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  #101  
Old 02-10-2017, 12:33 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is online now
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I remember these:

1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry(Houghton)

1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)

1964: It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper)

1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar)

1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)

1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)

1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan)

1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright)


There were others that I definitely read but they didn't leave much of an impression, apparently —can't recall anything about them.


I concur that Wrinkle is the all-time winner; I also liked It's like this, Cat and The Twenty-One Balloons and The Cat Who Went to Heaven.
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  #102  
Old 02-10-2017, 01:25 PM
Lochdale Lochdale is offline
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The High King was terrific.

In fact, the entire series is still worth a read.
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  #103  
Old 02-10-2017, 01:45 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Originally Posted by Soul Brother Number Two View Post
Whoa, Bless the Beasts and the Children was a children's book? That... is a very heavy book. I'm almost positive it was shelved in the adult section in my home town library when I was a kid.
Yeah, I wondered if that could possibly be the same book I was thinking of! Even in the Reader's Digest Condensed version I read, it's not really kid stuff.
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  #104  
Old 02-10-2017, 08:17 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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The Westing Game, followed closely by The Twenty-One Balloons.

I'm not surprised to see that so many of you appreciate the genius of The Westing Game, but I'm a little surprised to see so little mention of The Twenty-One Balloons. It's such a cool story, and all steampunk science fictioney! (though of course the concept of "steampunk" didn't exist when it was written or when I was a kid)

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Originally Posted by jsgoddess View Post
I think I'm going to make a point of trying to read through this list. Join me if you're feeling brave!
Dude. I'm so in.
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  #105  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:37 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
Dude. I'm so in.
Woo!

I was just going to read pretty randomly, but I'm happy to do something more structured if that would be more fun.
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  #106  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:53 PM
CelticKnot CelticKnot is offline
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From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler hands down. I loved it as a kid, rereading a few times, and I love doing it as a read-aloud with middle school students. Some aspects of it I never picked up until I bought a teacher's guide to use with 5th graders, so there are many layers and clues sprinkled throughout, and you get more each time you read it.
Just reading (or typing) the title Number the Stars gives me goosebumps.
I loved reading mysteries after reading "What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw" in 6th grade, so I like the ones with mysteries. Holes and The Westing Game came after I grew up, but I still enjoy them. I read the The Giver and the rest of the series later and liked them.

Most overrated? I had to read Flora & Ulysses for a class for my M.Ed., and I really didn't care for it at all.

Last edited by CelticKnot; 02-10-2017 at 09:54 PM..
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  #107  
Old 02-11-2017, 09:44 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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You know, maybe I'll go back and read the ones I've missed. (Although Crispin: Cross of Lead is going to be tough.)
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  #108  
Old 02-11-2017, 10:36 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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Originally Posted by jsgoddess View Post
Woo!

I was just going to read pretty randomly, but I'm happy to do something more structured if that would be more fun.
I was thinking about going pretty randomly too. I definitely don't want to go in date order because I'm a little concerned that the really old ones would be a bit tedious.

I've certain I've read 15 of them. Anything I'm uncertain about, I'll re-read.

Do you have any thoughts? How many have you read?
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  #109  
Old 02-11-2017, 02:11 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Originally Posted by CelticKnot View Post
Most overrated? I had to read Flora & Ulysses for a class for my M.Ed., and I really didn't care for it at all.
Interesting. It's not my favorite of Di Camillio by a long shot, but as I said earlier, by five-year-old flippin adored it. When Di Camillio came to speak at a local bookstore, my daughter really really wanted to get her copy signed, and when it turned out that the line was insane (like, hadn't noticeably moved in 45 minutes, and we were in the back), she broke down sobbing.
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  #110  
Old 02-11-2017, 02:30 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
I was thinking about going pretty randomly too. I definitely don't want to go in date order because I'm a little concerned that the really old ones would be a bit tedious.

I've certain I've read 15 of them. Anything I'm uncertain about, I'll re-read.

Do you have any thoughts? How many have you read?
I've read 16.

1. 2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)
2. 2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
3. 2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)
4. 2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)
5. 1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)
6. 1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)
7. 1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)
8. 1983: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)
9. 1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
10. 1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
11. 1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum)
12. 1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt)
13. 1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)
14. 1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar)
15. 1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)
16. 1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)

I don't remember The View from Saturday, so that's a reread for me.
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  #111  
Old 02-11-2017, 05:13 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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Funny how little overlap there is in our lists!

