Newbery Medal Books

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

New Kid

New Kid
By Craft, Jerry
Illustrator Craft, Jerry

2019-02 – Hardcover
Quill Tree Books
9780062691200
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Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds–and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

This middle grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers, including for summer reading.

New Kid is a selection of the Schamburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List.
Plus don’t miss Jerry Craft’s Class Act

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

Merci Suarez Changes Gears
By Medina, Meg

2018-09 – Hardcover
Candlewick Press (MA)
9780763690496
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Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between in a resonant new novel from Meg Medina.

Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal

Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.

Hello, Universe

Hello, Universe
By Kelly, Erin Entrada
Illustrator Roxas, Isabel

2017-03 – Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
9780062414151
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Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Told from four intertwining points of view–two boys and two girls–the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). “Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits.”–Booklist

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

The acclaimed and award-winning author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.

“Readers across the board will flock to this book that has something for nearly everyone–humor, bullying, self-acceptance, cross-generational relationships, and a smartly fateful ending.”–School Library Journal

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon
By Barnhill, Kelly

2016-08 – Hardcover
Algonquin Young Readers
9781616205676
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Awards: Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal, The New York Times Bestseller, An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016, A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016, A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016, An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016, A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016, A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016, Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016

2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.

Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street
By De La Pena, Matt
Illustrator Robinson, Christian

2015-01 – Hardcover
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
9780399257742
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This award-winning modern classic–a must-have for every child’s home library–is an inclusive ode to kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places, and celebrates the special bond between a curious young Black boy and his loving grandmother.

Awards: Caldecott Medal (2016), Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children (2016), Charlotte Zolotow Award (2016), Coretta Scott King Award (2016), Cybils (2015), E.B. White Read Aloud Award (2015), Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2016), Newbery Medal (2016), North Carolina Children’s Book Award (2016), Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award (2016)

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty–and fun–in their routine and the world around them.

This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pe a’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

The Crossover

The Crossover
By Alexander, Kwame

2014-03 – Hardcover
Houghton Mifflin
9780544107717
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In this middle grade novel in verse that’s “Love That Dog” meets “The Watsons Go to Birmingham” meets “Slam,” twelve-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Awards: Black-Eyed Susan Award (2016), Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2015), Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children (2015), Coretta Scott King Award (2015), Cybils (2014), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2016), Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2016), Nene Award (2016), Newbery Medal (2015), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2016), Texas Lone Star Reading List (2015)

New York Times bestseller ∙ Newbery Medal Winner ∙Coretta Scott King Honor Award ∙2015 YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults∙ 2015 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers ∙Publishers Weekly Best Book ∙ School Library Journal Best Book∙ Kirkus Best Book

“A beautifully measured novel of life and line.”–The New York Times Book Review

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering, ” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
By DiCamillo, Kate
Illustrator Campbell, K. G.

2013-09 – Hardcover
Candlewick Press (MA)
9780763660406
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From Newbery Medalist and #1 “New York Times”-bestselling author DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format–a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist Campbell.

Awards: Alabama Camellia Award (2015), Bluebonnet Awards (2015), Buckeye Children’s Book Award (2014), Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2014), Christopher Awards (2014), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2015), E.B. White Read Aloud Award (2014), Garden State Children’s Book Awards (2016), Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2015), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2016), Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award (2014), National Book Awards (2013), Nene Award (2015), Newbery Medal (2014), North Carolina Children’s Book Award (2015), Nutmeg Book Award (2016), Parents Choice Awards (Fall) (2008-Up) (2013), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2015), Volunteer State Book Awards (2016), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2016)

Holy unanticipated occurrences A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo.

It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You , is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by artist K. G. Campbell.

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan
By Applegate, Katherine
Illustrator Castelao, Patricia

2012-01 – Hardcover
HarperTorch
9780061992254
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Bestselling author Applegate presents an unforgettable and uplifting tween animal fantasy that explores the power of friendship, art, and hope with humor and touching poignancy. Illustrations.

