The Newbery Award: Committtee Procedures and Public Reaction

Date
2014-01-15
Authors
Ino, Sharon
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
In the summer of 1969, I enrolled in a children's literature course, Ed CI 319, under Dr. Mary E. Reddin. After a discussion about the Newbery Award, as one unit of study, the class was assigned to read a Newbery Award book and a runner-up of a particular year and do a comparative study of included of these two books. The guide questions posed by the instructor included the following: 1) Do you feel that these books were of literary merit? What are the individual strengths and weaknesses of these books? 2) Do you feel that the Award should have been given to the book that won the award? Or, do you feel that the runner-up deserved the award? Why? The purposes of this assignment were to have the students engage in critical analyses of books for children and to employ criteria by which children's books could be reviewed, evaluated, and judged. I chose to do my comparative study of books that received Newbery honors during 1959. The two books selected were The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare and The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson.
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