I downgraded myself to 14 that I'm certain I've read - and 10 of those I'm only sure because I re-read them as an adult. Anyway, here's mine:

1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)
1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry(Houghton)
1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper)
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow)
1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan)
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (Atheneum)
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar)
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (Houghton)
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton)

Today at the library, I picked up The Graveyard Book, Maniac Magee, and Caddie Woodlawn.* I tried to spread the choices out over eras and only pick things where they had multiple copies. I also got Number the Stars, Strawberry Girl, and The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle on Kindle Unlimited. So I am good to go!


* I'm 98% sure I read this as a kid. It was definitely on my shelf and I read everything I could get my hands on. I don't remember a damn thing about it though.
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  #112  
Old 02-11-2017, 05:19 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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I re-counted my total and it's actually up to 51, which means I still have over 40 to go. And then after that there's the Honor books to move on to, and as we know from Charlotte's Web, some of the Honor books are even better.

So count me in with jsgoddess and Green Bean as wanting to keep on reading. And thanks to this thread I know a few that I plan to find (as opposed to just randomly picking up any of the titles that happened to be on the library shelves as I did last summer)
Dicey's Song; It's Like This, Cat; King of the Wind; Maniac Magee; Flora and Ulysses.

Ukelele Ike, LOL, great summary of Voyages of Doctor Doolittle! It was one of my childhood favorites. Anyone who wants read it online, it's here. The html version has all the original illustrations :-) http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1154
Warning, it uses the n-word twice, spoken by the parrot Polynesia.

Thanks to all for the comments on The Westing Game, which make me want to reread it when I get a chance. They also made me realize a reason I didn't get into it: chess. I'm not exactly a chess hater but I was forced to play it as a child and I could never get my brain around it well enough to plan the moves and win, so it brings back memories of frustration.

I looked up Ellen Raskin and sadly she died relatively young, aged 56. She was also an illustrator and graphic artist and created book jackets for over 1000 books including the first edition of A Wrinkle in Time:
https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/auth...in/wrinkle.jpg
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  #113  
Old 02-11-2017, 08:20 PM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is online now
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Originally Posted by Soul Brother Number Two View Post
Whoa, Bless the Beasts and the Children was a children's book? That... is a very heavy book. I'm almost positive it was shelved in the adult section in my home town library when I was a kid.

Anyone ever seen the movie?
Not a Newbery Award winner, or an honor book either. Unless I'm seriously missing something!

gkster, glad to hear you enjoyed the writing workshop with L'Engle. Here's my "connection" with her. My wife, as a primary school student, attended a K-12 school in NYC. L'Engle taught in the high school there. My wife still has her yearbook from third grade or whatever. L'Engle is pictured on the English Department page. She is identified, however, not as "Madeline L'Engle" but rather as "Mrs. Hugh Franklin." !!!

Okay, that's not much of a connection at all, but I actually do have a vague connection with another Newbery winner, Nancy Willard (a Visit to William Blake's Inn, one of the few picture books to win the award). She lives about two blocks from me, or did until recently, and I would occasionally see her riding her bike around town. She and I were also adjunct professors in the same department of the same college for a brief while. --Though we know many people in common, the only time I actually ever formally met her was when I had a book signing at a local store (none of my books have ever been nominated for a Newbery; you have almost certainly never heard of any of them) and she came in and bought a copy. It remains the only time I have knowingly inscribed one of my books to a Newbery Award winner. Quite cool.

Oh, one more vaguer connection: I gave a talk about children's literature last year as part of a lecture series named for a woman who edited/published three early Newbery winners. Reflected glory!
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  #114  
Old 02-11-2017, 08:29 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally Posted by Ulf the Unwashed View Post
Okay, that's not much of a connection at all, but I actually do have a vague connection with another Newbery winner, Nancy Willard (a Visit to William Blake's Inn, one of the few picture books to win the award).
I know one of the winners. Not well, and we've lost touch in the past few years. I'm ashamed to say I haven't actually read her book, because I'm dumb.
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  #115  
Old 02-11-2017, 08:53 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
Wow, am I really the first poster to say "The Westing Game"? I love that book, and could read it over and over. So many layers to the mystery, such interesting personalities, such unusual story structure...
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
:hangs head in shame:

I did not check the list before posting.

