories of My Own Countryside by Padraic Colum
  • Glory of the Seas by Agnes Hewes
  • Apprentice of Florence by Ann Kyle

1933 Medal Winner: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis

Honor Books:

  • Swift Rivers by Cornelia Meigs (reviewed at Semicolon)
  • The Railroad To Freedom: A Story of the Civil War by Hildegarde Swift
  • Children of the Soil: A Story of Scandinavia by Nora Burglon

1932 Medal Winner: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer

Honor Books:

  • The Fairy Circus by Dorothy P. Lathrop
  • Calico Bush by Rachel Field
  • Boy of the South Seas by Eunice Tietjens
  • Out of the Flame by Eloise Lownsbery
  • Jane’s Island by Marjorie Allee
  • Truce of the Wolf and Other Tales of Old Italy by Mary Gould Davis

1931 Medal Winner: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Honor Books:

  • Floating Island by Anne Parrish
  • The Dark Star of Itza: The Story of A Pagan Princess by Alida Malkus
  • Queer Person by Ralph Hubbard
  • Mountains are Free by Julie Davis Adams
  • Spice and the Devil’s Cave by Agnes Hewes
  • Meggy MacIntosh by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  • Garram the Hunter: A Boy of the Hill Tribes by Herbert Best
  • Ood-Le-Uk the Wanderer by Alice Lide & Margaret Johansen

1930 Medal Winner: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field
Honor Books:

  • A Daughter of the Seine: The Life of Madame Roland by Jeanette Eaton
  • Pran of Albania by Elizabeth Miller
  • Jumping-Off Place by Marion Hurd McNeely
  • The Tangle-Coated Horse and Other Tales by Ella Young
  • Vaino by Julia Davis Adams
  • Little Blacknose by Hildegarde Swift

This month I plan to read 1934 Medalist Invicible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs, a book that also appears on my Classics Club list.  If I have time, I also plan to read 1933 honor book Swift Rivers, also by Cornelia Meigs, or 1937 Medalist Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer.   Since my first Newbery Through the Decades book of the year was The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs, I might choose Roller Skates just so I can read someone besides Cornelia Meigs.  (Obviously, she was a Very Important Author of the first half of the twentieth century!)


I hope you’re all enjoying this challenge as much as I am!  It’s interesting to me to think about what was considered fine children’s literature nearly a century ago and to note (sometimes sadly) how things have changed.

If you have already reviewed any of this month’s books on your blog, please link your reviews in the comments.  If you’re interesed in reading reviews before making your decisions, might I recommend The Newbery Project blog as a good resource?

Also of special interest to those of us interested in the Newbery Award is this–the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards (which includes both the Newbery and the Caldecott, among many others) will be announced Monday, February 2.  A live webcast will begin at 8 a.m. CST.  Will you be watching?  My Mondays are super busy, so I’ll probably have to watch it a bit later, but I will be watching on Monday for sure!  :-)

So what are you reading for Newbery through the Decades this month?  Please share in the comments!

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Newbery Through the Decades: 1920s/January link-up

newbery through the decadesI cannot believe this is the last day of January!
Where did the month go?!?!  :-)

Looking back on my original Newbery Through the Decades January post, I realize that I didn’t quite accomplish what I set out to accomplish.  I intended to read The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly, the 1929 Newbery Medalist.  I even went so far as to make a special trip to the library to check it out.  However, when I tried to read it, I just couldn’t get invested in the story.  As much as it pains me to admit it, the foreign setting and unfamiliar historical references were off-putting for me.  :-(  Perhaps at another juncture in my life I might be able to wade through the detail, but as we’ve had a busy and full month (and not a little bit of sickness), this just wasn’t the month.  Instead, I turned my attention to my second pick, 1922 Newbery honor book The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs.  I enjoyed this one!  I so enjoy old fashioned stories, and this one is definitely that.  While it isn’t exactly a page-turner, it is a gentle mystery, and one that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

What Newbery Medalist or honor book from the 1920s did you read?  Please, share your thoughts and/or links to your blog posts in the comments section!

Happy Newberying!  :-)

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The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs

I read The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs for the Newbery Through the Decades challenge I’m hosting this year at Hope Is the Word. The Windy Hill was a 1922 Newbery honor book.  It is the story of Oliver and Janet, a brother and sister who go to visit their cousin, Jasper Peyton, who lives a life of apparent leisure and ease as he oversees the farmlands surrounding his estate in Medford Valley.  However, upon Oliver and Janet’s arrival, Oliver immediately recognizes that Cousin Jasper is a changed man–no longer “a man of quick, brilliant mind but of mild and silent manners” they had known ; instead, now he was “nervous, irritable, and impatient, in no sense a genial host.”  As the story unfolds, we learn that Jasper is embroiled in a long and bitter family feud with his distant cousin, Anthony Crawford, who has returned to claim what is actually more than his portion of the family’s fortune.  Interspersed throughout the story are seemingly unrelated tales told to Oliver (and later to Janet) by a neighbor whom Oliver chances to meet and whom Oliver calls the Beeman because the gentleman is a beekeeper of the first order.  As the story unfolds, we begin to learn that the Beeman’s stories are more than just entertaining diversions; in fact, they somehow relate to the larger story.  The story moves forward to a very exciting climax in the last few chapters in which all of the major characters in the story are involved in saving Medford Valley from a major flood that is largely due in part to Anthony Crawford’s pure cussedness.  The denouement of the story is satisfying, if not perfectly happy.

I enjoyed this story a lot.  However, I wouldn’t exactly consider this a children’s story.  Oh, there’s nothing in it that would be inappropriate for a child; in fact, it’s even something of a moralistic story, and the moral is certainly one we all would do well to heed.  However, the main character, Oliver, is fifteen years old, and the issues in the story are decidedly adult.  I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t generally appeal to today’s Newbery audience.  There are even a few places that I cringed a bit because of (what we now would call) sexism that is very blatant in the stories.  However, and this is a big however, this story is really exemplary of what I miss about older literature:  it glorifies strong character and moral behavior without being overly preachy.  Some parts of the story, specifically the Beeman and the stories he tells, somehow reminds me of Gene Stratton Porter’s novels, especially A Girl of the Limberlost.  And then there’s the whole mystery element, which really made me think of some of our old favorite sleuths, like Nancy Drew and her ilk.  I would not hesitate to pass this one off to my girls right now, and in fact, I might just do that.  (MacMillan, 1921)

Reviews elsewhere and related links:

newbery through the decades

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