Friday, May 19, 2017

Newbery Project Update

I'm the type of person who is always taking on a new challenge, whether it's fitness, food, or book-related, I love working towards new goals. Which is why I'm really loving My Newbery Project, as it's helping me to refocus my children's literature brain on quality books that stand the test of time. I thought I'd update you on the progress I've made so far in 2017.

I love the characters in this book -- Claudia's sass and Jamie's imagination spurred me quickly through the story. This would be a great one for an elementary book club discussion.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This has been my favorite so far. I listened to it on audio and Woodson narrates it herself. It's a novel in verse so it's a quick read, but I would absolutely recommend it for both children and adults.

I really struggled with the first half of this book. It felt scattered and I was so disoriented that I considered putting it down and calling it a loss. So I took a few days off from it and came back with a firm goal of getting to the end. I'm so glad I did, because the ending made this book for me. I thought to myself, Oh, now I get it. I can't see myself recommending this to many students to read independently, but the lessons embedded within are so very important that I would love to lead a student book club in reading this. Now that I've reached the end I think I'd like to re-read it, just to have a clearer picture of the threads that Barnhill was weaving from the very beginning.

We read this for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, and I loved it. That didn't surprise me though, because I'd read Jefferson's Sons before it and adored that one as well. Some of the best historical fiction in middle grade comes from Brubaker Bradley. I can't wait for the sequel to this one, coming out this August.

Not my favorite. This book dealt with tragedy in a way that felt shallow to me and in the end I felt really surprised that it even made it onto the honors list.


I'm currently working on crafting the list of Newbery titles I'd like to tackle this summer, so if you have a favorite that you think I absolutely must read ASAP, leave a comment or send me a message!


  1. I love this project of yours! I've been really into children's lit and reading more Newberys (and Caldecotts) in the last year. I had no idea The War That Saved My Life has a sequel coming out -- I'll have to look out for that one (and finally read the first, which I've been convinced I'll love for a while now, but you know, haven't actually read yet!)

    FYI: There is a year-long Newbery challenge hosted by Julie over on Smiling Shelves -- it's one of my favorites so I'm glad she's been keeping it going these past few years. You have your own project going on, but if anyone likes a little extra motivation, I think it's fun to tally up the points and aim for one of the levels by the end of the year :)

  2. I'm not sure if you've read this one yet, but I loved Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (2011 winner). Plus, the cover is charming, so it's fun to look at when you put it down. I just loved this one so much!