The Giver is great, but I failed to realize the Westing Game had won the award. The Westing Game is one of my favorite novels ever published and is clearly the best Newberry winner.

I can not recommend the Westing Game enough.
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Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
gkster:



1) The characters have hidden selves that grow and are revealed, naturally, over the course of the book.
2) The character of Judge Ford trying to desperately beat Sam Westing in his ultimate chess game from (what she thinks, at least throughout most of the book) beyond the grave. Heck, the whole chess theme quietly underlying the book...it was many re-readings before I realized that the 16 heirs = 16 pieces per side on a chess board.
3) The subtle connections that are there to be discovered throughout the book.
4) The mystery of the genuine answer to Sam Westing's puzzle, and the brilliant misdirection. It's there for the reader to solve, but the reader never sees it coming.
5) The poignant aftermath chapters

It's a brilliant book that benefits from re-reading, because you pick up new pieces that you realize you missed with every re-read. This book is not so much written as woven from character threads, into a beautiful tapestry.
The Westing Game taught me literary exegesis. The idea that a character did something because of something that had happened a long time ago, without the author having to point it out to you was a new idea. The characters' actions and motivations are so entwined, and untangling them was a delight. I read the book cover to cover, staying up until 2am when I was 11. I read it cover to cover again a couple of weeks later. I must have read that book 20 times in the next couple of years, and once or twice a year for the next several years. I still read it every now and again, and I'm 50.

When I was 11, I gave it to my mother, and she also read it cover to cover. She was 38.

If you have read The Westing Game, but not read Ellen Raskin's book The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, you should. I think it was Newberry nominated. It preceded The Westing Game by a few years. I think it's equally as good. If The Westing Game is PG-rated, then The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues is PG-13, which is maybe why is lost the award, albeit, my 5th grade teacher read it to us, and no one freaked out-- IIRC, everyone loved it. I figured out a small point, and blurted it out, and the teacher accused me of having read the book before, and spoiling it, but I'd really just figured it out. It was a small part. But it got the class buzzing, and from that point, trying to figure out the book, instead of just waiting for more.

Ellen Raskin was a special kind of genius, and it was tragic that she died so young.
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  #116  
Old 02-11-2017, 08:58 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
Today at the library, I picked up The Graveyard Book, Maniac Magee, and Caddie Woodlawn.* I tried to spread the choices out over eras and only pick things where they had multiple copies. I also got Number the Stars, Strawberry Girl, and The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle on Kindle Unlimited. So I am good to go!
Right now, I'm looking to see what the library has downloadable. It's looking pretty good so far. I'm reading a sample of The Story of Mankind because the it's checked out. It's a 1922 story of human evolution, which surprised me!

If your library does overdrive, use "Emily Cheney Neville" when you look for It's Like This, Cat.
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  #117  
Old 02-11-2017, 10:02 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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I'm reading a sample of The Story of Mankind because the it's checked out. It's a 1922 story of human evolution, which surprised me!
Isn't 1922 in the public domain?
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  #118  
Old 02-11-2017, 10:12 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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I'm halfway through Caddie Woodlawn already. I did read it when I was a kid, but it's certainly worth the re-read.

When I was looking around on Amazon, I was surprised to see how few of the earlier Newbery books were available on Kindle, and many seem to be out of print completely. I'm interested to see how the older books stack up overall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
If you have read The Westing Game, but not read Ellen Raskin's book The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, you should. I think it was Newberry nominated. It preceded The Westing Game by a few years. I think it's equally as good.
Not even close! But it's damn good and I've read it many times.


gkster: I can't stand chess. Never could. It didn't interfere with my enjoyment of The Westing Game one bit. I think it's the kind of book that just resonates with some people and not others. My son didn't like it much. Maybe when you re-read it now, you'll enjoy it more.
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  #119  
Old 02-12-2017, 12:59 AM
gkster gkster is offline
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Originally Posted by Ulf the Unwashed View Post
gkster, glad to hear you enjoyed the writing workshop with L'Engle. Here's my "connection" with her. My wife, as a primary school student, attended a K-12 school in NYC. L'Engle taught in the high school there. My wife still has her yearbook from third grade or whatever. L'Engle is pictured on the English Department page. She is identified, however, not as "Madeline L'Engle" but rather as "Mrs. Hugh Franklin." !!!

