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Old 02-12-2017, 02:41 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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The Newbery Book Club

Inspired by the thread on the All-Time Best Newbery Medal Book, In Your Opinion thread.

Several of us have set out to read all of the Newbery Medal winners on the list , and I expect others will be reading at least some more of them based on the discussion in that thread.

Let's do recommendations for each other - directed specifically towards other adult readers who will be reading or re-reading a number of Newbery books at once.

Guidelines:
- General discussions of which you liked best including the ones you read as a kid go in the other thread
- Recommendations must be based on a fresh read of the book (say just-read or within the last year or so)
- Bonus points for consideration of how the book fits in to the overall set of Newbery winners and/or reflects the era in which it was written.

It would be helpful to share some basic things about yourself so we know where you're coming from.

I'll start in the next post,
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:44 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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Me: I'm 45, female, and live in New Jersey. I was a huge reader as a kid, and still am, with a particular interest in science fiction. My starting point was 14 Newbery winners that I'm certain I've read (though I know I've read more - just can't swear to it). 10 I'd read or re-read as an adult.


Caddie Woodlawn - 1935
This book was charming, but definitely hearkens from another era. I think the more modern Newbery winners are often about Children Dealing With Serious Issues, and Caddie Woodlawn was more of a series of amusing anecdotes about the author's grandmother's pioneer childhood. It's kind of like the Little House books, but without the preachiness and desperate crushing poverty. It also gives an interesting perspective on attitudes about gender, race, and class in 1935. Spoiler on that one issue alone:
SPOILER:
The book was probably seen as really progressive in its day. It seems attitudes that were considered modern and inclusive in 1935 were applied to people in 1864, and from a 2017 perspective, it's pretty ham-handed.

My Recommendation: This would be a good one to read when you're thoroughly depressed from having read all those other ones about Children Dealing With Serious Issues.




Number The Stars - 1990
The Holocaust is certainly a Serious Issue, but overall, this book is less of a downer than I expected. It describes a fascinating chapter in WWII history, and honestly, one that I hadn't known much about. I suspect that the picture it paints of Danish attitudes towards Jews is a little too uniformly rosy, however. Even a childrens' book could have used a little more nuance in that regard, and to an adult reader, the simplistic good-guy/bad-guy dichotomy stands out as a major flaw. There's also not much in the way of an interesting plot, either. I probably expected too much because it's by the same author as The Giver.
My Recommendation: Certainly worth a read, and it's short. Just don't set your expectations too high.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:21 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Great idea. I'm 45 (I sense a theme), from Ohio and now living in Maryland. I was a HUGE reader as a child, especially anything involving horses and am still a huge reader, though not so much with the horse books! Now I read predominantly mysteries and fantasy, with a lasting fondness for good YA.

I read 18 Newbery winners before embarking on this quest.

I haven't finished anything yet. So no recommendations yet.

Last night, I read a big chunk of The Story of Mankind (1922). It starts with human evolution and then goes into a skim of ancient history. It's a little funnier than I expected, and not badly written, but I admit that I might not finish it. Maybe it's because I was a history major and my focus was ancient Mesopotamia, but got irritated with the shallowness of it. It also appears to treat the Bible as a history book. Moses got his own short chapter (all of the chapters are short).
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:08 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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I'm the OP of the "Favorite Newbery Book". I've read 88 of them, because years ago I decided to read them all. What stopped me cold was Avi's Crispin: The Cross of Lead. When I saw this thread, I decided I'd read the ones I haven't read yet. These are The Crossover, The One and Only Ivan, Dead End in Norvelt, Moon over Manifest, The Higher Power of Lucky, Criss Cross, Kira-Kira, and the aforementioned Crispin: The Cross of Lead, which is the one I'm starting with. (I read a few Newbery winners after Crispin, but only if they interested me.)

