Monday, February 25, 2013

The Newbery Challenge Rides Again!

I'm back to the Newbery Challenge! Almost twenty years ago I decided to read all the Newbery books, and now I'm inspired to get going on that again. So far I've read 42 out of 89 books, so I'm not even half-way there, and that's just the Newbery Medal WINNERS. I haven't counted the honor books and how many of them I've read. One of these days, I will. When I feel like I have more time on my hands, I guess.

I was inspired to read more of the Newbery books because I'm updating my Newbery pages online, starting with my page for the 1920's. My next job will be to do the page for the 60's, starting today. The reason why is that the 60's page is getting a lot more traffic than the other pages, so the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

I also started a blog for recording my impressions of the books I'm reading. I'll also be reviewing indie and small press books for teens and children. Yay!! I have a thing for children's literature!

The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem Van Loon, was the first-ever winner of the Newbery Medal, in 1922.

I'm starting with the first Newbery book: The Story of Mankind ... it is a history book! In subsequent years fiction took over as the most common type of book honored by the Newbery Medal, but occasionally there are non-fiction books chosen as honor books. Some of them are excellent, too!

I've read enough books from the Newbery list to know that some of them are great and some, you just wonder why they were ever published, let alone chosen for this honor. As a writer of children's and teen's literature I believe luck and "who you know" count for something. And I read the good, the bad, and the ugly because it is all instructional for my career.

What's got me excited is that I have found communities of people doing the Newbery Challenge... one great group is at Goodreads, and I found out about 2 children's librarians (guys) that are doing a Newbery challenge with videos. I will also be doing videos!