Okay, that's not much of a connection at all, but I actually do have a vague connection with another Newbery winner, Nancy Willard (a Visit to William Blake's Inn, one of the few picture books to win the award). She lives about two blocks from me, or did until recently, and I would occasionally see her riding her bike around town. She and I were also adjunct professors in the same department of the same college for a brief while. --Though we know many people in common, the only time I actually ever formally met her was when I had a book signing at a local store (none of my books have ever been nominated for a Newbery; you have almost certainly never heard of any of them) and she came in and bought a copy. It remains the only time I have knowingly inscribed one of my books to a Newbery Award winner. Quite cool.

Oh, one more vaguer connection: I gave a talk about children's literature last year as part of a lecture series named for a woman who edited/published three early Newbery winners. Reflected glory!
Those are 3 cool connections! About the "Mrs Hugh Franklin", I remember an older NYC schoolteacher talking about the bad old days when married female teachers were looked at with suspicion (supposedly they would be too preoccupied with their husbands and children to give enough attention to teaching) and were forced to stop teaching when their pregnancies stated showing.

There's a substantial preview of Nancy Willard's A Visit to William Blake's Inn available on Amazon and I'd like to get hold of the whole book. Really cool that she bought your book and had you sign it!


I just read Maniac Magee on my library's Overdrive and see why it's a favorite. I don't remember when I last cried so much when reading a YA book--probably when reading Walk Two Moons or Bridge to Terabithia or Out of the Dust. Or Johnny Tremain?

Last edited by gkster; 02-12-2017 at 01:00 AM..
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  #120  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:11 AM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Originally Posted by Green Bean View Post
Not even close! But it's damn good and I've read it many times.


gkster: I can't stand chess. Never could. It didn't interfere with my enjoyment of The Westing Game one bit. I think it's the kind of book that just resonates with some people and not others. My son didn't like it much. Maybe when you re-read it now, you'll enjoy it more.
Ah, well. I'm from New York, and I slightly remember the tail of the beatnik era, when it was set. So that resonates with me. I also like art. And I'm proud of myself for figuring out that one little detail.

SPOILER:
I figured out that the tattooed sailor was Garson in disguise, because he asked Dickory about the blind man's earring to trick her. The blind man didn't wear an earring. Then she remembered later that the sailor had worn an earring. It was unusual for men to wear earrings then, bear in mind. Anyway, I thought, "How did Garson know he could confuse her-- how did he know she'd seen an earring earlier that day? He must have been disguised as the sailor! He'd been testing disguises for a while after all. I got chills down my spine, and blurted out "Garson was the tattooed sailor!"
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  #121  
Old 02-12-2017, 09:10 AM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally Posted by jsgoddess View Post
I've read 16.

1. 2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)
2. 2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
3. 2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)
4. 2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)
5. 1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)
6. 1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)
7. 1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)
8. 1983: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)
9. 1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
10. 1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
11. 1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum)
12. 1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt)
13. 1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)
14. 1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar)
15. 1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)
16. 1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)

I don't remember The View from Saturday, so that's a reread for me.
I lied. Looks like I've read 17. I've also read Up a Road Slowly. I didn't recognize the title. I remember the book somewhat. I think I'll add it to the reread stack.
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  #122  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:06 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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These are the ones I've read. The later ones, I mostly read because I took a course in Children's Lit in college, but the last one happened to catch my eye when I was shopping for a gift. It's really good.

I probably would have read more as a kid, but when I was young, I had the impression of Newbery books as downers, especially, any animal in a Newbery book wouldn't make it to the end.

I wish my spell check would stop telling me it's Newberry. Is "Newberry" a word? "New" and "berry" are, but "Newberry" together?

