Fiction Friday: Newbery Medal Winners in Fiction, 1980-2012

Yes! A day in advance! Again!

You know how I mentioned earlier this week that I started a book club reading and rereading Newbery Award Winners? Well, in preparation for the first meeting, I really wanted a poster of the Newbery Award Winners. And I thought it would be even more nice to have a super short description of the book, to jog our minds if we have already read it, or to make us interested in books we maybe never heard of.

Well, those posters they have in libraries are apparently only available to libraries. I tried to make an account as a homeschool—no dice.

Those nice pretty posters also don’t have a blurb about the books. They have the book name, author, date, and cover. I don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do judge a book by its title. Let’s just say The View from Saturday sounded like a kid version of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and why read Sarah, Plain and Tall when you can read something like Julie of the Wolves?

I remember really liking Sarah, Plain and Tall. I don’t remember it being about a mail-order bride.

So I made my own posters. And since I love you all dearly, I’m going to share them with you to download, for free. (Note, the link to download the printable version is near the end of the post)

This is a preview image. Click the link at the bottom of the page to download.

I have to admit, though, that I have a couple of confessions to make. 1) I am no longer any good at math. The Newbery Award gave its first medal in 1922. This year is 2012. That means there are 90 books, right? 2012-1922=90. No, there are 91 books. If you just subtract, you aren’t counting the current year. Problem: my layout was 30 books per page. In lieu of creating a new layout (this was my 3rd or 4th), I decided rather to eliminate from my posters the books that were biographies and the books that were collections of poems. While I might be interested in someday reading A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers (1989), I can honestly say that I have no desire to pick up Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (1982) after hearing that all of the poems are about insects.

Confession 2) I haven’t read most of these books. Some of them I hadn’t even ever heard of. I think I read mostly Newbery Honors books as a child, with some major exceptions, like The GiverNumber the Stars, and A Wrinkle in Time. So when I went about writing blurbs about the books, I had to read the synopses of the novels from sites like Amazon and Goodreads. I could only fit about 100 characters per novel to keep the posters to a page each. That’s less than a Tweet, and is about 20 words. Try summarizing a book you’ve never read into 20 words or fewer sometime—it’s definitely a head-scratcher.

As much as I enjoyed the challenge (and hope it will help me come up with elevator speeches of my own novels in the future), it is very time-consuming. That’s why I’m going to release one page per week.

So, for today, I give you the Newbery Medal Winners 1980-2012.

A couple other notes:

  • The boxes by the cover images include the date of the award and serve as a check box, so you can keep track of which ones you’ve read.
  • Since I haven’t read some of these books, the blurb may not be the best representation of the novel.
  • I haven’t printed this out myself yet. If the images are a bit fuzzy, it’s because I couldn’t find high-res images of the covers.
  • This is for educational or personal use only. You MAY NOT use these posters for any sort of commercial gain.

See you next week!

8 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: Newbery Medal Winners in Fiction, 1980-2012

  1. Lorraine says:

    This is wonderful! Thank you so much. Do you plan on doing the same with all the books dating back to the beginning?

  2. wifosaurus says:

    You are most welcome! You know, I haven’t had the time to sit down and finish writing all of the miniature blurbs for the 1920s-1980s, but if you’ll use the posters, I’ll certainly try to find time to finish next week!

    Be sure to subscribe by email or follow me on Facebook (links at top of page) to be notified when the others are available 🙂

    • wifosaurus says:

      Hi Nancy! I have all of the images, I just haven’t had time to research the remaining books to write a summary of 20 words or fewer. I’ve had to focus on paying jobs since starting this project 😦
      I’ll put it at the top of my pro-bono list, but it will take some time for me to get back to it. If you have summaries for any of the books that are 20 words or fewer, I’d be happy to enter them into the layout—that would speed things up considerably.
      Feel free to email me at larawillard [at] icloud [dot] com, and I’ll send you an email if/when the others are ready.

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