Annal: 2005 Newbery Medal

Results of the Newbery Medal in the year 2005.

Book:Kira-Kira

Kira-Kira

Cynthia Kadohata

kira-kira (kee´ ra kee´ ra): glittering; shining

Glittering. That’s how Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people’s eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it’s Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering—kira-kira—in the future.

Luminous in its persistence of love and hope, Kira-Kira is Cynthia Kadohata’s stunning debut in middle-grade fiction.

Book:Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Gennifer Choldenko

Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents’ expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

Book:Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Gary D. Schmidt

It only takes a few hours for Turner Buckminster to start hating Phippsburg, Maine. No one in town will let him forget that he’s a minister’s son, even if he doesn’t act like one. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Despite his father’s-and the town’s-disapproval of their friendship, Turner spends time with Lizzie, and it opens up a whole new world to him, filled with the mystery and wonder of Maine’s rocky coast.

The two soon discover that the town elders, along with Turner’s father, want to force the people to leave Lizzie’s island so that Phippsburg can start a lucrative tourist trade there. Turner gets caught up in a spiral of disasters that alter his life-but also lead him to new levels of acceptance and maturity.

This sensitively written historical novel, based on the true story of a community’s destruction, highlights a unique friendship during a time of change.

Book:The Voice That Challenged a Nation

The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights

Russell Freedman

“A voice like yours,” celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, “is heard once in a hundred years.” This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson’s own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists-and for all Americans of color-when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts. Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, here is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, one of today’s leading authors of nonfiction for young readers illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history.

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