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2015 in Review: The Year in Words

de la peña_last stop on market street

The year was 2015. A year in which so many people from so many backgrounds said so much about books with so few words. It was a year in which people didn’t just discuss books. They cheered and argued, raged and kvetched, praised them and condemned them. Social media wasn’t new in 2015, but never […]

Lots of ALA 2016 love


All week we’ve been celebrating the 2016 ALA Youth Media Award–winning authors and illustrators. Here are the winners’ acceptance speeches and profiles; stay tuned for more next week! Newbery Medal: Matt de la Peña’s Newbery acceptance speech for Last Stop on Market Street Profile of Matt de la Peña by Jennifer Buehler “Becoming ‘A Better […]

ALA 2016 on

Last Stop on Market Street. Illustration 2015 by Christian Robinson. Photo: Jennifer Buehler.

In case you missed it: Jerry Pinkney’s 2016 Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award speech and his 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal Acceptance speech: “Drawing My Dream.” Sophie Blackall’s Caldecott acceptance speech and Matt de la Peña’s Newbery speech. Rita Williams-Garcia’s Coretta Scott King Author Award acceptance speech and Bryan Collier’s Illustrator Award speech. […]

Profile of 2016 Newbery Medal winner Matt de la Peña


The first time I met Matt de la Peña, he was sitting at a table in the Random House booth at the 2008 National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in San Antonio. It was shortly before the exhibit hall was scheduled to close, and the booth was empty. No fans. No signing lines. […]

2016 Newbery Acceptance by Matt de la Peña

de la peña_last stop on market street

“I had never known, never even imagined for a heartbeat, that there might be a place for people like us.” This is the last line of Denis Johnson’s short story collection Jesus’ Son, and it describes perfectly the way I felt way back in 2003 when I was informed that my first novel, Ball Don’t […]

Editorial: “Last Stop, First Steps”


When I arrived at the Horn Book in the spring of 1996, it was in the midst of a dustup caused by that January’s editorial, “A Wider Vision for the Newbery,” written by then–senior editors Lauren Adams and Martha V. Parravano. They decried the Newbery-winning predominance of middle-grade fiction by white people about white people, […]

The Newbery App review

newbery app menu

The Newbery App (Sugar Coded Apps, 2011) is a handy resource if you’re interested in Newbery history, keeping track of which Medalists and Honor Books you’ve read, or choosing the next one to read. It’s also a fun place to test your skills. The landing page contains the enticing phrase, “Suggest a Book to Me.” […]

ALA Awards 2016: Horn Book reviews of the winners


The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Matt de la Peña for Last Stop on Market Street and Sophie Blackall for Finding Winnie on January 11, 2016, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Boston. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta […]

Reviews of the 2016 Newbery Award winners


Winner: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña; illus. by Christian Robinson Primary     Putnam     32 pp. 1/15     978-0-399-25774-2     $16.99 CJ, a young black boy, has a flurry of questions for his grandmother one rainy day: “How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?” “How come we don’t got […]

Profile of 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander


I laugh with my students…I hope never at…when they tell me they are having Writer’s Block…No Such Thing…I declare…that’s only a sign…of not enough knowledge…go do your research…and to me that’s the end…yet…I am having Writer’s Block…because I want so much…to write the perfect introduction…to one of the nicest young men I know Do I […]