I've read and re-read several of the Newbery winners in the past year. Of those, The Midwife's Apprentice and Holes really stand up. I just read the latest winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, in December, and it's an excellent fantasy.
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:04 AM
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Thimble Summer (1939), by Elizabeth Enright

I read this last night. It's cute, and quite quick. Pretty unchallenging and not a lot of growth. The author loves to describe half of the characters as "fat." The characters have hints of characterization, but nothing really strong. Some of the scenes of daily life are good, especially the swimming and the kiln. I'm guessing this will end up as middle of the pack in my end accounting.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:13 PM
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Criss Cross (2006), by Lynne Rae Perkins. My god, this was a perfect book. It's laugh out loud funny, smart, touching but not weepy, and left me smiling. Some people would probably hate it, but I found it utterly perfect. Maybe it reminded me so much of my teen years that I had to love it.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:47 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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I'm 50. I read The Midwife's Apprentice as an adult, and thoroughly enjoyed it-- I read it when it first can out, so I didn't read it as a 50 year old, I read it, IIRC, as a 20- or very young 30-something. I also re-read The Westing Game as an adult, which was a book I originally read shortly after it came out. I think it really holds up. It might not be so interesting to a child who will wonder why cell phones and computers weren't used to solve certain problems, but an adult who remembers before those things existed-- or at least before the internet was very powerful-- will still enjoy it. Although maybe I'm misjudging. If kids could enjoy the Little House books when I was a kid, I suppose an 11 year old can enjoy The Westing Game.

Someone who is shy about starting this might start with one of those two.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:51 AM
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Jacob Have I Loved (1981), by Katherine Paterson.

I can appreciate this book without ever wanting to read it again. Despite flashes of humor, it just made me feel sad and frustrated and uncomfortable about the way Sara Louise behaves. I want to shake her. That made it hard to invest in her as a character.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:23 PM
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It's Like This, Cat (1964), by Emily Cheney Neville.

This is one that I feel has more value for the target audience than an adult. The characterizations are good, and the book moves along at a nice clip, but I didn't feel incredibly engaged. I liked the main character a lot, for statements like this: "My father is always talking about how a dog can be very educational for a boy. This is one reason I got a cat."
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:29 PM
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I realize now that I was supposed to put actual recommendations in my comments. I fail at book club!

Recommendations:

The Story of Mankind (1922): Only if you are a completist and/or really curious about old history books.

Thimble Summer (1939): If you want a light, comfortable read that won't challenge you.

Criss Cross (2006): Maybe better suited for adults than YA. Some people might find this one really frustrating, so only recommended if you have decent tolerance for ambiguity and rumination.

Jacob Have I Loved (1981): Read if you love character studies and don't mind being aggravated at the protagonist. Not for a down mood; I think it would push you farther under.

It's Like This, Cat (1964): Read if you want something that doesn't have to be read in one sitting. Each chapter is like a vignette. Good characterization, though not deep.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:26 AM
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The Higher Power of Lucky (2007), by Susan Patron

This is pretty cute, and themes of abandonment and loneliness are pretty strong in it. It felt a little short, a little truncated.

Recommendation: It's an easy, quick read, so there's not much burden to reading it, but it doesn't strike me as anything really special.


Dear Mr. Henshaw (2004), by Beverly Cleary

Eh, I don't think this one would have made the slightest impression on me as a kid, especially compared to Henry Huggins trying to put Ribsy in a box to carry him on the bus. That image has stuck with me for 30+ years. This one just didn't do anything. Certainly the least interesting Cleary book I've ever read.

Recommendation: This one doesn't have much to offer an adult reader. It doesn't demonstrate Cleary's great charm and wit. I can't see recommending it except to a completist, though it's certainly a short read.

Last edited by jsgoddess; 02-18-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:59 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Just finished Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi. As I've written elsewhere, it reads like a mashup of two other Newbery winners, The Midwife's Apprentice and Johnny Tremain, but it's not as good as either. Not recommended unless you intend to read all of the Newbery books.

Have just put Moon Over Manifest on hold, so that'll be next.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:08 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame View Post
Just finished Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi. As I've written elsewhere, it reads like a mashup of two other Newbery winners, The Midwife's Apprentice and Johnny Tremain, but it's not as good as either. Not recommended unless you intend to read all of the Newbery books.
Soooo, not gonna read the sequel, huh?
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:55 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Soooo, not gonna read the sequel, huh?
No, but I did read their (there are two) summaries on Wikipedia, just to confirm my suspicion that
SPOILER:
Crispin's mentor Bear, the gruff father-figure who cares for him and makes him self-sufficient yet somehow escapes Dying by Newbery Award, dies in a later book, which yes, he does.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 02-18-2017 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 02-18-2017, 05:03 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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Three more down:

The Graveyard Book (2009)
I'm still thinking about what I think about this one, and it's been a week since I've finished it.
Recommendation: Definitely worth reading.