1922 Hendrik Willem van Loon The Story of Mankind

1923 Hugh Lofting The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

1941 Armstrong Sperry Call It Courage

1950 Marguerite de Angeli The Door in the Wall

1959 Elizabeth George Speare The Witch of Blackbird Pond

1961 Scott O'Dell Island of the Blue Dolphins

1963 Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time

1968 E. L. Konigsburg From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

1972 Robert C. O'Brien Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

1978 Katherine Paterson Bridge to Terabithia

1979 Ellen Raskin The Westing Game

1981 Katherine Paterson Jacob Have I Loved

1984 Beverly Cleary Dear Mr. Henshaw

1986 Patricia MacLachlan Sarah, Plain and Tall

1987 Sid Fleischman The Whipping Boy

1990 Lois Lowry Number the Stars

1996 Karen Cushman The Midwife's Apprentice

That's 17, about the same as everyone else. I've read several "honors" books to, but left them off the list, because it was just too long to deal with.

Last edited by RivkahChaya; 02-12-2017 at 01:09 PM.. Reason: formatting
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  #123  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:46 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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I started a thread for those of us who are doing the reading list thing: The Newbery Book Club


In a bout of insomnia last night, I finished Caddie Woodlawn and got through Number the Stars. I'm into the Graveyard Book, which I'm enjoying a lot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Ah, well. I'm from New York, and I slightly remember the tail of the beatnik era, when it was set. So that resonates with me. I also like art. And I'm proud of myself for figuring out that one little detail.
I'm from New York too, and an artsy kid, and it resonated with me too. Just not as much as The Westing Game. Good spotting on that detail!
SPOILER:

I knew something was up with that guy and the other ones too, but I didn't put it together neatly like that upon first reading.
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  #124  
Old 02-12-2017, 10:16 PM
Magicicada Magicicada is offline
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The epilogue of Island of the Blue Dolphins always destroyed me.

I always thought the appeal of Wrinkle in Time was the whole Dad really didn't leave us--he's being held prisoner on a distant planet, and I'm going to go rescue him.
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  #125  
Old 02-12-2017, 11:32 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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I just read Flora and Ulysses and have to say that I really preferred Kate DiCamillo's earlier work, Because of Winn-Dixie and Tale of Despereaux. The whimsical, quirky element in Flora and Ulysses seems overdone to me--it was present in Tale of Despereaux but I felt it fit in much better there. I can see why some people might love Flora and Ulysses (it did win the Newbery after all) but I also understand why others might strongly dislike it. I'm kind of in between myself--I didn't hate it but I didn't find that much in it to like.

Last edited by gkster; 02-12-2017 at 11:35 PM..
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  #126  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:07 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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The epilogue of Island of the Blue Dolphins always destroyed me.

I always thought the appeal of Wrinkle in Time was the whole Dad really didn't leave us--he's being held prisoner on a distant planet, and I'm going to go rescue him.
Yes, that epilogue is a killer, and I was always really disturbed by what happens to the little brother too--one reason why I haven't re-read the book in years.

And yes, I always loved the fact that the kids rescued their dad and that Meg rescued Charles Wallace too.
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  #127  
Old 02-26-2017, 06:22 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Holy Mother of Beelzebub! CHARLOTTE'S WEB lost out to....SECRET OF THE ANDES? What the hell is SECRET OF THE ANDES, and has anyone read it since 1953?

And what parent has not read CHARLOTTE'S WEB aloud to their kids, heaving great racking sobs when Charlotte dies?

Oooops, spoiler alert.
Having not read Secret of the Andes, my WAG is that this is somewhere after the YA-ization of the Newbery award (which for all I know might have happened in 1922): that is, though the Newbery site says the award goes "to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children," somewhere along the line they decided that books aimed at below the YA level inherently didn't qualify. Hence no Dr. Seuss; hence no Julia Donaldson. And hence no Charlotte's Web, which is more a children's book than a YA book.

