newbery honor book

SO PROUD, the remix. All of our incredible award winners and their books! 

We are delighted to host the #CoverReveal for Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Journey of Little Charlie.

Here’s a summary from the publisher:

Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to the story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history’s cruelest evils.

Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His dad just died, the share crops are dry, and the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, Cap’n Buck, says Charlie’s dad owed him a lot of money. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal to repay his father’s debt by accompanying Cap’n Buck to Detroit in pursuit of some folks who have stolen from him. It’s not too bad of a bargain for Charlie … until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers that they escaped slavery years ago and have been living free. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move—and soon. It’s only a matter of time before Cap’n Buck catches on …

From the author:

Dear Reader,

As I began writing The Journey of Little Charlie, I thought I’d be telling the story of a young man of African descent as he was captured in Canada by an American slave catcher, but the story had other ideas. It was waylaid by Little Charlie Bobo, the son of a white sharecropper from South Carolina, who finds himself accompanying that same slave catcher north, in pursuit of “stolen property” that he soon discovers are other human beings. The US Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required African Americans, even those living in “free” states, to provide documentation, upon request, demonstrating that they were not escaped slaves. One of the many consequences of this law was a migration of both free people of African origin and those escaping slavery beyond the US border, into Canada, where they received protection under Canadian law, and were welcomed with open arms in communities such as Buxton, Ontario.

As I listen to the radio and read the news today, I hear echoes of those events 167 years ago, stories full of fear-fueled dramatic escapes with swaddled babies and crying children and ice-covered fields – stories of people seeking freedom. As an avid student of history, I believe this is the most important thing writers can do: In addition to entertaining our readers, we can also point out that those who don’t remember the past, or choose to ignore it, are condemned to live it again and again.

About the author:

Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Mr. Chickee’s Messy Mission, and the Newbery Honor book Elijah of Buxton.

Since we’re right in the thick of the film award season, we wanted to to roll out the red carpet and call out some of our favorite reads that have taken home their own (figurative) trophies!

Want even more? See the WHOLE list of our award-winners here!

1. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

The story of Cassie’s transformative year at the height of the Great Depression won the Newbery Medal in 1976, and we’re celebrating its anniversary with the 40-year Anniversary Special Edition! 

2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson 

The heart-tugging relationship between twins Noah and Jude won so many hearts that it received the 2015 Printz Award!

3. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

As you can see from the cover bling, Jacqueline Woodson’s telling of her childhood in verse is truly beloved: it won the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, and was a Newbery Honor book.

4. Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

What happens when a teen girl follows a popularity guide from the 1950′s? She creates a heartwarming, eye-opening account of her journey. And she wins the YALSA Best Nonfiction For Young Adults award.

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green

John Green’s debut novel about Miles Halter’s whirlwind relationship with Alaska Young won the 2006 Printz Award.

6. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The winner of the 1976 Newbery Medal follows sixteen heirs who received a challenge to figure out the secret of self-made millionaire Sam Westing.

7. Postcards from No Man’s Land by Aidan Chambers

17-year-old Jacob’s journey to Amsterdam to find his grandfather’s grave won the 2003 Printz Award.

8. Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

Everything changes for Sara the summer her little brother Charlie disappears and she sets off to find him in this winner of the 1971 Newbery Medal.