The 2014 Newbery awards have been released. What do you think? Want to know my thoughts??
I’m somewhat stymied by the Newbery’s sometimes. The books often seem to lack appeal to the target audience, featuring long ago historical settings or overly sad subjects (FYI – that’s actually one reason that the Cybils were formed, to help gel the two ideas of literary merit and kid appeal). I think this is a pretty good slate. I’ve read and enjoyed many of the books.
- I have not read Doll Bones by Holly Black, but it’s been on my radar, and I’d like my son and I to try it out.
- I started One Came Home by Amy Timberlake, but due to a very tight reading schedule for the Cybils, I had to put it aside. I had always planned to get back to it, and now I will for sure. It is historical fiction, but has a good pace and plot.
- I liked Kevin Henkes’ The Year of Billy Miller, and when I read it, I already knew that it was getting lots of pre-Newbery buzz. I liked it, but I think it has a pretty narrow target audience of young readers (6 to 8 years old).
- When I reviewed Paperboy by Vince Vawter, I gave it 5-Stars. It is historical fiction, but it’s much more recent. It features some Civil Rights issues, which do seem to appeal to kids, and I thought it had a great message of understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses. Unlike Billy Miller, I think this is a novel for older kids, 5th grade and up.
- AND THE WINNER Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCAmillo — Kyle read this before I did, after I received an ARC this summer. He didn’t think he’d like it, but was hooked from page 1 and told me to get to reading, pronto. I too loved it, and my 15-year-old daughter liked it as well! If you don’t like quirk, you might not appreciate it, but I think this is a multi-layered story with humor and heart (my two faves) that will appeal to readers across a broad spectrum. Elementary kids won’t need any coaxing, but give it to your middle schooler too.
What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Are you putting any on your to-read list now?