Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Newbery Books Ranked!

Since 1922, the single "most distinguished contribution to children's literature" has been given the annual John Newbery Medal by the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Every list you've probably ever seen arranges these award winners by year of award, or perhaps by author. Not this one.

Finally, the list everyone really wants... the awards, arranged--not by year--but by how much a totally biased group of readers enjoyed them.
Which Newbery winner, in this group's opinion, is the most fun to read? Well, read on...

For nearly five years, the completely biased, non-scientific, Newbery Book Discussion Group met monthly to digest a randomly selected past Newbery book and an equally random pot luck dinner. Group members were primarily teachers and librarians. All liked to read children's and young adults' books. None could pass up a Dove Bar while arguing the merits of the book under discussion. This Group read, debated, and ate its way to creating a list of Newbery winners in rank order of what we liked best.

In November 2000, the Group "reordered" the list and decided to discuss and add the latest Newbery winner each year. The annotations, like the ranking itself, reflect the flavor of the Group's discussion. In June 2009, we added the most recent winner, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, to our ranked list. See the list here.

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