February 11th, 2019 by Kidsmomo
Recently, the American Library Association announced the 2019 Newbery Medal Winner and 2019 Newbery Honor Books. If you’re not familiar with these awards, just think of them as the Oscars — but for books. Every year, the Newbery is given to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” In other words, it’s not just a big deal… it’s a BIG DEAL (in all caps)!
So if you were wondering what to read next, look no further than this year’s BIG award winners (official descriptions from the publishers):
2019 Newbery Medal Winner:
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
Merci Suárez knew that 6th grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
2019 Newbery Honor Books:
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu 12-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity… and for a hopeful future.
The Book of Boy written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr
Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town — until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspenseful expedition across Europe to gather seven precious relics of Saint Peter. Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end — for what if St. Peter has the power to make him the same as the other boys?
Are you excited to read any of these books? Or have you already read them? Leave a comment and let us know!