Newbery Roundup! The 2000s

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.


The Newbery Medal has been given out annually since 1922, and many of the recipients have been favorites ever since!


Here is the eighth set of winners, from 2000-2009. Have you read any of them?

2000 — "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him:

  • He has his own suitcase full of special things.

  • He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.

  • His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.


2001 — "A Year Down Yonder" by Richard Peck

Mary Alice remembers childhood summers packed with drama. At fifteen, she faces a whole long year with Grandma Dowdel, well known for shaking up her neighbors and everyone else. All Mary Alice can know for certain is this: when trying to predict how life with Grandma might turn out... better not. Sequel to A Long Way from Chicago.


2002 — "A Single Shard" by Linda Sue Park

Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission... even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.


2003 — "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" by Avi

In the small 14th-century English village where he has lived his entire life, the boy has grown up with no name of his own, known only as "Asta's son". But when his mother dies, the boy receives both his rightful name, Crispin, and a lead cross, inscribed with a secret that soon has him fleeing for his life.


2004 — "The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread" by Kate DiCamillo

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.


2005 — "Kira-Kira" by Cynthia Kadohata

kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shining

Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason and so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare, and it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow, but when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering kira-kira in the future.


2006 — "Criss Cross" by Lynne Rae Perkins

Debbie Pelbry wishes something would happen. So do her friends in their small hometown of Seldem. And things do happen: They meet new people (people with possibilities), they learn to do new things (like play the guitar or drive a car), and they spend time with one another (at picnics and pig roasts, on roofs and in driveways). In this lyrical, funny, and gentle novel, a group of teenagers begin to find themselves.


2007 — "The Higher Power of Lucky" by Susan Patron

Lucky, age 10, can't wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has. It's all Brigitte's fault for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead, Lucky is sure that she'll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won't be allowed. She'll have to lose her friends: Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tiers. Just as bad, she'll have to give up eavesdropping on 12-step anonymous programs, where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own "higher power" — and quick. But she hadn't planned on a dust storm, or needing to lug the world's heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert...


2008 — "Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village" by Laura Amy Schlitz

Step back to medieval 1255 England and meet 22 villagers, illustrated in pen and ink, inspired by the Munich-Nuremberg manuscript, an illuminated poem from thirteenth-century Germany. Hugo, the lord’s nephew, proves his manhood by hunting a wild boar. Sharp-tongued Nelly supports her family by selling live eels. Peasant Mogg gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. Barbary slings mud on noble Jack. Alice is the singing shepherdess. And many more...


2009 — "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead. There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod's family.

Some of these books are available at the Swanton Public Library. If you are interested in reading one that we don't have, we can definitely order a copy!


We'll continue rounding up the Newbery Medal winners by decade until we reach today. Stay tuned!


Descriptions adapted from GoodReads and Amazon.

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