The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British children’s book publisher John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Beside the Newbery Medal, the committee usually awards Newbery Honors to other books worthy of attention.
This year, the Newbery Medal was awarded to The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris.
Newbery Honors went to Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson, Elf Dog and Owl Head by M.T. Anderson and Junyi Wu, Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martín, Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow, and The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri and Daniel Miyares.
The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris
Johannes, a free dog, lives in an urban park by the sea. His job is to be the Eyes—to see everything that happens within the park and report back to the park’s elders, three ancient Bison. His friends—a seagull, a raccoon, a squirrel, and a pelican—work with him as the Assistant Eyes, observing the humans and other animals who share the park and making sure the Equilibrium is in balance.
But changes are afoot. More humans, including Trouble Travelers, arrive in the park. A new building, containing mysterious and hypnotic rectangles, goes up. And then there are the goats—an actual boatload of goats—who appear, along with a shocking revelation that changes Johannes’s view of the world.
Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson
As his family prepares for winter, a young, skilled hunter must travel up the mountain to collect obsidian for knapping―the same mountain where his two older brothers died.
When he reaches the mountaintop, he is immediately confronted by a terrifying eagle god named Savik. Savik gives the boy a choice: follow me or die like your brothers.
What comes next is a harrowing journey to the home of the eagle gods and unexpected lessons on the natural world, the past that shapes us, and the community that binds us.
Elf Dog and Owl Head by M.T. Anderson and Junyi Wu
Clay has had his fill of home life. A global plague has brought the world to a screeching halt, and with little to look forward to but a summer of video-calling friends, vying with annoying sisters for the family computer, and tuning out his parents’ financial worries, he’s only too happy to retreat to the woods. From the moment the elegant little dog with the ornate collar appears like an apparition among the trees, Clay sees something uncanny in her. With this mysterious Elphinore as guide, he’ll glimpse ancient secrets folded all but invisibly into the forest. Each day the dog leads Clay down paths he never knew existed, deeper into the unknown. But they aren’t alone in their surreal adventures. There are traps and terrors in the woods, too, and if Clay isn’t careful, he might stray off the path and lose his way forever.
Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martín
Pedro Martín has grown up hearing stories about his abuelito—his legendary crime-fighting, grandfather who was once a part of the Mexican Revolution! But that doesn’t mean Pedro is excited at the news that Abuelito is coming to live with their family. After all, Pedro has 8 brothers and sisters and the house is crowded enough! Still, Pedro piles into the Winnebago with his family for a road trip to Mexico to bring Abuelito home, and what follows is the trip of a lifetime, one filled with laughs and heartache. Along the way, Pedro finally connects with his abuelito and learns what it means to grow up and find his grito.
Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow
Simon O’Keeffe’s biggest claim to fame should be the time his dad accidentally gave a squirrel a holy sacrament. Or maybe the alpaca disaster that went viral on YouTube. But the story the whole world wants to tell about Simon is the one he’d do anything to forget: the one starring Simon as a famous survivor of gun violence at school.
Two years after the infamous event, twelve-year-old Simon and his family move to the National Quiet Zone—the only place in America where the internet is banned. Instead of talking about Simon, the astronomers who flock to the area are busy listening for signs of life in space. And when Simon makes a friend who’s determined to give the scientists what they’re looking for, he’ll finally have the chance to spin a new story for the world to tell.
The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri and Daniel Miyares
This is the tale of an exciting journey along the Silk Road with a young Monk and his newfound guardian, Samir, a larger than life character and the so-called “Seller of Dreams”. The man is a scammer; his biggest skill being the ability to talk his way into getting what he wants. While that talking did save Monkey’s life, it has left a lot of people furious with Samir— furious enough to hire assassins. Monkey decides to try and save Samir from the attempts on his life—as a way to pay off his debt! If he can save Samir six times, he’ll be a free man…but will they all survive that long?