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Favorite Award Winners of the Past

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My daughter's class is reading The Westing Game -- one of my all-time favorite books, which just happens to have won the Newbery ages ago. What I love about great books like these is how kids from all times can get the same wonderful entertainment from them. E's loving it :)

Other of my favorites include The Dark is Rising (I love the whole series, but this book definitely started my love for them and for Susan Cooper's writing, in general); Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth; and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (I love this entire series too, of course, but STP is my favorite).

What about you? What older winners (and honor books) remain your favorites today?
#1 - February 04, 2015, 08:13 PM
Robin
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When I think of a book I wish I'd written, I think of HOLES. It's just flat out amazing.
I also love A YEAR DOWN YONDER by Richard Peck. It is laugh out loud funny and so touching.

When I was in fourth grade (long ago) my teacher read Island of the Blue Dolphins to us a bit at a time. My nine-year-old self was terrified by her aloneness, amazed at her courage, and, when Rontu died (her dog) I sat at my desk and wept.
#2 - February 04, 2015, 08:39 PM

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Oh, I LOVE Richard Peck, especially everything including LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO and after.

Recent-ish NBA -- The Penderwicks. Anything Penderwicks! I'm so excited that a new one is coming out.

Thinking back-back, I really loved ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY and other books by Mildred D. Taylor.

THE BRONZE BOW and THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND.

GOOD MASTERS, SWEET LADIES is just brilliant.

THE WESTING GAME, anything by Madeleine L'Engle -- oh, there are just too many to name.
#3 - February 04, 2015, 08:49 PM
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HOOT by Carol Hiaasen :owl
 
THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY by E.L. Konigsberg

WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech

MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary D. Schmidt

A SINGLE SHARD by Linda Sue Park
#4 - February 04, 2015, 09:39 PM
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My favorite Newbery winner is MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
I also loved
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
KING OF THE WIND by Marguerite Henry
THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND by
SUMMER OF THE SWANS by Besty Byars
THE DARK IS RISING by Susan Cooper
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman

An Honor book I loved more than most of the winners was THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE  by Jacqueline Kelly. I also loved ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine.
And so many more! :love5 
#5 - February 05, 2015, 04:33 AM
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I actually didn't read The Witch of Blackbird Pond until I was a teacher (and I assigned that book to my students) -- but I definitely would place that on my favorites list.

Another one I read for the first time in my 20s and really liked was The Blue Sword.

I haven't read many of the recent winners (I think the most recent is When You Reach Me, which I enjoyed but didn't *love* like I do the older ones). I wonder how much our childhood impressions color our delight in these books? I think, for me, I'll always have that 'first love' feeling for my childhood favorites that will overcome any I read as an adult.
#6 - February 05, 2015, 07:41 AM
Robin
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Someone asked me on Newbery Day what I thought of recent vs. older classics. (She was of the opinion that, the older, the better.) I had a look at the complete list, and huh. My favorites mostly come from the past 20 years--and the 1960s (when I wasn't even alive). Some of my favorites include:

A Wrinkle in Time
Savvy (I'm reading this to my 6YO son right now and he is LOVING it)
Rules
Al Capone Does My Shirts
The House of the Scorpion
The Thief
The Blue Sword (love the orange juice opener--and the different-cultures thing)
The Perilous Gard (this one ages really well!)
The High King
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

I *like* other ones, but these are probably the ones I've read and reread the most. You can see a strong element of fantasy in there...
#7 - February 05, 2015, 08:07 AM

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WEll, the oldest one I've read is The Cat Who Went to Heaven, by Coatsworth (1931).

Those I've read more than once (in order of oldest to most recent) -- and the * means I would count them among my all-time favorites:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Speare
A Wrinkle in Time, by L'Engle *
Up a Road Slowly, by Hunt
From the Mixed-up Files..., by Konigsburg *
Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth..., by Konigsburg *
Enchantress from the Stars, by Engdahl
The Headless Cupid, by Snyder *
The Dark is Rising, by Cooper *
The Grey King, by Cooper
The Westing Game, by Raskin *
A Ring of Endless Light, by L'Engle *
Jacob Have I Loved, by Paterson
Sarah, Plain and Tall, by MacLachlan * -- first read as an adult

I've read a couple of the more recent winners once, but obviously the ones re-read and loved were those written 1981 or earlier, other than SPT (1986). For me, I think it does have a lot to do with that wonder of discovering a great new book as a kid or young teen...perhaps I'm more jaded now. ;)

#8 - February 05, 2015, 12:50 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

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Interesting question, Robin!

I read most of the ones I adore as a child.  The Witch of Blackbird Pond--OMG, I must have read it a dozen times in 6th grade! A Wrinkle in Time, The Dark is Rising (hmm--found these as a teen)...and most of all, The Perilous Gard.  I think that what delights me most about these books is that a phenomenon friends of mine on LibraryThing call "The Suck Fairy" hasn't touched them.  The Suck Fairy is that insidious, nasty sprite who takes books you'd adored in childhood, and somehow makes them terrible when you re-read them as an adult.  ;D

Maybe we need to rename the Newbery the "Suck Fairy-proof Award of Excellence."  :grin3
#9 - February 05, 2015, 01:16 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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I also loved THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND. When I grew up, I found out I had an ancestor living in that town at the time the story is set. It made the book feel like it was written for me.
#10 - February 05, 2015, 02:12 PM

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Maybe we need to rename the Newbery the "Suck Fairy-proof Award of Excellence."  :grin3

Ha, love this! :grin3
#11 - February 05, 2015, 05:26 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

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