The 2000 Newbery Medal winner is Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte).
Ten-year-old Bud Caldwell runs away from a foster home and begins an unforgettable journey in search of his father. His only clues are old flyers left by his now-deceased mother that point to a legendary jazz bandleader.
"This heartfelt novel resonates with both zest and tenderness as it entertains questions about racism, belonging, love, and hope," said Carolyn S. Brodie, chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee. "Bud's fast-paced first-person account moves with the rhythms of jazz and celebrates life, family, and a child's indomitable spirit."
Listen to Christopher Paul Curtis’s Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech [Link downloads MP3 audio file/32MB]
Getting Near to Baby
by Audrey Couloumbis (Putnam)
"Getting Near to Baby" tells the story of 12-year-old Willa Jo and Little Sister, whose voice is "lost in sadness," who go live with bossy Aunt Patty following the death of their baby sister. It focuses on Willa Jo who finds haven on the roof and from sunrise to sunset recalls recent events and helps her family come to terms with its tragedy.
"This quiet and unassuming novel perfectly captures a family's feelings of loss and its abject grief. Couloumbis uses flashbacks, both poignant and humorous, to show how the quirky characters fitfully explore conflicting emotions and begin to heal."
Our Only May Amelia
by Jennifer L. Holm (HarperCollins)
Growing up as the only girl in a large Finnish-American farming family along Washington's Nasel River in 1899, 12-year-old May Amelia prefers tricks and adventures to being a "Proper Young Lady." Unjustly blamed for tragedy, May must leave home before returning to claim her rightful place.
"The heroine's exuberant narration, with its unconventional punctuation, combines humor and heartbreak. May honestly lays bare her ambivalence about her brothers who are both competitive and supportive, in this spirited novel based on the author's family history."
26 Fairmount Avenue
by Tomie dePaola (Putnam)
In this book dePaola looks back to 1938 when his family, overcoming fire and flood, builds a new house. That year Tomie "quits" kindergarten, shares "chocolates" with Nana upstairs, critiques a movie, practices mural art, and finally moves to 26 Fairmount Avenue.
"Tomie dePaola fills easy-to-read chapters with humorous, but telling vignettes that introduce his extended family and the ordinary events of his kindergarten year. He speaks with an authentic child voice, fresh as childhood itself."