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In June 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed to the American Library Association that an award be given to the most distinguished children's book published in the previous year. He suggested that the award be named after the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The proposal was enthusiastically accepted, and in 1922, the ALA board approved and chose the first Newbery Medal winner and runners up. This award became the first children's book award in the world, and continues to be the best known and most discussed one in this country. Although only one medal winner is named each year, several noteworthy books are also named as "Honor books."

The continuing purpose of the Newbery Medal is "to encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children's reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field."

 

Hitty: Her First Hundred YearsHitty: Her First Hundred Years
Rachel Field
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Introduce the next generation of readers to the winsome adventures of Hitty, a doll of great charm and regal character. Over a period of one hundred years, readers will see Hitty's beginnings-being molded from a piece of white ash wood by an Irish peddler in Maine-and her first owner Phoebe Preble, up to her being discovered in an antique shop in New York, and all of the adventures that she has in between. Hitty finds herself in India with a missionary family, lost inside of a sofa, discovered by a Quaker family, dressed as a bride, and more! Winner of the Newberry Medal in 1930.
     

 
Hope Was HereHope Was Here
Joan Bauer
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Hope is a 16-year-old girl living with her Aunt Addie, a chef and restaurant manager. Never staying in one place for long, the story opens with yet another move, this time from Brooklyn. But before she leaves, Hope scribbles 'Hope Was Here' onto the menu board, a ritual she carries out whenever they have to hit the road again... will she continue to have hope as she moves out into the country? Ages 12 & up. Newbery Honor Book.
     

 
Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon
Grace Lin
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2011 Newbery Honor Book

Weaving together traditional folkloric stories with Minli's quest to bring her family fortune, this captivating tale will engage readers of all ages and backgrounds. When Minli decides to use one of her two gold coins to buy a goldfish, her mother is not happy-they barely have enough rice to feed themselves, and even the few grains required by the fish are a sacrifice. Minli decides to let the fish go, but before the fish leaves, he tells her how to find the Old Man of the Moon who figures into so many of the stories she hears from her father. She leaves to begin her quest, meeting many new friends, and hearing many new stories along the way, as she tries to learn how to change her family's fortune. Full-color illustrations included. 278 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.


     

 

 
Hattie Big SkyHattie Big Sky
Kirby Larson
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Excerpt


2007 Honor Book

Hattie has been from family member to family member so often she calls herself "Hattie Here-and-There." So when a land-claim is passed to her from her late uncle, she jumps at the chance to prove up on her own claim and finally have a home to belong to. Living under the big sky for a year, Hattie struggles to complete the terms of the claim-adding 480 rods of fence, and cultivating 1/8th of her claim--forty acres--but gets a load of help and companionship from her "neighbors" Perilee Mueller and her German husband Karl. However, as WWII continues, all Germans come under suspicion of a local "council of defense" patriotism force, and Hattie must face even more trials as she keeps loyal to her friends while attempting to keep her claim secure.

Loosely based upon the author's grandmother's experiences homesteading in Montana, this New York Times bestseller will keep readers engaged until the very end. 289 pages, softcover. Grade 5 reading level. Ages 9-12.


     

 
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster BoyLizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Gary D. Schmidt
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2005 Honor Book

It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he's a minister's son, even if he doesn't act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father's-and the town's-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine's rocky coast. The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner's father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie's island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity. This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community's destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change.
     

 
The Tale Of Despereaux, SoftcoverThe Tale Of Despereaux, Softcover
Kate DiCamillo
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2004 Medal Winner

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. Recommended for ages 7 to 12.
Also available gift edition.
     

 
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of  the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
Jim Murphy
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2004 Honor Book

In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city - and all his papers - while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege. Recommended for ages 10 to 14.
     

 
HootHoot
Carl Hiaasen
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2003 Honor Book

Unfortunately, Roy’s first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn’t been sinking his thumbs into Roy’s temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and--here’s the odd part--wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy’s trail. The chase introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails. Roy has most definitely arrived in Carl Hiaasen’s Florida. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
     

 
A Year Down YonderA Year Down Yonder
Richard Peck
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2001 Medal Winner

Fifteen year old Mary Alice is facing a whole long year with Grandma! She remembers when she was a kid how much fun her summer stays with grandma were. They were jam packed with tons of surprises and drama. But grandma is well-known for shaking up her neighbors and everyone else! Mary Alice knows not to predict what this year is going to be like. Recommended for ages 10 to 14.
     

 
26 Fairmount Avenue26 Fairmount Avenue
Tomie dePaola
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2000 Honor Book

Many things happen the year Tomie's family builds their new house. First, there is the hurricane of 1938, which blows down trees and turns the new dirt road to mud. Then there's Tomie's first day of school, and his hilarious reaction to the movie Snow White. Fans of Tomie dePaola's family stories will enjoy reading his first chapter book. Recommended for ages 7 to 10. 
     

 
HolesHoles
Louis Sachar
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1999 Medal Winner

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, digging holes: 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character inprovement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment--and redemption. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
     

 
Number The StarsNumber The Stars
Lois Lowry
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1990 Medal Winner

It is 1943, and to Annemarie Johansen, life in Copenhagen is a complicated mix of ordinary home and school life, food shortages, and the constant presence of Nazi soldiers. As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, the Johansens take in Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is part of the family. Ellen and Annemarie must think quickly when three Nazi officers arrive late one night and question why Ellen is not blond, like her sisters. Through Annemarie's eyes, we see the Danish Resistance as they manage to smuggle almost the entire Jewish population, nearly 7,000 people, across the sea to Sweden. In this tale of an entire nation's heroism, Lois Lowry reminds us that there is pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war. Recommended for age 8 to 12.
     

 
Out Of The DustOut Of The Dust
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1998 Medal Winner

A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo's life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gone. Her father can't talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better - playing the piano - is impossible with her wounded hands. To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma - and in the surprising landscape of her own heart. Recommended for ages 9 to 12.
     

 
Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted
Gail Carson Levine
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1998 Honor Book

Enchanted Ella was given the unfortunate gift of obedience by a foolish fairy, at her birth. She must obey any order which is given to her, whether it is hopping on one foot for a day and a half or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella goes on a brave quest to break the curse - once and for all, amongst princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
Also available in softcover movie edition.
     

 

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