Written in 1906 to benefit a London children’s hospital, this classic has gone through such a wringer of stage, film, and animated adaptations, not to mention picture-book retellings, that reading or hearing the original text is now somewhat unusual; but not nearly as unusual as the story itself, which is by turns witty and bizarre and melancholy and gruesome, and always narrated in a uniquely teasing way.
Second-grader Ramona Quimby is distressed when her father loses his job. This brings changes in her family, which includes an older sister “Beezus” (given name Beatrice) who is going through that “difficult age,” a cat who snubs cheap cat food, and a mother who has to work so hard to support the family that she doesn’t have time to do things like sewing a sheep costume for the Christmas program. But what worries Ramona most is her father, who is moody and smokes too much.
Food, family and politics come together in this 2001 Newbery Honor Book by the author of the highly acclaimed Rules of the Road.
Dicey is the oldest of four siblings who are in the process of being adopted by their grandmother, after being abandoned by their mentally ill mother, and making their way alone from Boston to Eastern Maryland. Now that school has started and a little normalcy has come into their lives, they should live happily ever after, right?
The author of After the Goat Man, The House of Wings, Trouble River, and The Cybil War won the Newbery Medal for this book in 1971. It doesn’t actually tell about the whole summer. It all happens in two days’ time.
Framed by letters in which a great-grandmother in 1899 hands over her girlish diary to her thirteen-year-old namesake, this 1980 Newbery Medal winner takes the form of the diary of Catherine Hall, a New Hampshire farm girl in a time of simple, hard country life, growing controversy over the issue of slavery, and changes in her circle of family and friends.
The Newbery Medal winner of 1992, which I believe has been made into a film, is worth reading whether you have seen the movie or not.
From this author of many childrens picture books and several young readers novels comes this 1986 winner of the Newbery Medal. It is a short novel, quickly read, yet one that you may want to savor. For not only is it a sweet story, but it is told with exceptional beauty.
The 1995 Newbery Medal winner is part mystery, part family drama, with a gentle philosophical heart and a conclusion in which an ample supply of Kleenex is advised.
Award-winning author Sharon Creech comes through with what may be the shortest novel in history (in terms of word count, at least). And its printed entirely in the format of poetry.