Listening to Newbery Award Winners - My Magical Journey

Some of the best advice I ever got about writing for children was to listen to great children’s books on tape (this was back before CD’s were the more common form of audiobook). And the fastest way of finding great children’s books to listen to was to grab a list of Newbery Award Winners and either borrow a copy from the library (our library has an interlibrary loan program which means almost all of these titles are available) or purchase on Amazon or Ebay.

This has definitely improved my writing, but better still, it’s transformed my boring, irritatingly-long commute into a magical journey where I meet new heros and heroines, forget my problems and vicarously rise to new challenges every work day. The measure of an awesome book is one where I am looking forward to driving IN in the morning. OR…. a book so great, that I take it OUT of the car at night, carry it into the house AND find a task I can do while listening to it.


If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad or don’t have a long commute, there are still plenty of opportunities for listening to an audiobook. Turn one on when you make lunch, wash the dishes, sort laundry, or download an audiobook to an iPod before going for a walk or jog. Everyone can enjoy a good story as you drive to soccer practice, though if you carpool, expect outrage if the story is not resumed where it left off on the last trip!

This is a relaxing way to nurture your inner writer without spending any time at all, proving that planning and using your time well can be simple and fun.

Oh, and if you want some quick links to audio versions of the Newbery Award Winners (and Honor Books), I started a List of Newbery Award Winners Audiobooks on Amazon. As of today the list only includes Newbery Award books from 2008 back to 1999, but I’ll keep adding to it.

If you don’t care about having an audiobook version, and just want a list of Newbery Award Winners, you can use Amazon’s List of Newbery Award Winners and Honor Books.

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