Today I passed a major milestone in my Newbery Challenge. In fact, at one time I pondered having this milestone be the completion of my Newbery Challenge.
Prior to 1971, the American Library Association only presented the Newbery Medal. Those books that were also considered were mentioned as runners-up.
In 1972 they retroactively named all the runners-up as Newbery Honor books and started awarding Newbery Honors each year along with the Newbery Medal.
As you can see by my scorecard, I still have a long way to go.
I really enjoyed this book. I would consider this a fairy tale, but it is definitely more than just a fairy tale.
The story is about a group of girls from a small town in the mountains. The country is mostly in the lowlands and it is time for the prince to select a wife. The priests have divined that the new princess must come from this small mountain town. Unfortunately, none of the girls have any schooling. They set up a Princess Academy where they learn how to read and also about the culture and customs of their country so that they can make a good appearance before the prince when he comes to make his choice.
The girls learn and apply their knowledge as they deal with many different challenges. The plot twists and turns as you grow to love the different characters in the story. The character development in this story is very well done and by the end of the story you definitely know each major character well enough to appreciate the way the story is tied together at the end.
This is all I will write about the book, I don’t want to spoil the story if you want to read it. This is definitely on my recommendation list.
There are two sequels to this book. Book 3 in the series was just released yesterday. They are definitely on my to-read list now.
Now we will take a look at some of the runners-up and the challenge that is ahead.
Tom Paine: Freedom’s Apostle by Leo Gurko is one of the older Newbery runners-up. This book is definitely an example of one of the categories of the older runners-up. Many of them are biographies of famous people.
When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw & other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer is another runner-up that I read recently. It is an example of another category of books that includes tales from different countries or ethnic groups.
While reading through the Newbery books I have learned so much about History and culture and have taken a tour of the World.
I have mentioned in previous updates that the books that are left will be more difficult to source.
I have read all the Newbery books that are in my library system. Fortunately I also have access to Link+. Through Link+ I can request books from a large number of libraries in California.
However, I have found that some of the older books are not even available through Link+. So far I have been able to find them in electronic format and since they are so old I can view them for free. Plus, they are scans of the books so I can see the original drawings, pictures and fonts. I just don’t get the experience of holding some of these wonderful old books in my hands while reading.
The process will be slow as I can only have five books checked out at a time from Link+. With the delay between request and delivery, library hours and reading time this will only average out to about 2-3 books a week. It may be a stretch to finish the challenge before the end of the year.
Keep tuned as there are some milestones along the way to completion and I will most likely want to share information about some of the books.
Only 85 more to read 🙂