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Newbery Medal Winners

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Single Shard

By: Linda Sue Park
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Tree Ear, a homeless orphan, longs to work as a potter, a respected but competitive employment — especially for a boy who lives under a bridge. Set in 12th century Korea, this Newbery Medal winning novel is as relevant as if it were taking place today. (2002 Newbery Medal Winner)

Bud, Not Buddy

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young Bud runs away from the latest and worst foster home in search of his father. Though he doesn't find his father, Bud (not Buddy) does find family, music, and more on his long trek across Michigan during the Depression. In this Newbery-winning novel, both humor and Bud's naive voice make difficult issues accessible to younger readers. (2000 Newbery Medal Winner)

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

By: Avi
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Crispin is falsely accused of murder and must flee his medieval town to save his life. But, just as he's leaving, he learns from the village priest that his parents' origins — and fates — might be more mysterious than he ever imagined… (2003 Newbery Medal Winner)

Criss Cross

By: Lynne Rae Perkins
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This story reads like a series of intersecting vignettes, all focused on 14-year-old Debbie and her friends as they leave childhood behind. The descriptive, measured writing includes poems, prose, haiku, and question-and-answer formats. Perkins brings a great deal of humor to this gentle story about a group of childhood friends facing the crossroads of life and how they wish to live it. (2006 Newbery Medal Winner)

Dead End in Norvelt

By: Jack Gantos
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This humorous and heartwarming novel takes place during the summer of 1962, when narrator Jack Gantos turns 12 and has been "grounded for life" by his parents. He takes on a summer job writing obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his Utopian town, Norvelt. Gantos expertly mixes truth and fiction in this book. For mature readers 9-12 and teens. (2012 Newbery Medal Winner)

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

By: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: KG Campbell
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The small squirrel rescued from a super vacuum cleaner by 10-year old Flora emerges hairless but with new superpowers. Newly named Ulysses, the squirrel cracks Flora's protective cynicism as she copes with her parents' separation. Humor and pathos combine in text and illustration in this humorous, memorable and poignant novel. (2014 Newbery Medal Winner)

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

By: Laura Schlitz
Illustrated by: Robert Byrd
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Maidens, monks, and millers’ sons — in these pages, readers will meet them all. With a deep appreciation for the period and a grand affection for both characters and audience, Laura Amy Schlitz creates twenty-two riveting portraits and linguistic gems equally suited to silent reading or performance. (2008 Newbery Medal Winner)

Kira-Kira

By: Cynthia Kadohata
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This tender novel describes a loving Japanese-American family from the point of view of the younger sister. Personal challenges and family tragedy, particularly the older sister's struggle with lymphoma, are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and early 1960s. (2005 Newbery Medal Winner)

Last Stop on Market Street

By: Matt de la Peña
Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A slightly grumpy CJ asks his grandma why they have to take a bus across town every Sunday after church. Her answers are playful, wise, and effective; CJ admits he's glad they came to see their friends at the soup kitchen where they serve. Bright, stylized illustrations and rich, well-paced language presents a warm relationship and a diverse urban locale. (2016 Newbery Medal Winner)

Moon Over Manifest

By: Clare Vanderpool
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future. Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. (2011 Newbery Medal Winner)

Roller Girl

By: Victoria Jamieson
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Astrid realizes that her interests differ from those of her best friend but decides to pursue them anyway. How the girls’ friendship weathers this is key to this story as much as information about the sport in this engaging graphic novel.

The Crossover

By: Kwame Alexander
Genre: Fiction, Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Bell twins are stars on the basketball court and comrades in life. While there are some differences — Josh shaves his head and Jordan loves his locks — both twins adhere to the Bell basketball rules: In this game of life, your family is the court, and the ball is your heart. When life intervenes in the form of a new girl, the balance shifts and growing apart proves painful. Alexander eloquently mashes up concrete poetry, hip-hop, a love of jazz, and a thriving family bond. The effect is poetry in motion. It is a rare verse novel that is fundamentally poetic rather than using this writing trend as a device. There is also a quirky vocabulary element that adds a fun intellectual note to the narrative. This may be just the right book for those hard-to-match youth who live for sports or music or both. (2015 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

By: Kelly Barnhill
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, Fantasy
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. The swiftly paced, highly imaginative plot draws a myriad of threads together to form a web of characters, magic, and integrated lives. Spiritual overtones encompass much of the storytelling with love as the glue that holds it all together. (2017 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Graveyard Book

By: Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by: Dave McKean
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. (2009 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Higher Power of Lucky

By: Susan Patron
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ten-year old Lucky lives in a small California desert town with her guardian Brigitte, her father's ex. Lucky's "family" also includes the adults at the 12-Step meetings she eavesdrops on. When Lucky begins to worry that Brigitte will return to her native France, she searches for her own "higher power." This title is a Newbery Award winner. (2007 Newbery Medal Winner)

The One and Only Ivan

By: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ivan lives in a "domain" at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall. In evocative language and gentle illustrations Ivan's story unfolds through his touching, taut, yet hopeful narration. It's a chronicle of friendship, loyalty, and the power of art. (2013 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Tale of Despereaux

By: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: Timothy Basil Ering
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Distinct stories which involve a mouse, a human princess, and a rat seamlessly come together to surprise and absorb readers as they see the struggle between light and dark in this Newbery-winning novel. (2004 Newbery Nedal Winner)

When You Reach Me

By: Rebecca Stead
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bits and pieces in Miranda's life in New York City in 1978 mysteriously come together to reveal a surprising whole in which Miranda’s favorite book, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time, figures prominently. (2010 Newbery Medal Winner)

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