Friday, April 7, 2017

My Newbery Project

One of my lifetime goals as a reader is to tackle the Newbery Medal Award Winners and Honor Books list. I recently went back through the archives of the American Library Association (ALA) to see how many of the books I've actually read. As it turns out, that number is not nearly as high as I thought.

I read quite a bit of children's literature, but when making this list to feature here on Top Shelf Text, I realized that I really haven't read many of these acclaimed books. As an educator and a children's literature fanatic, I want to be both a reader and an advocate of quality children's literature. Which means that I need to step up my game and get to it.

I'm posting the list of winners here (on the bar above, click My Newbery Project to find the page) for a quick reference guide for myself and for other readers who might want to follow along as I tackle this (rather long list). Because the full list of winners from 1922-Present features so. many. titles., I am starting with a shortened version featuring the award winners & honor books from the 1970's up to now. For each year 2017-1970, you'll find the title and author, and for those I've crossed off my to-read list, you'll also find the year in which I read the book.

Many of these books are ones that I read as a child, but in many cases I don't remember more than a few details about the books. I want to tackle the full list now as an adult, so that I can make better recommendations to both my students and readers of my blog. I won't be reviewing all of them, but I may post an occasional update with some thoughts as I continue to check off titles on the list.

How long will this project take me? Years. That's for sure. Will I ever check off every single title? I hope so, but who knows. Above my desk I have a framed print that says "The joy is in the journey," and that's the attitude I'm choosing to have when it comes to this project.


Have you ever completed a reading challenge? Tell me about it!


  1. The Perilous Gard! My children and I loved this story; we listed on audio books years ago. My children were educated through middle school in classical education style, & we read so many wonderful books throughout the years. Thanks for the list. You've reminded me of a number of favorites. -- Michele

  2. Love this list! I love children's literature, although haven't read many of these like you. Maybe I'll try to read all the winners and the honor books will be a bonus!

  3. I love this idea. Based on your insta feed I have two of these on my list to take on vacation with me later this week. I saved a copy of your list so I could add one or two from the list anytime I need some TBR additions. Eventually, I could read them all. :)

  4. I would recommend Holes and The Westing Game. Both appear to be books you would enjoy. The westing game is more of a mystery than Holes although Holes does have some suspenseful elements. Obviously everything on this list is well written but these are two of my favorites.

  5. Love this idea! This was the first year that I read the winner and all of the honors by February (I had already read the winner this year and already had another one on hold so I had a head start at the library holds lists) and I loved that feeling so much. I'm going to try to keep doing that from now on and I'm slowly working through the backlog as well. I'm trying to figure out if I will abandon some of the books if I'm really not loving them though.

  6. I LOVED Roller Girl so much more than I expected! I keep handing it to every student I see.