Maniac Magee (1990)
This one was a giant "WTF." The main character is supposed to be a near-mythical legend of a boy, and I think the characterization was successful. It's the other stuff that made the book fall apart. The Wikpedia entry says that it "explore[s] themes of racism and homelessness," but the main character barely seemed to suffer from being homeless, and the racism was so overblown that a white character was surprised that black people used the same sort of toothbrushes as white people. I could go on and on but I'll leave it at this:
Receommendation: Only if you're a completionist

Strawberry Girl (1946)
This was a surprise delight. It was another story of a girl growing up on the frontier, but it wasn't the usual "frontier" - it was set in Florida. The story was based on real anecdotes and the author did a boatload of research, resulting in a story that did have a strong sense of realism.
Recommendation: Worth a read - it's short and gives you a peek into a world you may not have read about before.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:08 AM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is offline
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Three more down:

The Graveyard Book (2009)
I'm still thinking about what I think about this one, and it's been a week since I've finished it.
Recommendation: Definitely worth reading.

Maniac Magee (1990)
This one was a giant "WTF." The main character is supposed to be a near-mythical legend of a boy, and I think the characterization was successful. It's the other stuff that made the book fall apart. The Wikpedia entry says that it "explore[s] themes of racism and homelessness," but the main character barely seemed to suffer from being homeless, and the racism was so overblown that a white character was surprised that black people used the same sort of toothbrushes as white people. I could go on and on but I'll leave it at this:
Receommendation: Only if you're a completionist

Strawberry Girl (1946)
This was a surprise delight. It was another story of a girl growing up on the frontier, but it wasn't the usual "frontier" - it was set in Florida. The story was based on real anecdotes and the author did a boatload of research, resulting in a story that did have a strong sense of realism.
Recommendation: Worth a read - it's short and gives you a peek into a world you may not have read about before.
Isn't Strawberry Girl the one where the kid (from a poor family of strawberry pickers/subsistence farmers) makes friends with the wife of the white-collar transplant who lives down the road?

I think there's a scene where it turns out that they purchased furniture they couldn't afford, correct? The girl concludes that the well off have problems too, or something like that. I remember it being heavy handed.

Of course, I read the book in my twenties, which was...a while back. Might have a different reaction today or might be misremembering...I do recall that scene as kind of preachy and unrealistic.

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Old 02-19-2017, 12:16 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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Nope. Different book.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:08 AM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Dear Mr. Henshaw (2004), by Beverly Cleary
Sorry to nitpick, but this book was actually published in 1984. I read it as a child, and I definitely was not a child in 2004.
Quote:
Eh, I don't think this one would have made the slightest impression on me as a kid [...]
FWIW it didn't make much impression on me as a kid. I remember the basic premise (boy writes series of letters to famous author), but that's it.

I checked out Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown as well as The Blue Sword from the public library yesterday based on the praise they received in the other thread, so I'll probably be back soon with an adult's opinion on those.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:31 AM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Sorry to nitpick, but this book was actually published in 1984. I read it as a child, and I definitely was not a child in 2004.
Good catch! Definitely 1984. Not sure what gremlin was controlling my fingers!
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:51 PM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is offline
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Nope. Different book.
Okay, thanks! Wonder what it was? Maybe it was another of the Lenski slice-of-life around America books, but I thought Strawberry Girl was the only one of them I'd actually read. A mystery.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:31 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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I just finished The Westing Game, but I'm so confused by it that I suspect I'll want to get into a back and forth; rather than hijacking this thread with lots of my questions, I started a new one.

I'm reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon to my 8yo as her bedtime book. It'll probably take us a couple months to finish, since we only read 5-20 minutes a night depending on the night; I'll let y'all know what I think. So far it feels like bog-standard fantasy to me, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:37 AM
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Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (1989), by Paul Fleischman.

This is the first Newbery-winning poetry collection I've read. It's pretty charming, with wit and a couple of laugh out loud lines. But only one of the poems really takes advantage of the "two voices" conceit in a memorable way. I liked very much that it was focused on that "unpoetic" topic of insects. The poems, though, felt slight. Not bad in the least, but wispy. ETA: I forgot one that struck me as deeper and more profound.

