Welcome to The Newbery Project!
Updated: May 2
In Which a Thirty-Year-Old Woman Reads Every Newbery Medal Winner in Order
I love books. Literary Fiction. Mysteries. Romance. Fantasy. It doesn’t matter the genre, if it’s a good story, I am ready to jump in with both feet. Yet there is something special about kid lit. It conjures up those feelings of firefly-catching summer nights when you hunker under the covers with a flashlight and a paperback. It’s cozying up on the sofa as your imagination goes on an adventure. As much as I love adult fiction, let’s be honest—we sometimes take ourselves too seriously.
With this in mind, I have decided to read every Newbery Medal winning book in chronological order. For those of you who don't know, the Newbery Medal is an award given out every year by the American Library Association to the best middle grade book of the year (if you want to see the complete list, go to www.ala.org/awardsandgrants).
I want to see in what ways kiddom has changed, and in what ways it hasn’t. To see the evolution of how we view the world and a child’s place in it. Most of all, I want to have a blast while doing it! So whether you decide to read along with me or just want to follow me on my curiosity voyage, let's do this!
First up is The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, the first ever Newbery Medal book. Published in 1922, and winning the medal in 1923, this follows the journey of an eccentric anthropologist who can speak with animals. Why was this the first medal? How is it qualified if it isn’t American? Why is this book considered unfilmable? Let’s get started!