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2008 ALSC Media Award Winners
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The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
2008 Medal Winner
The 2008 Newbery Medal winner is Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd, and published by Candlewick.
In “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village,” thirteenth-century England springs to life using 21 dramatic individual narratives that introduce young inhabitants of village and manor; from Hugo, the lord's nephew, to Nelly, the sniggler. Schlitz's elegant monologues and dialogues draw back the curtain on the period, revealing character and relationships, hinting at stories untold. Explanatory interludes add information and round out this historical and theatrical presentation.
“Schlitz adds a new dimension to books for young readers - performance,” said Committee Chair Nina Lindsay. “Varied poetic forms and styles offer humor, pathos and true insight into the human condition. Each entry is superb in itself, and together the pieces create a pageant that transports readers to a different time and place.”
2008 Honor Books
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic)
In Elijah of Buxton, Elijah is the first free-born child in Buxton, a Canadian community of escaped slaves, in 1860. With masterful storytelling, vibrant humor, and poignant insight into the realities of slavery and the meaning of freedom, Curtis takes readers on a journey that transforms a “fra-gile” 11-year-old boy into a courageous hero
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion)
In The Wednesday Wars, seventh-grader, Holling Hoodhood, is convinced his teacher hates him. Through their Wednesday afternoon Shakespeare sessions she helps him cope with events both wildly funny and deadly serious. “To thine own self be true” is just one of the life lessons he learns.
Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam)
Feathers tells the story of how a new boy's arrival in a sixth-grade classroom helps Frannie recognize the barriers that separate people, and the importance of hope as a bridge. Transcendent imagery and lyrical prose deftly capture a girl learning to navigate the world through words.
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