Recommendation: Well, I love poetry, and this is almost certainly the shortest book on the list (it took me about 20 minutes to read, even though I was doing it aloud) so I'm going to recommend everyone read it. I don't think there's anything there to hate, and it's accessible and has some whimsy without being doggerel.

Last edited by jsgoddess; 02-20-2017 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:13 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Recommendation: Well, I love poetry, and this is almost certainly the shortest book on the list (it took me about 20 minutes to read, even though I was doing it aloud) so I'm going to recommend everyone read it. I don't think there's anything there to hate, and it's accessible and has some whimsy without being doggerel.
I liked Joyful Noise too, and I think another Newbery poetry collection, Nancy Willard's A Visit to William Blake's Inn, is even better. It's one of the few Newbery books I own. Be sure to read the introduction.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 02-20-2017 at 01:14 PM.
  #24  
Old 02-23-2017, 05:02 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Just started Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:28 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Do we want to limit to winners, or include honors books?
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:00 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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The "project" as per the OP is focused on the winners, but I don't see any reason why we couldn't discuss notable honors books too.

Incidentally, your thread inspired me to re-read The Westing Game yet again.
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:18 PM
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Ginger Pye isn't a terrible book, but boy has it ended my momentum!
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:49 PM
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Ginger Pye (1952), by Eleanor Estes.

I'm struggling with what to say about this book. I think it's something some kids might like quite a bit. It beat out Charlotte's Web for the Newbery. It made me laugh at times and made me yawn at others.

Recommendation: I can't see really recommending this one to an adult reader. It's not terrible. But it's strangely empty. There is some humor in the kids' doings, and in the dog's doings, and the writing is fine. But the whole thing added up to something rather flat for this adult. Completists only, for the most part.

Last edited by jsgoddess; 02-25-2017 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:10 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Bud, Not Buddy (2000)

I am actually only halfway, but I have a huge recommendation for people reading this book.

Get the audiobook read by James Avery. Wow.

James Avery absolutely has made this book a great book for me. He really did a great job recording it. He sells the earnest-sounding voice of the "Bud" character, who is narrating the entire book. He really did just an amazing job. I think it's my favorite thing from James Avery, actually. He was a great actor and he delivered big time.

Worth it, if only to hear the great performance by James Avery. The book is really good as well.
  #30  
Old 02-26-2017, 07:12 AM
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Bud, Not Buddy (2000)

I am actually only halfway, but I have a huge recommendation for people reading this book.

Get the audiobook read by James Avery. Wow.

James Avery absolutely has made this book a great book for me. He really did a great job recording it. He sells the earnest-sounding voice of the "Bud" character, who is narrating the entire book. He really did just an amazing job. I think it's my favorite thing from James Avery, actually. He was a great actor and he delivered big time.

Worth it, if only to hear the great performance by James Avery. The book is really good as well.
Good to know! I read it every year to my students, and could probably pick up some good ideas about how to read it.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:43 AM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Good to know! I read it every year to my students, and could probably pick up some good ideas about how to read it.
Even though he is an adult, he just does a great job voicing Bud. Honestly, you could have convinced me he memorized the book and was reciting it. It transported me.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:56 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Just finished Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Not bad. Feels a lot like Addie Pray (which was filmed as Paper Moon.) 1930's setting in Kansas, with flashbacks to the same area during WWI. The main character often speaks of "universals", things and people she's seen all over the country. We call them tropes, and there are lots of them in this book. Various characters have "dead meat" written all over them, and sure enough, that's what happens.

Just put The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate on reserve.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 03-02-2017 at 09:59 AM.
  #33  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:23 AM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Strawberry Girl (1946)
This was a surprise delight. It was another story of a girl growing up on the frontier, but it wasn't the usual "frontier" - it was set in Florida. The story was based on real anecdotes and the author did a boatload of research, resulting in a story that did have a strong sense of realism.
Recommendation: Worth a read - it's short and gives you a peek into a world you may not have read about before.
I just read Strawberry Girl. Gah! The accent! I hate when authors spell out accents. When it started I was dismayed, but it was much better and more readable than I thought initially. It felt like Lenski painted herself into a bit of a corner with the relationships, so the ending felt odd to me.