Was Charlotte's Web the best children's book from 1953 that gained any sort of public recognition? Almost surely - because here we are, nearly a lifetime later, still in love with this book. While Secret of the Andes has long since vanished into obscurity, still remembered only because its name is on a well-known list.
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  #128  
Old 02-26-2017, 07:04 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Having not read Secret of the Andes, my WAG is that this is somewhere after the YA-ization of the Newbery award (which for all I know might have happened in 1922): that is, though the Newbery site says the award goes "to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children," somewhere along the line they decided that books aimed at below the YA level inherently didn't qualify. Hence no Dr. Seuss; hence no Julia Donaldson. And hence no Charlotte's Web, which is more a children's book than a YA book.
WAG indeed . The 2016 winner was a lovely picture book reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats. The Tale of Despereaux is absolutely a children's book. Plenty of Newbery winners are not YA.
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  #129  
Old 02-26-2017, 07:13 AM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Although, it really is kind of funny that picture books and teen books are competing for the same award.
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  #130  
Old 02-26-2017, 07:22 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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My husband and I have both read Secret of the Andes, and both enjoyed it. Do I think it's as good as Charlotte's Web? No. But it's quite interesting in its own way, and much better than some books on the list. I recommend it.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 02-26-2017 at 07:23 AM..
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  #131  
Old 02-26-2017, 08:49 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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The Dark is Rising sequence is one of my favorite series. I think I agree, if you're looking at series as a whole The Dark is Rising sequence is superior to the Wrinkle in Time series.
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That depends on where you cut off the Wrinkle in Time series. The first two are great, A Swiftly Tilting Planet is meh, Many Waters is decent, and the ones written many years later about Meg's daughter are absolute drek.
I personally couldn't stand A Wind in the Door, the second book in the series. It's been awhile since I re-read it to see if time had improved it (no), but (a) the book felt really frantic - just got a vibe that the author was having to try way too hard to live up to Wrinkle, and it wasn't working. And (b) there was an element of hippie-punching in it that really set my teeth on edge.

I've read most of Madeleine L'Engle's fiction, and there's just a huge drop-off between Wrinkle and everything else. The only one besides that that really stands out, IMHO, is A Ring of Endless Light, the third book in the Austin family series.

It's been decades since I read The Dark Is Rising, so I really can't remember what specifically bothered me about it, but it had to do with the nature of the alternative reality the author was constructing. I never read past the first book on that account.
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  #132  
Old 02-26-2017, 08:58 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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WAG indeed . The 2016 winner was a lovely picture book reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats. The Tale of Despereaux is absolutely a children's book. Plenty of Newbery winners are not YA.
Gotta admit, that leaves me even more perplexed about the absence of Dr. Seuss. Certainly nobody left a bigger mark on children's books when I was growing up.
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  #133  
Old 02-26-2017, 10:29 AM
Icerigger Icerigger is offline
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Although it's primarily a picture book, Time of Wonder has haunted me through the years.
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  #134  
Old 02-26-2017, 02:24 PM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is online now
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As I mentioned in a previous post, one reason why Charlotte's Web didn't win was that a committee member looked at Secret of the Andes and said, "It's been a long time since I saw a good book about South America..."

Evidently books about talking animals on ordinary American farms are a dime a dozen, but a good book about South America is worth its weight in medals.

Of course, determining the recipient of an award given for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children" is dependent on what "most distinguished" means. It's like baseball: what constitutes "most valuable," and how is it different (if it is) from "best"? For me, yes, "most distinguished" absolutely means Dr. Seuss ought to be in there somewhere, along with a bunch of other books and writers that never won anything. I think some of Seuss's stuff is among the very best of children's literature ever. But of course not everyone agrees with me--I've known some teachers, librarians, and parents who are not fans. (Not sure I've ever met a child who wasn't.) In particular, Seuss faced a few specific headwinds wrt the Newbery:

+Though it's true that a number of Newbery winners have been "children's books" rather than YA books, very, very few Newbery winners have been picture books;

+Popularity has at times seemed to be a handicap in winning a Newbery; at various times the committee has almost seemed to shy away from books that are <shudder> well-liked by children and inclined instead to choose books that seem sadly neglected;

+If you see Seuss as silly, if you wrinkle your nose at the shoehorned-to-fit rhymes, dislike the "cartoony" illustrations, and are left cold by his fantasy worlds of Yertles and Sneetches and oobleck and Whos, then "distinguished" is not a word you'll associate with his work. While some Newbery books do include a fair amount of humor, many others do not, and "full of whimsy," which describes Seuss's works very well, describes the great bulk of the Newbery award winners not at all.

Perhaps more surprising is that Seuss never won a Caldecott (best picture book) either.
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  #135  
Old 02-26-2017, 02:35 PM
Rilchiam Rilchiam is offline
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I personally couldn't stand A Wind in the Door...there was an element of hippie-punching in it that really set my teeth on edge.
What do you mean? Just curious.

