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Reviews of the 2024 Newbery Medal Winners

Winner The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers; illus. by Shawn Harris Intermediate    Knopf    272 pp. 5/23    9781524764203    $19.99 e-book ed.  9781524764227    $10.99 Canine narrator Johannes lives wild in a park and serves as the Eyes, appointed by the penned-up Bison to report what he sees. The...

Profile of Editor Alexandra Hightower

Future editor of Freewater. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Hightower. On a recent visit to her family home in Atlanta, Alex(andra) ­Hightower came across some papers from her tenth-grade English class. Looking at her essays and the notes in the margins, Alex was struck by how the work she did in...

Profile of 2023 Newbery Medal and CSK Author Award winner Amina Luqman-Dawson

Amina in seventh grade. Photo courtesy of Amina Luqman-Dawson. Working with Amina Luqman-Dawson has been nothing short of joyous. Back before the incredible double whammy of the Coretta Scott King and Newbery awards, before Freewater became a New York Times and Indie bestseller, I knew from my very first editorial...

2023 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Amina Luqman-Dawson

I’ll begin with gratitude. Thank you to the Newbery committee for recognizing Freewater. You read my work, connected with it, and judged it worthy, regardless of my debut status. To Laura Schreiber, the editor who plucked Freewater from an ever-flowing river of manuscripts. Laura immediately had vision and excitement for...

Reviews of the 2023 Newbery Medal Winners

Winner Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson Intermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    416 pp.    g 2/22    978-0-316-05661-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-05674-8    $9.99 Many accounts of the Underground Railroad mention that enslaved Blacks would stick close to swamps as they made their way North, as the topography proved problematic for slave catchers. A...

Newbery Knowledge

Trivia about Newbery Award winners: At the Banquet When Marguerite Henry came to the 1949 ALA convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to accept the Newbery Medal for King of the Wind, she brought her horse, Misty, the subject of 1948 honoree Misty of Chincoteague. The publicity stunt was a surprise...

Profile of 2022 Newbery Medal winner Donna Barba Higuera

This has been a notorious year of attempts to ban children’s books by authors of color. But 2022 is also the year that Donna Barba Higuera’s middle-grade novel The Last Cuentista won the Newbery Medal. Celebrating a novel that explores stories as a human imperative is the perfect counterpoint to...

2022 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Donna Barba Higuera

"It could never happen for a kid like me." Photo courtesy of Donna Barba Higuera. If someone had told me as a child that not only would I one day write a book, but that book would sit alongside those “golden-sticker books” like A Wrinkle in Time or Mrs. Frisby...

After the Call: Something Magical

What did winning the Newbery Medal mean to me? It has taken some time to wrap my head around this question. The Last Cuentista won the Newbery Medal! I’ve texted my editor, Nick Thomas, a few times with, “We won the Newbery” and “Did that really happen?” just to help...
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