The new year brings awards like the Grammys, the Oscars, and the Tonys to mind, but for fans of children’s literature, it also brings the announcement of the John Newberry Medal, which has recognized children’s literature in the United States since 1922.
For 2020, the recognition goes to New Kid by Jerry Craft.
The story tells of a 7th grader who is learning to navigate his way between two worlds, as he finds himself as the new student at school. This is the first time that a graphic novel has been awarded the Newberry, which goes to show that graphic novels are being recognized as literature. This graphic novel is recommended for 10-14 year olds.
Four Newberry Honor Books
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander was originally written for ESPN’s The Undefeated in 2016. This poetic picture book is meant for 6-12 year olds. Alexander received the 2015 Newberry Medal for The Crossover.
Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker is actually considered a horror story geared towards 9-14 year olds. It is a story told by a mother fox to her curious kits.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga shares the story of girl from Syria finding her place in the United States, while also finding out how she is. This book is written in verse and targeted to those 11 years and older.
Genesis Begins Again written by Alicia D. Williams tells the story of 13 year old who overcomes her circumstances with the help of a teacher. This story is meant for 10-14 year olds.
This group of Newberry books include a range of literature for children. Challenge your child to read these or create a book club to discuss them with your child.