Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell is based on the true story of 19th- century Nicoleño Native American Karana’s 18-year lone survival on California’s San Nicolas Island. When most of the men of the island are killed in a battle […]
Dear Friends and Family,
It’s a very snowy week before Christmas here in Milwaukee. With snow falling, snow on snow, Milwaukee looks like a snow globe, everything fresh and clean and quiet and quaint. It’s hard to believe that during the last Christmas snows we had a nine-pound month old baby who was […]
Joseph Krumgold won his second Newbery in 1960 with Onion John, becoming the first (of 6 to-date) authors to win two Newbery medals. Onion John follows the unlikely friendship of Andy, a baseball loving 12 year old in Serenity, New Jersey, and Onion John, […]
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 […]
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