Newbery Winners
1997 - 2001

2001 Medal Winner

A Year Down Yonder by by Richard Peck. YA NEWBERY Peck, R. 

The winner of the 2001 Newbery Medal continues the story begun in the Newbery Honor Book "A Long Way from Chicago." Now 15-years old, Mary Alice is going to spend an entire year with her unpredictable Grandma Dowdel--a woman well known for shaking up her neighbors. Grades 6-10

Honor Books

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer . YA Bauer, J.

After moving to Wisconsin to run a diner with her aunt, 16-year-old Hope finds herself involved in the small town's mayoral race, where the G.T., owner of the diner, enters the race against the undefeated longtime mayor. G.T. has leukemia, but Hope sees the goodness and power in him. 

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. j DIC

In a first novel recalling the fiction of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers, the narrator--ten-year-old Opal--describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen because of her big, ugly dog, Winn-Dixie. Grades 7-9

Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos YA Gantos, J.

Joey, who is taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the father he has never known and meets a grown-up version of himself. But Carter Pigza believes Joey can be as normal a kid as he wants without medication, and Joey wants to believe him more than anything in the world.   Ages 10 and up

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech YA Creech, S.

On the way to visit their grandfather, 13-year-old Sophie and her cousin Codyrecord their transatlantic crossing aboard "The Wanderer, " a 45-foot sailboat which is en route to England. Grades 6-8

2000 Medal Winner

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis YA Newbery Curtis, C. 

After his mother's death in 1936, 10-year-old Bud can't squelch a yearning to find out his father's identity. Bud has a hunch from clues his mother left--posters of Herman E. Calloway and his band. The fearless fellow takes off on a journey to find his father and himself. The latest release from Newbery Honor winner Christopher Paul Curtis promises to be a warm adventure. Ages 9-12

Honor Books

Getting Near to Baby by by Audrey Couloumbis j COU

Although 13-year-old Willa Jo and her Aunt Patty seem to be constantly at odds, staying with her and Uncle Hob helps Willa Jo and her younger sister come to terms with the death of their family's baby.

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm j HOL

May Amelia Jackson is the only girl ever born on the Nasel River -- a Real Miracle, her family says. And with seven brothers, she believes it. Sometimes she even forgets she's a girl and goes fishing or tending the sheep with her brothers. But other times her family does make her feel like a Miracle -- whether they're being just plain maddening and making her stay inside when a real live murderer's on the loose, or whether they're telling her she's the only May Amelia they've got. What May thinks would be the greatest Miracle of all, though, if the baby inside her mamma's belly turned out to be a girl. Will May always be their only Miracle or will the new baby be the little sister she's been hoping for?

26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie dePaola j 921 DEPAOLA, T., deP

In a striking debut, Tomie dePaola finds just the right voice for his first chapter book about his adventures during the year the family built their house at 26 Fairmont Avenue. Illustrations.

1999 Medal Winner

Holes by Louis Sachar. YA NEWBERY Sachar, L.

Gr. 6-9. Middle-schooler Stanley Yelnats is only the latest in a long line of Yelnats to encounter bad luck, but Stanley's serving of the family curse is a doozie. Wrongfully convicted of stealing a baseball star's sneakers, Stanley is sentenced to six months in a juvenile-detention center, Camp Green Lake. "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake," where Stanley and his fellow campers (imagine the cast from your favorite prison movie, kid version) must dig one five-by-five hole in the dry lake bed every day, ostensibly building character but actually aiding the sicko warden in her search for buried treasure. Sachar's novel mixes comedy, hard-hitting realistic drama, and outrageous fable in a combination that is, at best, unsettling.

Honor Book

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck YA Peck, R.

When Joey and Mary Alice travel from their home in Chicago to their Grandmother's small town, they don't expect the crazy adventures they encounter during the summers they spend visiting her. And each year, the antics get even wackier and the children get an even bigger surprise than the year before. 1999 Newbery Honor Book and 1998 National Book Award Finalist.

1998 Medal Winner

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse YA NEWBERY Hess, K.

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression. Ages 9-12

Honor Books

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine YA AWARD Levine, G.

At birth, Ella of Frell was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at any time anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom--and she'll have to obey? Ella's quest to break the curse and discover who she really is, is both funny and poignant.  ALA 1998 Best Book for Young Adults.

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff j GIF

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli j SPI

From Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli comes a gripping tale of how one boy learns how not to be afraid. For as long as Palmer LaRue can remember, he has dreaded the day he turns ten--the day he'll take his place beside the other ten-year-old boys in town and become a wringer. Will he find the courage to stand up to his town? ALA Notable Children's Books of 1998; "School Library Journal" Best Books of 1997.

1997 Medal Winner

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg YA NEWBERY Konigsburg, E.

They called themselves The Souls and met on Saturdays even before they became Mrs. Olinski's sixth-grade Academic Bowl team. At the state finals, Mrs. Olinski knows which questions each can answer and why. After reading their individual stories, the reader knows why, too. This novel of a triumphant team, wrapped around the stories of each team member raises, in its ingenious format, important questions about life and presents far-reaching answers. Young Adult.

Honor Books
A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer YA Farmer, N.

Gr. 6-10. Farmer returns to Mozambique and Zimbabwe for a thick and twisting tale that follows Nhamo, a modern-day Shona girl who flees her village rather than marry a cruel man to placate an avenging spirit. Spirits are master players in this story, and to Nhamo they mean life or death. She holds frequent conversations with her dead mother, whom she visualizes by means of a torn-out magazine advertisement; and her treacherous escape by boat to Zimbabwe, where her father's family lives, is peppered with visits from water spirits, as well as the spirit of the dead man who owned her craft. Farmer marvelously evokes the narrow but hopeful atmosphere of Nhamo's existence--her pariah status in the village, her constant struggle for survival in the wilderness, and her initial difficulty in adjusting to a westernized society. 

Moorchild by Eloise McGraw j MCG

Brought up as one of the Moorfolk--small beings who live in a cavern beneath the moor--young Moql finds her life abruptly changed when the Folk discover she cannot make herself invisible to humans. The Folk cast her out, exchanging her for a human baby they can raise as a servant, and Moql becomes Saaski, a changling child. Struggling to fit into village life, Saaski's final comprehension of who she is and what she must do make a mooving story with contemporary parallels.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner YA Turner, M. 

Deception, intrigue and adventure abound in this entertaining and original book. The king's scholar, the magus, has discovered the location of an ancient treasure that invests the possessor with the right to rule a neighboring country. He springs a skilled thief from the king's prison to do the job. Young Adult.

Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White j WHI

The stirring 1997 Newbery Honor Book. When Belle Prater disappears, her boy Woodrow comes to live with his grandparents in Coal Station, Virginia. Woodrow's cousin Gypsy lives next door and the two children find they have much in common. But unlike Woodrow, who has accepted his mother's disappearance, Gypsy can't get over her father's death. That's when Woodrow tells Gypsy the truth about his mother. "A vivid picture of small-town Appalachia in the 1950s".--"School Library Journal."