Newbery Winners
1937 - 1941

1941 Medal Winner

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry j NEWBERY SPE

Mafatu, a young Polynesian boy whose name means Stout Heart, has a terrible fear of the sea. In this classic tale -- winner of the 1940 Newbery Medal and a strong favorite ever since -- he proves his courage to himself and his people. Simply and beautifully told, with striking original artwork by the author. 

Honor Books
 
Blue Willow by Doris Gates j GAT 

A little girl, who wants most of all to have a real home and to go to a regular school, hopes that the valley her family has come to, which so resembles the pattern on her treasured blue willow plate, will be their permanent home.

Young Mac of Fort Vancouver by Mary Jane Carr 

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder j WIL

Almanzo Wilder makes a dangerous trip to secure wheat to save the village from starvation during the terrible winter of 1880-81.

Nansen by Anna Gertrude Hall 

1940 Medal Winner

Daniel Boone by James Daugherty j NEWBERY 921 BOONE, D., Dau

Honor Books
 
The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy j SER

Life on the Hungarian plains us changing quickly for Jancsi and his cousin Kate. Father has given Jansci permission to be in charge of his own herd and Katehas begun to think of going to dnces. Then, when Hungary must send troops to fight in the great war and Jancsi's father is called to battle, the two cousins must grow up all the sooner.

Runner of the Mountain Tops: The Life of Louis Agassiz by Mabel Robinson 

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder j WIL

In Dakota territory, Pa has a job in a railroad building camp and Laura, the central character in the story, 
is now 13.

Boy with a Pack by Stephen W. Meader

Seventeen-year-old Bill Crawford refused to be licked by the "hard times" of 1837. Putting every cent he owned into a tin trunk full of "Yankee notions", he set out afoot from New Hampshire for the Ohio Country. His adventures on the road, as he crossed Vermont, York State and Pennsylvania and moved southward to Ohio, furnished abundant test of his courage and character. A crooked Vermont horse-dealer who nearly murdered Bill for his trade-goods; a bullying Erie canal-boat captain who hired him as a driver; and a hard-riding Virginia slave-catcher shadowing the Underground Railroad, are vivid personalities in the story. Like other popular books by this author, this is a horsy story. It is flavored with the racy pungency of stage coaches and tavern stables, the brawl and bustle of the old Erie Canal, the excitement of backwoods trotting-tracks and the dusty plodding of westward migration in full tide a hundred years ago.

1939 Medal Winner

Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright YA NEWBERY Enright, E.
 
Tells the summer adventures of a little girl living on a Wisconsin farm during the 1930's.

Honor Books

Nino by Valenti Angelo 

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater j ATW

A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations. "Here is a book to read aloud in groups of all ages. There is not an extra or misplaced word in the whole story."

Hello the Boat! by Phyllis Crawford 

Leader By Destiny: George Washington, Man and Patriot by Jeanette Eaton 

Penn by Elizabeth Janet Gray 

1938 Medal Winner

The White Stag by Kate Seredy YA NEWBERY Seredy, K.

Retells the legendary story of the Huns' and Magyars' long migration from Asia to Europe where they hope to find a permanent home.

Honor Books

Pecos Bill by James Cloyd Bowman 

Bright Island by Mabel Robinson 

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder j WIL

The family's survival in their new home depends on the success of the first wheat harvest. Then, just before the wheat is ready to harvest, a strange glittering cloud fills the sky, blocking out the sun. Soon millions of grasshoppers descend on the farm and its fields. 

1937 Medal Winner

Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer j NEWBERY SAW

Relates the incredible adventures of Professor William Waterman Sherman who in 1883 sets off in a balloon across the Pacific, survives the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa, and is eventually picked up in the Atlantic.

Honor Books

Phoebe Fairchild: Her Book by Lois Lenski 

Whistler's Van by Idwal Jones 

The Golden Basket by Ludwig Bemelmans 

Winterbound by Margery Bianco 

The Codfish Musket by Agnes Hewes 

Audubon by Constance Rourke
 
This is a fairly well-known biography by Constance Rourke of John James Audubon (1785-1851), the noted artist and ornithologist. Even though it appears that the book wasn't written specifically for a young readership, the book was a 1937 Newbery Honor Book (i.e., a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best contribution to American children's literature. Audubon had an amazing life. He was not only known for his beautiful paintings of birds in their natural setting, but for his studies of bird behavior. He was the first to band bird's legs to study migratory patterns.