Recommendation: It's short, and as Green Bean says, it's showing a different side of Florida.
  #34  
Old 03-02-2017, 11:51 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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As mentioned earlier, I'm reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle to my students. I'd forgotten how horrific the violence becomes: this week, I've read two scenes where I had to edit out gore, and even then one student told me it made his stomach hurt to listen to it.

The kids are totally enthralled, though, and the merest suggestion I put it away is met with a chorus of protests.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:32 PM
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Around ten years ago I took a good look at the list, and was surprised to see that though I was in my 50s I'd only read seven of them. (There were around 85 at the time.) So I set out to read the lot of them. It took a couple of years, as I was reading a lot of other books, too, but I finally finished reading them - including rereads of the seven. Since then I've read a few, though not all, of the new ones.

I highly recommend both Dicey's Song (Cynthia Voigt, 1983) and When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead, 2010). When I saw that Dicey was the second book in a series I decided to read the prequel first -- and I liked the two of them so much that I went on to read three of the other books in the series.

Moon Over Manifest (Clare Vanderpool, 2011) was also excellent.

Last edited by SCAdian; 03-02-2017 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Added one....
  #36  
Old 03-02-2017, 06:37 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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I highly recommend both Dicey's Song (Cynthia Voigt, 1983) and When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead, 2010). When I saw that Dicey was the second book in a series I decided to read the prequel first -- and I liked the two of them so much that I went on to read three of the other books in the series.
I picked Dicey's Song as my favorite in the "name your favorite Newbery winner" thread. Though if The Runner had been an option, I would have picked that. That book is a kick in the gut.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:23 PM
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Slightly off-topic, I'd also like to rcommend Time of Trial (Hester Burton) and Tamar (Mal Peet), recipients of the Carnegie Medal, the British equivalent to the Newbery.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:53 PM
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I picked Dicey's Song as my favorite in the "name your favorite Newbery winner" thread. Though if The Runner had been an option, I would have picked that. That book is a kick in the gut.
The Runner and Sons from Afar were the two I didn't read.
  #39  
Old 03-05-2017, 08:58 AM
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So far, I pretty much hate MC Higgins, the Great.
  #40  
Old 03-05-2017, 05:52 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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I finished Bud, Not Buddy.

It's a really good book. Again, made a lot better by James Avery's incredible audio recording. Still, it works very well on its own and is a nice book.

I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with the ending, which I won't spoil here. I kind of figured, as an adult reader, that I knew what to expect. I didn't and it was a nice little way to wrap things up.

Note: Even liking it, it is nowhere near as good as The Westing Game or The Giver. Not in the same league at all.

Last edited by Mahaloth; 03-05-2017 at 05:53 PM.
  #41  
Old 03-06-2017, 01:41 AM
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Here's what I posted in Dendarii Dame's All-Time Favorite Newbery thread:

I've read 47 of the Newbery winners--I teach Children's Lit on the college level, but the reason I teach it is that I love, adore reading children's books and even before teaching Children's Lit I had already read 16 of the winners.


I'm female, grew up in several countries around the world and have lived in the NY area for the past 30 years. I was a precocious reader and the first Newbery medalist I read was "The Voyages of Dr. Doolitle", at age 7.

Some of the books I've read since the "book club" started:
Flora and Ulysses: 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.

Moon over Manifest--I found it on Overdrive and really enjoyed it, and when I found that another of this author's books was also available on Overdrive (Navigating Early) I read it as well. Moon over Manifest reminded me a little of the family quest plot in Holes, as well as the Depression setting and social justice issues in Bud, Not Buddy.

Maniac Magee: Uneven but parts of it were really touching--I don't remember when I'd last cried so much when reading a children's book. I especially liked Maniac's relationship with Earl Grayson.

Dear Mr. Henshaw: I remember trying to read the Ramona books some years ago and not being able to get into them, so I approached this one with a little trepidation and found myself more absorbed than I expected. However I wonder whether it's a book that adults might think that kids should like--I don't really know what kids would think of the focus on writing to an author and learning how to develop an authentic voice.

Missing May: I picked this up at the library and realized that I actually have it tucked away somewhere on my shelves. I think I must have picked it up at a garage sale years ago and never got to reading it because I was put off by the cover illustration being odd. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_May
Yes, I know, "don't judge a book by its cover" but in this case I thought that the cover was actually an accurate reflection. It's odd, sad and sweet and short (more like a novella or even an extended short story) and at the end I found myself asking, was that all?

