Newbery Medal Awardees

The Newbery Medal 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 published the previous year. It was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. The Newbery Award thus became the first children's book award in the world. Its terms, as well as its long history, continue to make it the best known and most discussed children's book award in this country.
Source: http://www.ala.org/alsc. All rights reserved.

This particular collection includes some notable winners of Newbery Medal and Honor Books from the year 1987 to 2012.

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Catherine, Called Birdy (1994)

Written by Karen Cushman

Karen Cushman's Newbery Honor-winning book tells the story of a medieval girl who works to avoid the marriage her father has arranged for her during her 14th year.

Contained in this book is Catherine's diary – Catherine, called Little Bird or Birdy, daughter of Rollo and the lady Aislinn, sister to Thomas, Edward, and the abominable Robert.

Begun this 12th day of September in the year of Our Lord 1290...I am commanded to write an account of my days. I am bit by fleas and plagued by family...Tangled my spinning again. Corpus bones, what a torture...Spent two hours embroidering a cloth for the church and three hours picking out the stitches after my mother saw it...Picked off twenty-nine fleas today.

Catherine's mother wants to teach her the skills of the lady of the manor and to prepare her to be a gentle and patient wife. Her father wants only to see her married off, and profitably. Catherine fancies herself a painter, a Crusader, a maker of songs, a peddler, a minstrel, a monk, a wart charmer...Of all the possibilities, she has ruled out only one: being sold like cheese to the highest bidder.

Against a vivid backdrop of everyday life on a medieval English manor, Catherine's earthy, spirited account of her fourteenth year is a richly entertaining story with an utterly unforgettable heroine. This book is recommended for young adults ages 12 and up. (Copyright © Random House. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Penguin Random House Company.

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