Awards: Black-Eyed Susan Award (2014), Bluebonnet Awards (2013), Bluebonnet Awards (2014), Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2013), Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award (2015), Christopher Awards (2013), Cybils (2012), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2014), E.B. White Read Aloud Award (2013), Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award (2013), Golden Archer Award (2014), Grand Canyon Reader Award (2015), Great Stone Face Book Award (2013), Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2014), Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award (2015), Maine Student Book Award (2014), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2016), Nene Award (2014), Nene Award (2015), Nene Award (2016), Newbery Medal (2013), North Carolina Children’s Book Award (2016), Nutmeg Book Award (2016), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2014), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award (2015), Rhode Island Children’s Book Awards (2014), Sequoyah Book Awards (2015), Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award (2014), Virginia Readers Choice Award (2014), Volunteer State Book Awards (2015), West Virginia Children’s Book Award (2014), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2015)

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning novel The One and Only Ivan is now a major motion picture streaming on Disney+

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.

The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author’s use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

This acclaimed middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 8, for independent reading, homeschooling, and sharing in the classroom.

Plus don’t miss The One and Only Bob, Katherine Applegate’s return to the world of Ivan, Bob, and Ruby

Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt
By Gantos, Jack

2011-09 – Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
9780374379933
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In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Awards: Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2012), Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (2012), Newbery Medal (2012), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2014), Scott O Dell Award for Historical Fiction (2012), Sequoyah Book Awards (2014), Volunteer State Book Awards (2014), William Allen White Childens Book Award (2014)

Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year’s best contribution to children’s literature and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is grounded for life by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack’s way once his mom loans him out to help a feisty old neighbor with a most unusual chore–typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launched on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest
By Vanderpool, Clare

2010-10 – Hardcover
Delacorte Press
9780385738835
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Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

Awards: Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award (2011), Spur Awards (2011)

Winner of the 2011 Newbery Award.

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest–A Town with a rich past and a bright future.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters–and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.

When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me
By Stead, Rebecca

2009-07 – Hardcover
Wendy Lamb Books
9780385737425
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From the author of “First Light” comes this engaging novel in which four mysterious letters change a young girl’s world forever.

Awards: Black-Eyed Susan Award (2011), Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (2010), Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2010), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2011), Indies Choice Book Awards (2010), Land of Enchantment Book Award (2011), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2012), NAPPA Gold Awards (2009), Nene Award (2011), Newbery Medal (2010), Parents Choice Awards (Fall) (2008-Up) (2009), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2011), Texas Lone Star Reading List (2010), Virginia Readers Choice Award (2013), Volunteer State Book Awards (2012), West Virginia Children’s Book Award (2011)

Like A Wrinkle in Time (Miranda’s favorite book), When You Reach Me far surpasses the usual whodunit or sci-fi adventure to become an incandescent exploration of ‘life, death, and the beauty of it all.’ –The Washington Post

This Newbery Medal winner that has been called smart and mesmerizing, (The New York Times) and superb (The Wall Street Journal) will appeal to readers of all types, especially those who are looking for a thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist.

Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and she doesn’t know what to do. The notes tell her that she must write a letter–a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone.

It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem–because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.

Winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction

A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book

Five Starred Reviews

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Absorbing. –People

Readers … are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward. –The Wall Street Journal

Lovely and almost impossibly clever. –The Philadelphia Inquirer

It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises. –Publishers Weekly, Starred review

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
By Gaiman, Neil
Illustrator McKean, Dave
Foreword by Atwood, Margaret

2008-09 – Hardcover
HarperCollins
9780060530921
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In his first full-length novel for middle-graders since the international bestseller “Coraline,” Neil Gaiman introduces Bod, a boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

Awards: Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (2009), Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2009), Cybils (2008), Delaware Diamonds Award (2010), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2010), Hugo Award (2009), Indies Choice Book Awards (2009), Isinglass Teen Read Award (2010), L.A. Times Book Prize (2008), Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award (2009), Nene Award (2012), Newbery Medal (2009), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2012), Sequoyah Book Awards (2011)

The original hardcover edition of a perennial favorite, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which has sold more than one million copies and is the only novel to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place–he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings–such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

The Graveyard Book is the winner of the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award for best novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult novel, the American Bookseller Association’s “Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book,” a Horn Book Honor, and Audio Book of the Year.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village
By Schlitz, Laura Amy
Illustrator Byrd, Robert

2007-07 – Hardcover
Candlewick Press (MA)
9780763615789
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Inspired by an illuminated poem from 13th-century Germany, this witty, historically accurate collection–the winner of the 2008 Newbery Medal–forms an exquisite bridge to the people and places of medieval England. Full color.

Awards: Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2008), Cybils (2007), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2009), Newbery Medal (2008), Parents Choice Award (Fall) (1998-2007) (2007)

Step back to an English village in 1255, where life plays out in dramatic vignettes illuminating twenty-two unforgettable characters. Winner of the Newbery Medal.

