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.”
Listen to Laura Amy Schlitz's Newberry Medal Acceptance Speech [Link downloads MP3 audio file/23MB]
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.
The Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honor Book seals are property of the American Library Association and cannot be used in any form or reproduced without permission of the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.