Russell Freedman's Favorite Newbery

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon

It should come as no surprise that my favorite Newbery winner is The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem van Loon, winner of the very first Newbery Medal in 1922. I read the book when I was nine, and while it’s dated now, I return to it from time to time to savor the memory […]

Sharon Creech's Favorite Newbery

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

It is difficult to choose one favorite among so many favorites, but on this day at this hour, if my back were against the wall, I’d choose Shiloh (1992) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. I admire its purity and poignancy and Naylor’s skill in rendering complexity with seeming simplicity…and the dog lives. No small feat, that. […]

Neil Gaiman's Favorite Newbery

photo by Philippe Matas

That’s a hard one. I know the leading candidates—The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, A Wrinkle in Time, The High King, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. All books I loved as a child, and read, and re-read. I think it has to be A Wrinkle in Time (1963), because it did […]

Put on your thinking caps! A Medalist matching game


The Horn Book Magazine asked Newbery and Caldecott Medalists Jerry Pinkney, Lois Lowry, Erin E. Stead, and David Wiesner (just to name a few!) to choose their favorite winning books from years past. Over the next few weeks, we’re putting readers to the test with a Medalist matching game. For each author or illustrator, you’ll […]

Laura Amy Schlitz's Favorite Newbery

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Answer: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1923), by Hugh Lofting. Reason: My parents read me the Doctor Dolittle books when I was five. To me they were not stories as much as dispatches from a world I craved: a world of wanderlust, talking animals, and subversive kindness (because let’s face it—the Doctor is both a […]

Linda Sue Park's Favorite Newbery

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Tervino

I, Juan de Pareja (1966), by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino. Because it is about the transformational power of art, and the story is ageless, and it was one of the few books in my childhood that starred a person of color. Excuse me—I need to go read it again… —Linda Sue Park, winner of the […]

Robin McKinley's Favorite Newbery

Smoky by Will James

Smoky, the Cowhorse (1927) by Will James totally informed my childhood. I was seriously and comprehensively horsemad, but what caught my heart about Smoky is the genuineness of it—that there are good times and bad, that real life does not make a neat story arc, and that some wounds do not and cannot heal. —Robin […]

Lois Lowry's Favorite Newbery

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices fropm a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

Tough choice, but I love Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village (2008) by Laura Amy Schlitz. It reflects my own fascination with the thirteenth century; you should see the row of books I’ve collected on that topic. She did such a great job that I can probably forget my own plans for […]

Susan Cooper's Favorite Newbery

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

I have a special affection for The Westing Game (1979) because it reminds me of its author. Ellen Raskin was imaginative, witty, multi-talented, and great fun to be with, and she died much too soon at the age of fifty-six. —Susan Cooper, winner of the 1976 Newbery Medal for The Grey King

Susan Patron's Favorite Newbery

Illustration by Devon Johnson

My favorite Newbery is IslandoftheBlueDolphinsTheWitchofBlackbirdPondOutoftheDustASingleShardSarahPlainand TallMissingMayKiraKiraWalkTwoMoonsAWrinkleinTime. I love this work for its deft, graceful use of language and insight into the human heart, and for its extraordinarily fine storytelling. —Susan Patron, winner of the Newbery Medal in 2007 for The Higher Power of Lucky