Maidens, monks, and millers’ sons — in these pages, readers will meet them all. There’s Hugo, the lord’s nephew, forced to prove his manhood by hunting a wild boar; sharp-tongued Nelly, who supports her family by selling live eels; and the peasant’s daughter, Mogg, who gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. There’s also mud-slinging Barbary (and her noble victim); Jack, the compassionate half-wit; Alice, the singing shepherdess; and many more. With a deep appreciation for the period and a grand affection for both characters and audience, Laura Amy Schlitz creates twenty-two riveting portraits and linguistic gems equally suited to silent reading or performance. Illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Robert Byrd — inspired by the Munich-Nuremberg manuscript, an illuminated poem from thirteenth-century Germany — this witty, historically accurate, and utterly human collection forms an exquisite bridge to the people and places of medieval England.

The Higher Power of Lucky

The Higher Power of Lucky
By Patron, Susan
Illustrator Phelan, Matt

2006-11 – Hardcover
Atheneum Books
9781416901945
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The 2007 Newbery Medal winner is now in paperback. Lucky, age 10, doesn’t expect running away to be so complicated. A large cast of magnanimous surprises awaits her when she plans to hide from her guardian in the Mojave Desert. Illustrations.

Awards: Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2008), Nene Award (2008), Newbery Medal (2007), Parents Choice Award (Fall) (1998-2007) (2006), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2009)

Believing that her French guardian is about to abandon her to an orphanage in the city, ten-year-old Lucky runs away from her small town with her beloved dog by her side in order to trek across the Mojave Desert in this Newbery Medal-winning novel from Susan Patron.

Lucky, age ten, can’t wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.

It’s all Brigitte’s fault — for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care Instead Lucky is sure that she’ll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won’t be allowed. She’ll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she’ll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own — and quick.

But she hadn’t planned on a dust storm.
Or needing to lug the world’s heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.

Criss Cross

Criss Cross
By Perkins, Lynne Rae

2005-08 – Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
9780060092726
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From the 2006 Newbery Medal winner comes “Criss Cross,” a remarkable novel about finding first love…or at least searching for it.

Awards: Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2006)

Winner of the Newbery Medal – New York Times Bestseller – An ALA Notable Book – An ALA Best Book for Young Adults – School Library Journal Best Book – Booklist Editors’ Choice – Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice – Horn Book Fanfare Book – New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

In this acclaimed, award-winning, and timeless national bestseller, Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins explores the crisscrossing lives of four teenagers on the verge of adulthood. The unique format incorporates short vignettes, haiku, Q&As, and illustrations by the author. Written with love and humor, Criss Cross is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and growing up.

“It’s hard to write a book this good. Lynne Rae Perkins makes it seem easy.”–Kevin Henkes, New York Times-bestselling author of the Newbery Honor Books Olive’s Ocean and The Year of Billy Miller

“Brilliantly captures the adolescent-level Zen that thoughtful kids bring to their assessment of the world.”–Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

“Best of all are the understated moments, often private and piercing in their authenticity, that capture intelligent, likable teens searching for signs of who they are, and who they’ll become.”–ALA Booklist (starred review)

“Written with humor and modest bits of philosophy, the writing sparkles with inventive, often dazzling metaphors.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Like a lazy summer day, the novel induces that exhilarating feeling that one has all the time in the world.”–The Horn Book (starred review)

“A gentle story about a group of childhood friends facing the crossroads of life and how they wish to live it. Young teens will certainly relate.”–School Library Journal (starred review)

Kira Kira

Kira-Kira
By Kadohata, Cynthia

2004-02 – Hardcover
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
9780689856396
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Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem glittering and shining. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering in the future.

Awards: Colorado Blue Spruce Award (2007), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2006), Nene Award (2007), Nene Award (2008), Nene Award (2009), Newbery Medal (2005), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2007)

A Japanese-American family struggles to build a new life in the Deep South of Georgia in this luminous novel, winner of the Newbery Medal.

kira-kira (kee’ ra kee’ ra): glittering; shining

Glittering. That’s how Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people’s eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it’s Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering — kira-kira — in the future.

Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata’s stunning debut in middle-grade fiction.

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story-of-a-Mouse,-a-Princess,-Some-Soup, and a Spool of Thread

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
By DiCamillo, Kate
Illustrator Ering, Timothy Basil

2003-08 – Hardcover
Candlewick Press (MA)
9780763617226
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From the author of “Because of Winn-Dixie” comes a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, told with DiCamillo’s trademark humor and heartbreaking poignancy.

