Weekly Geeks: 2010 Awards
Hello, fellow book geeks! It’s time for this week’s Weekly Geek, which centers on the announcement of the winner of the 2010 Newbery Medal. When I was in elementary school, my librarian told me than any book with a shiny Newbery Medal on the cover was sure to be one I would like. More often than not, she was correct, though as I grew older I no longer relied as much on this method of book-finding.
However, a lot of amazing books that have been honored in this way, books that are definitely worth revisiting. In honor of the award being announced this week, follow the jump below to read about my top five picks from previous Newbery honorees. The 2010 winner is sure to be checked out of every library around within the next week, so why not read some that are new-to-you?
The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994) A young boy discovers that he is next in line to inherit the memories of the people living in his futuristic colony, as well as those who have come before them. This dystopian story is so fascinating, with its depictions of a utopian colony gone wrong, where there is no color and no concept of family or love, and where everything occurs according to rules and regulations — until, of course, the main character begins questioning this way of life.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (1992) Like most little girls, I loved stories about puppies. It’s not just a story about a dog, though, as the main character must make a few rather difficult moral decisions and a few sacrifices in order to rescue the abused and neglected beagle puppy, Shiloh.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (1991) I used to take this out of the library every couple of months when I was in middle school, and I loved it more each time I read it. Homeless boy Maniac Magee is a legend in his neighborhood– his name is made into a jumping-rope rhyme that enumerates his outrageous exploits. In addition to doing things like untying the world’s toughest knot and sleeping with buffalo, however, Magee also manages to bridge the racial divide in his town.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1979) Both a set of character studies and a thrilling whodunit, this novel is a murder mystery set in an unusual apartment complex, where every tenant was chosen specially because of his or her role in the murder of Samuel Westing. Whomever solves this murder becomes the heir to Westing’s multi-million dollar fortune, so the children and adults alike compete to be the first to figure out which one among them is the criminal in question.
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (1973) Corey will remember how obsessed I was by this book. It’s about a young Inuit girl who attempts to visit her pen pal in San Francisco and becomes lost on the tundra, relying on a pack of wolves for survival. While there, she must decide who she really wants to be — Julie, the modern American teenager the pen pal imagines her to be, or Miyax, the Inuit girl steeped in tradition who may have to return to a bad marriage.