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Podcast Podcast

Episode 53 — Newbery Medal Winners—Where Are They Now?


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
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Duration 14:21
Original Air Date Published January 14, 2013

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverLiar & Spy
Author: Rebecca Stead
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books, 2012




Georges’s family has just moved from their home into an apartment. This is a big change for Georges that goes along with his father losing his job, his mom picking up double shifts at the hospital, and him being bullied at school. However, Georges new apartment friend, Safer, makes Georges’s life not seem so out of the ordinary. Twelve-year-old, home-schooled Safer seems obsessed with spying, and Georges becomes the first official member of Safer’s Spy Club. Like the artist Seurat, who Georges is named after, this story calls readers to look at Georges’s life from different perspectives. Things aren’t always what they seem, and as Georges knows from the dot-filled Seurat paintings, sometimes when you take a step back the whole picture comes into view.

Rebecca Stead won the 2010 Newbery Medal for When You Reach Me.



book coverSlpendors and Glooms
Author:Laura Amy Schlitz
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012




Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are two orphans working for Gaspare Grisini, a master at marionettes. When the rich Wintermute family requisitions Grisini and his puppet show for their daughter Clara’s birthday, a haunting mystery begins, and both Lizzie and Parsefall find themselves in the middle of solving it. Clara has vanished, and the police suspect that Grisini has something to do with it. Lizzie and Parsefall uncover Grisini’s evil past and must battle a powerful fire opal that has its hold on a rich, old woman named Cassandra in order to free Clara. Set in what feels like Dickensian times, this story will keep you reading through the night.

Laura Amy Schlitz won the 2008 Newbery Medal for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village.



book coverLucky for Good
Author: Susan Patron
Illustrator: Erin McGuire
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011


This book is the third and final book in the Hard Pan trilogy. (The first book in this series, called The Higher Power of Lucky, won the Newbery Medal.) In this final book, Lucky and her adoptive mom, Brigitte, find themselves up against the county health inspector. The town of Hard Pan rallies together to keep Brigitte’s restaurant from closing and, most importantly, to keep Brigitte and Lucky from moving. You can’t help but become entrenched in the characters of this book and wish that Hard Pan was a real place to visit.

Susan Patron won the 2007 Newbery Medal for The Higher Power of Lucky.



book coverBink & Gollie: Two For One
Author: Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Tony Fucile
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012



Bink and Gollie are two good friends. They are opposite in their appearance and the way they talk, but the thing that binds them together is their love for one another. Bink is short and feisty, full of vim and vigor. Gollie is intellectual and imaginative. Yet the two manage to carve out a very real friendship. In Two For One, the two venture to a state fair, where Bink knocks out way more than her money's worth at Whack a Duck, Gollie enters the talent show with disastrous results, and the two visit a fortune-teller where their destiny is sealed forever. You can’t help but love these two loveable characters.

Kate DiCamillo won the 2004 Newbery Medal for Tale of Despereaux.



book coverSecrets at Sea
Author: Richard Peck
Illustrator: Kelly Murphy
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011




Enter a world where mice live as their human families, only in smaller and not-so-easily-seen places. When the human Cranstons decide to try their luck in Europe, the mice Cranstons decide to go along with them, even though this means traveling across the water (mice and water do not mix!). Once on the giant ocean liner, the Cranston mice discover a world of mice dynasties and human dynasties that they never knew existed. The human Cranstons and the mice Cranstons are all forging their future, one in which oldest mouse-sister Helene must learn to let go. Readers will enjoy the idea that the mice know as much as—and sometimes more than—their human counterparts.

Richard Peck won the 2001 Newbery Medal for A Year Down Yonder.


book coverThe Might Miss Malone
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books, 2012




The Malone family motto is “We are family on a journey to place called Wonderful.” And they are on a journey, but it’s one that’s filled with many ups and downs. The heroine of this tale is Miss Deza Malone, or, as her father calls her, My Darling Daughter Deza. After an awful accident on Lake Michigan in which Deza's father is the only survivor, he decides to leave Gary, Indiana, to go to Flint, Michigan, in hopes of finding work. The three remaining Malones (mom, Jimmie, and Deza) have to work together and wait for their father to send word. And when he doesn’t, the three pack up to look for him. There is hope in the end but not complete closure, an ending that will leave readers with a lot to think about and discuss.

Christopher Paul Curtis won the 2000 Newbery Medal for Bud, Not Buddy.


Expert Chat

Listen in as Emily chats with Christopher Paul Curtis, a previous Newbery Medal winner and the author of The Mighty Miss Malone, as he shares his favorite character trait about Deza and what he imagines happens to Deza after the story is over.