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2011 Newbery Medal Winners

Updated on June 6, 2013

Newberry Medal and Honor Books for 2011

The Newbery book awards are the oldest children's book awards in the world. From 1928 one children's book as been chosen as the Newbery Medal winner and 4 others have been selected as 'runners-up' or Newbery Honor books. The award was named for an 18th century children's book seller, John Newbery. This award has encouraged creativity and excellence in children's writing - and I have personally enjoyed sharing many of these with my children.

Here is the 2011 Newbery Medal Winner and the 4 Newbery Honor books.

Moon over Manifest - by Clare Vanderpool

This book was the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. It is a beautiful novel set in 1936, Abilene is sent by her father to stay in the town of Manifest. She doesn't know why he has sent her away and struggles to understand the town which she discovers is full of secrets. Through the use of newspapers, letters and stories that Abilene reads and hears, she is taken back to 1914. Slowly truth is revealed and she starts to understand her own story. A wonderful rich cast of characters makes this book a great read for all ages.

A book trailer for Moon over Manifest

This is a great synopsis of what the book is about and it should make most students really eager to read the book! This video is made by 8th grade students and they have done a great job!

Turtle in Paradise - by Jennifer L. Holm

This book centers around a summer in 1935 when eleven year old Turtle is sent by her mother, whose new job precludes Turtle living with her, to stay with her aunt and cousins in Key West. Turtle embarks upon a number of adventures in her new home - and as she grows up over the summer she learns about herself and what is really important to her.

I enjoyed this book - and imagine many students will too!

Heart of a Samurai

This is a wonderful fictionalized version of the story of Manjiro, the 14 year old Japanese boy who was rescued by American sailors after being shipwrecked on an island. The year was 1841 - a time in history when Japan had cut off contact with the western world. Manjiro learns to love America, but eventually returns to his homeland to try and bridge the gap between the two countries.

Manjiro's story gives the reader an insight into prejudice and racism - as it existed on both sides of the Pacific, and paints the picture of how a boy from a poor family could have the 'Heart of a Samurai'.

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night - by Joyce Sidman

The twelve poems in this book invite us to explore the forest at night and give us the chance to learn more about the nocturnal creatures that live there.

One Crazy Summer - by Rita Williams-Garcia

Three young black sisters are sent by their father to visit their mother who abandoned them years ago. She is poet and involved with the Black Panthers in this engaging piece of historical fiction. Each of the sisters responds to the situation they find themselves in differently. They find their mother to be highly unconventional - and their environment in California very different to anything they had imagined.

This book is not an easy read and I think many children will find it less accessible than the other Newbery books for 2011, but those who persevere will find it a rewarding experience.

Read them all?

Which 2011 Newberry Medal book is your favorite?

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What is your favorite Newbery Medal Winner of all time?

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