Newbery Project Update / by Madeleine

I'm the type of person who is always taking on a new challenge, whether it's fitness, food, or book-related, I love working towards new goals. Which is why I'm really loving My Newbery Project, as it's helping me to refocus my children's literature brain on quality books that stand the test of time. I thought I'd update you on the progress I've made so far in 2017.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

I love the characters in this book -- Claudia's sass and Jamie's imagination spurred me quickly through the story. This would be a great one for an elementary book club discussion.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This has been my favorite so far. I listened to it on audio and Woodson narrates it herself. It's a novel in verse so it's a quick read, but I would absolutely recommend it for both children and adults.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

I really struggled with the first half of this book. It felt scattered and I was so disoriented that I considered putting it down and calling it a loss. So I took a few days off from it and came back with a firm goal of getting to the end. I'm so glad I did, because the ending made this book for me. I can't say I understand how it rose to the very top of middle grade picks, and I can't see myself recommending this to many students to read independently, but I did see value in the lessons embedded.

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We read this for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, and I loved it. That didn't surprise me though, because I'd read Jefferson's Sonsbefore it and adored that one as well. Some of the best historical fiction in middle grade comes from Brubaker Bradley. I can't wait for the sequel to this one, coming out this August.

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

Not my favorite. This book dealt with tragedy in a way that felt shallow to me and in the end I felt really surprised that it even made it onto the honors list.


I'm currently working on crafting the list of Newbery titles I'd like to tackle this summer, so if you have a favorite that you think I absolutely must read ASAP, leave a comment or send me a message!