Newbery Project Update / by Madeleine


Today I'm giving you a quick update on the Newbery Award & Honoree titles I've read and listened to recently!

If you're new to TST and don't yet know about my Newbery Project, you can read about it here. My goal is to read all of the Newbery books -- including both award-winners and honorees, and to check them off the list as I go. You can see the list at any time by clicking the My Newbery Project tab on the TST homepage.

I had every intention of making great headway with these books over the summer but I ended up only reading four titles since my last update! In October, I'm hoping to pick out a few that fit my fall reading mood, such as Neil Gaiman's Coraline. If you head over to my Instagram page today, you can help me decide which Newbery book to read next! I've selected four titles for readers to choose from -- I would love to hear your vote!


Savvy by Ingrid Law // I read this early in the summer and loved it. It wasn't necessarily a unique premise -- a child waiting to reach the age when she'd inherit her own magical power -- but the cast of characters was so fun and the adventure kept me turning pages. I love the quirky world that Law has built, and I'm hoping to read the next two in the series soon!


Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage // Again, this cast of characters totally captured my heart. I absolutely loved this story. It features characters with real social issues such as abandonment, domestic abuse, etc. but doesn't make them the central issue in the book. In it, our main character is an amateur detective for her tiny hometown, the setting of which had me totally charmed. I would definitely recommend this to middle grade readers. My friend Sara, who writes about books over at Meaningful Madness, kindly sent me the next two in the series, so I can't wait to continue the adventures with this crew!


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman // If you're looking for a fun, spooky story to listen to with your kids this fall (or to listen to for yourself), I would highly recommend the audiobook version of The Graveyard Book. It's read by Gaiman himself and wonderfully done. One of the best audiobooks I've listened to, in fact. The story features a human boy who lives in a graveyard among the spirits who took him in as an infant. There are nefarious villains, themes of identity, and Gaiman does an excellent job of voicing the different characters.


Princess Academy by Shannon Hale // This was my least favorite book that I've read for my Newbery Project so far, which is disappointing because I had especially high hopes for it. I listened to it on audiobook and though it started off on an interesting note, the majority of it felt like the plot was dragging, the characters weren't very interesting, and the overall impression I got from it was that it felt a little desperate. More than once, I questioned how this book even ended up on the Newbery List. I've had a few readers tell me that Hale's other books are worth checking out, so I'll pick up another one eventually, but I'm not feeling too motivated after this experience.