Quote:
I've read most of Madeleine L'Engle's fiction, and there's just a huge drop-off between Wrinkle and everything else. The only one besides that that really stands out, IMHO, is A Ring of Endless Light, the third book in the Austin family series.
Nitpick: fourth. Meet the Austins, The Moon By Night (traveling across country; they meet Zachary Gray) The Young Unicorns (back to NYC) and then Ring. I agree with you, though; that's the only one in the series that's on my A-list. However, I do have a soft spot for Camilla and for And Both Were Young. The updated versions, not the ones L'Engle's publishers told her to water down.
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  #136  
Old 03-02-2017, 07:43 PM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
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As of 12 years ago, I'd read seven:

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1923, Hugh Lofting)
Rabbit Hill (1945, Robert Lawson)
Strawberry Girl (1946, Lois Lenski)
The Twenty-One Balloons (1948, William Pène du Bois)
A Wrinkle in Time (1963, Madeleine L'Engle)
It's Like This, Cat (1964, Emily Neville)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler (1968, E L Konigsburg)

(Several of them when I was in the single-digit age range, Frankweiler after my sister pointed out a review of it when it won -- I was 13 at the time -- and both Cat and Dolittle around the same time.)

I've now read all but four of them -- the last three, and 2013.

My two favourites (can't narrow it down to one) are Dicey's Song, which caused me to read four other books in the series, and When You Reach Me.
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  #137  
Old 03-02-2017, 09:38 PM
K364 K364 is offline
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1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois

As an eight year old, it fired a lifetime fascination with this planet and especially the strange largely unknown corners of it.
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  #138  
Old 03-09-2017, 08:42 PM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is online now
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...I actually do have a vague connection with another Newbery winner, Nancy Willard (a Visit to William Blake's Inn, one of the few picture books to win the award). She lives about two blocks from me, or did until recently, and I would occasionally see her riding her bike around town. She and I were also adjunct professors in the same department of the same college for a brief while. --Though we know many people in common, the only time I actually ever formally met her was when I had a book signing at a local store (none of my books have ever been nominated for a Newbery; you have almost certainly never heard of any of them) and she came in and bought a copy. It remains the only time I have knowingly inscribed one of my books to a Newbery Award winner. Quite cool.
Bolding mine.

Turns out she died about a week after I posted this.
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  #139  
Old 03-09-2017, 08:59 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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Bolding mine.

Turns out she died about a week after I posted this.
Paula Fox, who won the award in 1974, also just died. Interesting trivia...she was also Courtney Love's grandmother.
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  #140  
Old 03-11-2017, 07:44 AM
Ms Boods Ms Boods is offline
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I read Mixed-Up Files originally when I was about 10 years old, in 1975. I desperately wanted to spend the night in a big museum or at least play around in one after hours. Took a while, but got there in the end

Island of the Blue Dolphins was also a favourite, although I found it lonely and sad, especially the ending. I was stunned a couple years back to learn where the actualy island was (as a kid I'd always vaguely assumed it was Pacific Northwest).

I've got a handful of books from schooldays that I still re-read, except that I've been hunting down the original publications rather than the Scholastic versions*. Don't get me wrong, I lurved me a Scholastic catalogue, and my mum would buy me every book I ticked off - sometimes I single-handedly met the class minimum so the order could be made, ad punched more than one classmate who gave me grief for getting too many books. I was gutted in 5th grade when I had to switch from public school to a shitty Catholic school that didn't participate in the programme.


*Scholastic frequently edited and shortened the books, if not changed sections/vocabulary, a good example being Charly which became in the US The Girl who Ran Away. Barbara Cocoran's The Winds of Time was also trimmed and edited in places.

Wrinkle in Time was one I read a few times as a kid, and A Wind in the Door, but even then couldn't slog through the third one. Haven't re-read it as an adult, but was disappointed in the film version that was made, what, 20 some years ago now...

Last edited by Ms Boods; 03-11-2017 at 07:48 AM..
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  #141  
Old 06-02-2017, 08:03 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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For those wondering about Secret of the Andes, here's a fun review: http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/lection/131201.html
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  #142  
Old 06-02-2017, 08:27 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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And since this thread was last active, I picked up a copy of The Westing Game. I did indeed enjoy it, and I didn't get a feeling of deja-vu, so I apparently did miss it the first time around, but I'm not sure I'd call it the best of all of them. The omniscient narrator was a bit distracting, and it was a little too pat how everyone ended up perfectly happily-ever-after at the end.
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