Even though we’ve moved only 20 miles from where I went to elementary school, I’ve been surprised at how infrequently I find myself returning to the important places of my childhood. There are things that are similar in the neighborhood we live in now—the Lannon stone houses from the local quarry, the way […]
Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond is the first Newbery I’ve gotten to re-read for this Newbery Project that I had been first assigned to read for school. I remember being apprehensive at age 12 that it […]
My earliest years were spent in southern California, which means that I have a deep love for those tiny yellow cone flowers, which I just learned are called pineapple weed or wild chamomile. My family has always eaten fish tacos with cabbage and lime.
And I tended, as a child, […]
I am not normally someone who would pick up a book about a US Civil War soldier, but since Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith was next on the Newbery Award books (#37, winner for 1958) I plowed through it. The first thing […]
I love baby things. I love how cute they are. I love how you can imagine your own sweet baby using each item. I love looking at people’s lists of baby gear. For years before I had my own baby, I kept an amazon baby registry, and every time I ran into a […]
A sweet story about maple syrup and returning to the land, the 1957 Newbery, Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen, is a story about a WWII vet and his family who summer at an old family house. There, they […]
One of the byproducts of becoming parents is watching your own parents become grandparents and your own grandparents become great-grandparents. I don’t have any memories of my great-grandparents. Supposedly, I met one of my great-grandfathers, but the details of that story are vague and the photograph we have of the event seems like […]
Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham is the 1956 Newbery winner. It’s a biography of Nathaniel Bowditch who had little formal education but was one of the great mathematicians in early America, dedicated to making the published charts for nautical navigation […]
Today is our 9th wedding anniversary and Jackson’s half birthday. It seems fitting to celebrate both as interwoven as they have been these past six months. It’s hard exactly to describe how having a baby has changed our marriage, some moments have been the most beautiful and then hours later some of the […]
This past weekend for Pentecost Sunday, Jackson and I got to renew our baptismal vows while spending the weekend down in Illinois with my goddaughter Teresa and her family (Evan was in DC with his students). That is one of many wonderful things about the sacrament of baptism — several times a year […]
The 34th Newbery, The Wheel on the School, by Meindert de Jong is super charming and the sort of book I imaged reading when I embarked on this project to read all the Newberies. It’s set in the author’s native Holland, in […]
Spring in Wisconsin comes quietly and gradually. Grass stretches and greens up slowly, buds extend off naked branches subtly, and then one day you look around and daffodils and snowdrops and woodland violets are suddenly dotting the ground like little yellow and white and purple fireworks.
So it has been […]
…And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold is our 33rd Newbery Award winner. It’s about a young shepherd boy who longs to leave home and be fully accepted into a family, which is almost exactly the premise of the previous Newbery Secret of the […]
In the bleary few weeks of new motherhood, I have had a number of friends quietly comment that they wished that they had not just read about pregnancy and birth but also read a lot more about breastfeeding. Postpartum can be a bit of a surprise in terms of just how immediately […]
The 1953 Newbery Award winning book, Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark, follows a young indigenous Peruvian llama shepherd, Cusi, as he seeks to discover why he has been raised by a mysterious old wise man, Chuto, in an isolated […]
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