A few weeks ago the winner of the Newbury Medal was announced, along with the honor books. As I was skimming over some articles about it, I got to thinking: what are my favorite Newbury winners or honors?
Easily my number one favorite is A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle. As a kid this book was my favorite, and now it’s all torn to bits and held up with Scotch tape. It’s a book about dolphins, about being a teenager and going out with boys, about spending one last summer with a grandfather before he dies. In the end I think it’s about death and dealing with loss, though I had no way of realizing this when I read it the first dozen times; I just knew I loved it.
Another one came as a gift from my aunt: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg. Saturday is about four kids on a 6th grade Academic Bowl team. All of them are different, with different stories that led them to be best friends and teammates. This one disappeared from me for years when I lent it to a family friend; it got a coffee stain and the medal sticker is torn up, but my only regret is that she never got around to reading it.
There are others I like – The Giver, The Tale of Despereaux – but A Ring of Endless Light and A View from Saturday are the ones I remember best from my childhood.
Do you have a favorite Newbury winner? Or is there a book you love so much you can’t understand why it doesn’t have a medal?