The Newbery Challenge

I’m setting myself a nearly-impossible challenge. You are invited watch my attempt! Here goes: I’m planning to read all the Newbery Medal winning books, and my goal is to finish the list by the end of the year (that’s 91 books!). Crazy, I know. But a little crazy is good for you.

I’m going to start at the beginning–in 1922!–and work my way to the present. As I go, I hope to write and post my observations about each book.

Here’s the list (I’ll add links to this list as I go):

2012     Dead End in Norvelt,Jack Gantos
2011     Moon Over Manifest,Clare Vanderpool
2010     When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead
2009     The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
2008     Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, Laura Amy Schlitz
2007     The Higher Power of Lucky, Susan Patron
2006     Criss Cross, Lynne Rae Perkins
2005     Kira-Kira, Cynthia Kadohata
2004     The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo
2003     Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Avi
2002     A Single Shard, Linda Sue Park
2001     A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck
2000     Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis
1999     Holes, Louis Sachar
1998     Out of the Dust, Karen Hesse
1997     The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg
1996     The Midwife’s Apprentice, Karen Cushman
1995     Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech
1994     The Giver, Lois Lowry
1993     Missing May, Cynthia Rylant
1992     Shiloh Phyllis, Reynolds Naylor
1991     Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli
1990     Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
1989     Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Paul Fleischman
1988     Lincoln: A Photobiography, Russell Freedman
1987     The Whipping Boy, Sid Fleischman
1986     Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
1985     The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
1984     Dear Mr. Henshaw, Beverly Cleary
1983     Dicey’s Song, Cynthia Voigt
1982     A Visit to William Blake’s Inn, Nancy Willard
1981     Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson
1980     A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832, Joan W. Blos
1979     The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
1978     Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
1977     Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor
1976     The Grey King, Susan Cooper
1975     M. C. Higgins, the Great, Virginia Hamilton
1974     The Slave Dancer, Paula Fox
1973     Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George
1972     Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Robert C. O’Brien
1971     Summer of the Swans, Betsy Byars
1970     Sounder, William H. Armstrong
1969     The High King, Lloyd Alexander
1968     From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg
1967     Up a Road Slowly, Irene Hunt
1966     I, Juan de Pareja, Elizabeth Borton de Treviño
1965     Shadow of a Bull, Maia Wojciechowska
1964     It’s Like This, Cat, Emily Neville
1963     A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
1962     The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
1961     Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
1960     Onion, John Joseph Krumgold
1959     The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
1958     Rifles for Watie, Harold Keith
1957     Miracles on Maple Hill, Virginia Sorensen
1956     Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham
1955     The Wheel on the School, Meindert DeJong
1954     …And Now Miguel, Joseph Krumgold
1953     Secret of the Andes, Ann Nolan Clark
1952     Ginger Pye, Eleanor Estes
1951     Amos Fortune, Free Man, Elizabeth Yates
1950     The Door in the Wall, Marguerite de Angeli
1949     King of the Wind, Marguerite Henry
1948     The Twenty-One Balloons, William Pène du Bois
1947     Miss Hickory, Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
1946     Strawberry Girl, Lois Lenski
1945     Rabbit Hill, Robert Lawson
1944     Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes
1943     Adam of the Road, Elizabeth Janet Gray
1942     The Matchlock Gun, Walter Edmonds
1941     Call It Courage, Armstrong Sperry
1940     Daniel Boone, James Daugherty
1939     Thimble Summer, Elizabeth Enright
1938     The White Stag, Kate Seredy
1937     Roller Skates, Ruth Sawyer
1936     Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryrie Brink
1935     Dobry, Monica Shannon
1934     Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women, Cornelia Meigs
1933     Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze, Elizabeth Lewis
1932     Waterless Mountain, Laura Adams Armer
1931     The Cat Who Went to Heaven, Elizabeth Coatsworth
1930     Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, Rachel Field
1929     The Trumpeter of Krakow, Eric P. Kelly
1928     Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon, Dhan Gopal Mukerji
1927     Smoky, the Cowhorse, Will James
1926     Shen of the Sea, Arthur Bowie Chrisman
1925     Tales from Silver Lands, Charles Finger
1924     The Dark Frigate, Charles Hawes
1923     The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting
1922     The Story of Mankind, Hendrik Willem van Loon

I’ve read 23 of these books in the past (but I will be rereading all of them!). How many have you read? What is your favorite Newbery winner?

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5 thoughts on “The Newbery Challenge

  1. Karen Bailey says:

    Hey Allison! This is a very cool reading challenge. I was amazed to discover that I’ve read 40 off the list. Choosing a favorite was difficult. I was going down the list thinking “Oh yeah, I forgot about that one, I love that one!” I haven’t read most of them in quite some time, but going on my memories of my favorites, my top five are: The Westing Game, A Wrinkle in Time, Hitty, Caddie Woodlawn and The Grey King. Runners-up are: The Hero and the Crown, Sarah, Plain and Tall and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the books. Good reading!

  2. mom says:

    Wow! What a great goal! I’d do it with you, but I don’t think I could keep up. Maybe I’ll try anyway…
    I read a few of these back when you were three, and I took a children’s lit course in NY. It was my goal then to read them all, though I did not give myself a time limit, and I didn’t finish the list. I was surprised at how some of them turned out, like Rabbit Hill.
    Looking forward to your observations!

  3. Heb says:

    I’m impressed! Such a worthwhile challenge. I’d expect nothing less. :) So many wonderful books! I believe it is impossible to choose a favorite.

  4. Keely says:

    A wrinkle in time was definitely a childhood favorite of mine. This is awesome, Allison!

  5. I am just now looking at this, and I’m curious to know how it’s going. I have read a number of these books, and I was totally surprised and delighted by some of the more recent ones, like Kira-Kira and Bud, Not Buddy. I liked them even though they had first-person narrators. You know how I feel about first-person narrators. Oh, I also enjoyed When You Reach Me, which I think I borrowed from you. Holes is fun too.
    I hope it’s going well for you!

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