Awards: Book Sense Book of the Year Award (2004), Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award (2006), Colorado Blue Spruce Award (2004), Colorado Blue Spruce Award (2007), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2005), Garden State Children’s Book Awards (2006), Golden Archer Award (2005), Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2005), Land of Enchantment Book Award (2006), Maine Student Book Award (2005), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2007), Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award (2006), Minnesota Book Award (2004), Newbery Medal (2004), Parents Choice Award (Fall) (1998-2007) (2003), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2005), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award (2006), Rhode Island Children’s Book Awards (2005), Sequoyah Book Awards (2006), Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award (2005), Volunteer State Book Awards (2006), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2006)

The beloved author of Because of Winn-Dixie enlightens us with a tale of adventure, despair, love, and soup.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

From the master storyteller who brought us Because of Winn-Dixie comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, featuring twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering, in an elegant design that pays tribute to the best in classic children’s books and bookmaking traditions.

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

Crispin – The Cross of Lead
By Avi

2002-06 – Hardcover
Hyperion Books for Children
9780786808281
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Winner of the 2003 Newbery Medal. In medieval England, 13-year-old Crispin has no home, family, or possessions. Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he takes his mother’s cross of lead and begins an amazing and terrifying journey across the English countryside.

Awards: Colorado Blue Spruce Award (2004), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2005), Newbery Medal (2003), North Carolina Children’s Book Award (2005), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2004), Texas Lone Star Reading List (2004), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2005)

Newbery Medal winner The Cross of Lead is “a page-turner from beginning to end… full of adventure, mystery, and action” (School Library Journal).

“Avi’s plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns, and treachery aplenty. . . . A page-turner to delight Avi’s fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel.”-Publishers Weekly (starred review) ” . . . T]he book is a page-turner from beginning to end . . . A] meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action.”

-School Library Journal (starred review)

“Historical fiction at its finest.”-VOYA

A Single Shard

A Single Shard
By Park, Linda Sue

2001-04 – Hardcover
Clarion Books
9780395978276
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Tree-ear, an orphan, has become fascinated with the potters’ craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes on Tree-ear as his helper, Tree-ear is elated–until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. However, Tree-ear is determined to prove himself.

Awards: Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award (2004), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2003), Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (2004), Newbery Medal (2002), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award (2006), Sequoyah Book Awards (2004), Young Reader’s Choice Award (2004)

Winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal

In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.

A Year Down Yonder

A Year Down Yonder
By Peck, Richard
Illustrator Cieslawski, Steve

2000-10 – Hardcover
Dial Books
9780803725188
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During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois for a year and comes to a better understanding her.

Awards: Bookseller’s Choice (2001), Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award (2003), Colorado Blue Spruce Award (2003), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2002), Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award (2005), Newbery Medal (2001), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award (2003), Sequoyah Book Awards (2003)

Winner of the Newbery Medal

“Peck charms readers once again with this entertaining sequel to A Long Way from Chicago”–School Library Journal (starred review)

It was within the pages of Richard Peck’s Newbery Honor-winning A Long Way from Chicago that Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel first made their captivating debut. Now they’re back for more astonishing, laugh-out-loud tales when fifteen-year-old Mary Alice moves in with her spicy grandmother for the year. Expect moonlit schemes, romances both foiled and founded, and a whole parade of fools made to suffer in unusual (and always hilarious) ways.

Cooperative Children’s Book Center Review

Fifteen-year-old Mary Alice has never felt entirely comfortable around her eccentric Grandma Dowdel, and she feels even less comfortable in the small town Grandma Dowdel calls home. But when Mary Alice must spend all of 1937 living there, she finds she can adjust by taking a cue from her hard-working, scrappy grandmother. Each chapter introduces an engaging episode in Mary Alice’s life with her Grandma: she watches Grandma get even with Halloween pranksters, gets the lead role in the Christmas program at school, and helps Grandma begrudgingly host a meeting of the DAR. Peck’s judicious use of hyperbole and exaggeration, both in the narrative and in the dialogue, gives the novel the feeling of an American tall tale, but he doesn’t overdo it, so the characters and place feel real in this sequel to A Long Way from Chicago (Dial, 1998). (Age 12 and older)

© 2001, All rights reserved, Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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