Tonight I finished reading the Newbery Award winners for this year.
This was a great book about a young girl dealing with challenges at school and home.
Merci is a scholarship student at a private school which comes with a special set of challenges, and in some ways is reminiscent of Piecing Me Together which was a Newbery Honor book last year. The story is about friendship, teamwork and the social challenges of sixth graders. There was also a great class project that was really interesting to me as a teacher.
Merci also had challenges at home dealing with a multi-generational family. Having to help take care of twin cousins, dealing with an older brother and the stress of having a grandparent with health issues all intertwined with her school challenges.
A wonderful book and a worthy winner of the Newbery Medal.
The story takes place in 1947 at the time of the partition of Pakistan and India. The story begins with Nisha receiving a diary for her birthday in which she starts to write to her mother who died at her birth.
Nisha’s family has to move from their home in what becomes Pakistan and migrate to India. They were part of 14 million people who migrated as Pakistan was created and people of different religions and sects moved to new areas.
There were many challenges in the migration as they had to make their way mainly on foot as travel by rail was dangerous. It is estimated that more than 1 million people died during the migration due to harsh conditions and violence.
A great story about a sad time in history that has lessons for us today.
The book is about an epic adventure set in France and Italy in 1350. I will try not to give away too much of the story as you will appreciate this book more if you discover a few things as you read it.
I will say that the book does a great job of bringing to light the many facets of the religious relic trade. The book is set at a time when many people are making pilgrimages to Rome. Europe had also recently been devastated by plague, famine and war and it was perilous to travel.
There are great adventures as they slowly cross the items off of the list.
The book has illustrations by Ian Schoenherr at the start of each chapter that also add to the story.
The Book of Boy reminded me of The Inquisitors Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Dog by Adam Gidwitz which was a Newbery Honor book in 2017.
I really enjoyed the Newbery books for this year. All three were great selections.