Annal: 1997 Newbery Medal

Results of the Newbery Medal in the year 1997.

Book:The View From Saturday

The View From Saturday

E.L. Konigsburg

How had Mrs. Olinski chosen her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team?

It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen?

It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw…[more]

Book:Belle Prater's Boy

Belle Prater's Boy

Ruth White

Around 5:00 a.m. on a warm Sunday morning on October 1953, my Aunt Belle left her bed and vanished from the face of the earth.

Everyone in Coal Station, Virginia, has a theory about what happened to Belle Prater, but twelve-year-old Gypsy wants the facts, and when her cousin Woodrow, Aunt Belle’s son moves next door, she has her chance. Woodrow isn’t as forthcoming as Gypsy hopes, yet he becomes more than just a curiosity to her— during their sixth-grade year she finds that they have enough in common to be best friends. Even so, Gypsy is puzzled by Woodrow’s calm acceptance of his mother’s disappearance, especially since she herself has never gotten over her father’s death. When Woodrow finally reveals that he’s been keeping a secret about his mother, Gypsy begins to understand that there are different ways of finding the strength to face the truth, no matter how painful it is.

Book:A Girl Named Disaster

A Girl Named Disaster

Nancy Farmer

Nhamo’s mother is dead, and her father is gone. She is a virtual slave in her small African village. Before her twelfth birthday, Nhamo learns that she must marry a cruel man with three other wives—and decides desperately to run away. Alone on the river, in a stolen boat, she is swept into the uncharted heart of a great lake. There, she battles drowning, starvation, and wild animals, and comes to know Africa’s mystical, luminous spirits.

Nancy Farmer’s masterful storytelling makes this a truly spellbinding novel—and readers will be cheering for Nhamo from beginning to end. A gripping adventure, equally a survival story and a spiritual voyage, Nhamo is a stunning creation—while she serves as a fictional ambassador from a foreign culture, she is supremely human. An unforgettable work.

Book:The Moorchild

The Moorchild

Eloise McGraw

Feeling that she is neither fully human nor “Folk,” a changeling learns her true identity and attempts to find the human child whose place she had been given.

Book:The Thief: Book 1 of The Queen's Thief

The Thief: Book 1 of The Queen's Thief

Megan Whalen Turner

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the theif’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

Megan Whalen Turner weaves Gen’s stories and Gen’s story together with style and verve in a novel that is filled with intrigue, adventure, and surprise.

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