Working my way through the Newbery Award books from the 20s is proving to be quite a challenge. It’s amazing just how much our ideas about “quality literature” for kids have changed over the years.
I’m taking a page from my favorite Sith Lord’s playbook and “altering the deal” for myself. Unlike his bargain with Lando, though, I think this deal change will work in my favor. I’m going to allow myself to do two things as I complete this challenge (It is supposed to be “no stress” after all).
First, I intend to count all the Newbery books I read starting with January. That means that if I read them in the course of getting ready for reading groups, or because someone recommended one, that I will count it. Yes, even though it won’t be “in chronological order” anymore.
Second, I am no longer committed to reading them in order. I just don’t think I’ll make it through unless I allow myself the joy of some of the more recent winners while reading the older books that are kicking my butt.
That means the following books now count toward my challenge:
Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – 1963. I read this while preparing to write a retro review for the Nerdy Book Club. It will be on the site in February, as part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite books.
The Giver by Lois Lowry – 1994 I reread this to consider for a reading group. While I decided not to use it, it is a wonderful book for 5th and up. A wonderful dystopian read by a favorite author. (You can see my short review on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/262077972)
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead – 2010 I adored this book, especially because I’m such a fan of Wrinkle and the main character, Miranda, references it throughout the tale. Check out my short review here on Good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/252450267
Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson – 1979 Newbery Honor book. This was another read designed to help me with a reading group. A spunky kid from a trouble background learns about what family really means. Check out my short review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/255772481
(I still intend to do another read of the Award winner of that year – The Westing Game – but I’ll wait a while on that. I just reread it in the fall of 2011 since I use it for a fourth grade reading group.)
For those of you following my progress – that means I’m now counting 9 books as completed in my challenge. That’s of a total of at least 91 books (since I’ll be reading multiple books from some years).