I also picked up Strawberry Girl, which I read at least 10-15 years ago and remembered enjoying, but as jsgoddess notes above, the accent / regionalisms spelled out are a bit off-putting at first. Has anyone read "Innocence", a short story by Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder? It's based on the family's stay in Florida in the 1890s and it reminds me of a darker, more adult version of the world of Strawberry Girl. I think I read a print version; unfortunately it's behind a paywall here: http://harpers.org/archive/1922/04/innocence/

Next on my list, also picked up from the library shelves, are two older ones, The Twenty-One Balloons and The Wheel on the School, and Dead End in Norvelt--hubby looked at the blurb on the back and said "'Laugh-out-loud Gothic comedy?' Is that your kind of book?" I have to admit it's not, so we'll see how that goes

Last edited by gkster; 03-06-2017 at 01:45 AM.
  #42  
Old 03-06-2017, 10:17 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
I finished Bud, Not Buddy.
...
Note: Even liking it, it is nowhere near as good as The Westing Game or The Giver. Not in the same league at all.
Heh. I would exactly reverse BnB and Westing Game: the latter was a fun intellectual puzzle (made more fun when people explained it to me in very small words), but I never gave a crap about the characters, and it never made me laugh. Bud Not Buddy moved me both to tears and to raucous laughter; I still giggle thinking of him in the car at 2 am.
  #43  
Old 03-08-2017, 10:42 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Started The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. It's very good so far, much better written than the other two Newberr medalists I've read recently, Moon Over Manifest and Crispin: Cross of Lead. It seems much more original, and I care about the characters more.
  #44  
Old 03-09-2017, 10:54 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Finished The One and Only Ivan. It's outstanding, and I'm very glad I decided to finish reading the rest of the Newbery Medalists, because otherwise I never would have read it.

Just started The Higher Power of Lucky, but Susan Patron.
  #45  
Old 03-09-2017, 11:10 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame View Post
Finished The One and Only Ivan. It's outstanding, and I'm very glad I decided to finish reading the rest of the Newbery Medalists, because otherwise I never would have read it.
It is very, very good, but it sort of violates one of my rules about children's books:
SPOILER:
The Dog Dies!

Okay, the elephant, but same principle: the thing where you get children to fall in love with an animal and then kill it off just feels too Very Special Episode to me.


Nevertheless, I have a fellow teacher who reads it to her class every year, and they adore it, so I think this is more my personal problem .

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 03-09-2017 at 11:10 AM.
  #46  
Old 03-10-2017, 06:18 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
It is very, very good, but it sort of violates one of my rules about children's books:

SPOILER:
The Dog Dies!

Okay, the elephant, but same principle: the thing where you get children to fall in love with an animal and then kill it off just feels too Very Special Episode to me.


Nevertheless, I have a fellow teacher who reads it to her class every year, and they adore it, so I think this is more my personal problem .
I just finished reading The One and Only Ivan (available on Overdrive, yay!) and highly recommend it. The point of view, theme and even the spoiler that Left Hand mentions above reminded me a little of one of my childhood faves, an abridged version of Anna Sewell's Black Beauty (which BTW is available, unabridged, on Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/files/271/271-h/271-h.htm)

Last edited by gkster; 03-10-2017 at 06:19 PM.
  #47  
Old 03-10-2017, 08:11 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Johnny Tremain (1944), by Esther Forbes. I wasn't enamored from the start, but it grew on me. I didn't like Johnny at all when it began. I don't think we were supposed to (at least I hope not), but he changed and the book changed and I changed and we were all hopey changey.

Recommendation: I think this one is worth reading as an adult. It's not treacly, has really solid and distinct characters, and captures the confusion and fear and bravery and idealism and foolhardiness of that moment in history in a really plausible way for me.
  #48  
Old 03-12-2017, 03:24 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Just finished The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron. I recommend it. Next up is whatever one I haven't read yet that I can find at the library next.
  #49  
Old 03-14-2017, 11:08 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Started The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, which is pretty good so far. It's in verse (some blank, some rhyme) which works for the main character, who narrates.
  #50  
Old 03-15-2017, 06:46 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Just finished The Crossover. It's excellent. The plot really feels like something that could realistically happen just as written, and I cared about the characters.
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