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March 06, 2014

2014 Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners

Posted in: Children's Books, Writing for Children

Here is the list of the 2014 Newbery Medal and Honor Award Winners. I’m providing links to the books both on Amazon and on Audible, so you can pick your preferred method of “reading”.
Newbery Medal Award WinnerIf you are like me, I know you’ll want to snatch these up, partly for enjoyment, but also to learn from master storytellers.

So… the 2014 Winner of the John Newbery Medal is…. Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo. Described as a “laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format - a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences, plus full-page illustrations” and a “genre-breaking new novel”. Flora & Ulysses tells the story of … oh, hell, like I could tell it better than DiCamillo. You can get Flora & Ulysses on Amazon or Flora and Ulysses on Audible - runtime 4 hours and 24 minutes. Since this book has pictures, I think I will take a look at it in person before choosing paperback or audio.
Pages: 240
Grade Level: 3 - 7

The 2014 Newbery Honor Books

Doll Bones by Holly BlackCover of Doll Bones a 2014 Newberry Honor book Holly Black, co-creator of the Spiderwick Chronicles, is no newcomer to the children’s book bestseller list, herself.
Synopsis: Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan…

You can get Doll Bones on Amazon or Doll Bones on Audible - runtime 5 hours and 15 minutes
Pages: 256
Grade Level: 5 - 9

The Next Newbery Honor book is….

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes- 2014 Newbery Honor Winner
A laugh-out-loud-funny story that featuring a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums.

Keven Henkes is “the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels.”

I really like this cover. This one is targeted at slightly younger kids.

Pages: 240 The print is a bit bigger, note Audible’s shorter reading time

Grade Level: 3 - 7

You can get The Year of Billy Miller on Amazon or The Year of Billy Miller on Audible - runtime 2 hours 22 minutes


Newbery Honor Winner for 2014One Came Home by Amy Timberlake.
One Came Home is a historical novel set in rural Wisconsin in 1871 which features a protagonist known for her aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly. One Came Home also has a great opening, see if you don’t agree

So it comes to this, I remember thinking on Wednesday, June 7, 1871. The date sticks in my mind because it was the day of my sister’s first funeral and I knew it wasn’t her last — which is why I left. That’s the long and short of it.

But surely, you’d rather hear the long than the short.

Excerpt from One Came Home

Well they sold me on wanting to hear the rest. If you feel the same, you can get One Came Home on Amazon or One Came Home on Audible - runtime 6 hours 45 minutes

Final 2014 Newbery Honor Book

Newbery Honor Book PaperboyPaperboy by Vince Vawter
is now a Newbery Honor winner, but it was already, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, a BookPage Best Children’s Book.

Synopsis: A boy who stutters comes-of-age in the segregated South, during the summer that changes his life.

An 11-year-old boy living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend’s paper route for the month of July, he knows he’ll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything.

The paper route poses challenges, but it’s a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble–and puts the boy’s life, as well as that of his family’s devoted housekeeper, in danger.

Pages: 240
Grade Level: Grade 5 and up

You can get Paperboy on Amazon OR… you guessed Paperboy on Audible - runtime 6 hours and 10 minutes

2014 Caldecott Medal Award Winner

And now for the big, bright, glorious picture books that are Caldecott Award Winners. First the BIG medal, the 2014 Caldecott Medal winner IS…..
2014 Caldecott WinnerLocomotive by Brian Floca

In the words of its many 5-star reviewers, this book is:

“A breathtaking look at a family’s 1869 journey from Omaha to Sacramento via the newly completed Transcontinental Railroad.”

“The pictures were amazing. Very simple, yet at the same time, detailed.”

“Wonderful picture book for kids who think they are too old for picture books.”

Amazon currently has it pretty heavily discounted, so you can add this beauty to your collection or make a train-loving kid very happy without breaking the budget.

2014 Caldecott Honor Books

Journey

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book
Caldecott Honor Book in 2014Journey by Aaron Becker

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

available on Amazon

Fora and the Flamingo

FlamingoFlora and the Flamingo with Molly Idle
Synopsis: Innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!
Flora and the Flamingo is available on Amazon
WufflesMr. Wuffles by David Weisner
Synopsis: In a near wordless masterpiece that could only have been devised by David Wiesner, a cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn’t care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He’s much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens—but the ship wasn’t designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble.

When the space visitors dodge the cat and take shelter behind the radiator to repair the damage, they make a host of insect friends. The result? A humorous exploration of cooperation between aliens and insects, and of the universal nature of communication involving symbols, “cave” paintings, and gestures of friendship.
Available on Amazon

So isn’t it ironic that the Caldecott Medal book had extensive text, far more than the average. Yet the Honor Book awards went to wordless and “nearly wordless” stories.

I hope you enjoy these books. But you probably aren’t really still there, as one of these descriptions has made you rush off to Amazon or Audible and left me all alone here.

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