of the Center for Children's Books
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.|
The flurry of chat elicited by the 1998 Newbery Medal winner and Newbery Honor books has inspired this month's dozen. In seeking Newbery Honor books that have stood the test of (some) time we were also seeking books that still have appeal for youthful readers, and here you have them. These should not be forgotten because the seal they bear is silver instead of gold-they are still sterling. Booktalk your old copies and see how they shine.
--Janice M. Del Negro, Editor
The stories of Jason and the other heroes of the Argo (Atalanta, Heracles, etc.) are skillfully retold in the satisfying, poetic prose of Padraic Colum, and illustrated with gracefully powerful line drawings by Willy Pogany.
For "Little House" fans, this involving story of a spoiled city cousin finding satisfaction and adventure in country life is interspersed with folktales of the Magyar in this title set in early twentieth century Hungary.
In the midst of the uncertainty occasioned by the Great Dust Bowl drought, the insecurity of not having a permanent home,and the anxiety of her father not being able to find work, young Janey Larkin finds solace in the constant beauty of a blue and white china plate.
Have you got Shiloh lovers among your readers? This classic tale of a boy and his dog becoming fast friends on the rough and tumble Texas frontier still packs an emotional wallop.
Portia and her younger sibling Foster don't expect adventure and mystery on their summer vacation, but that's what they get when they stumble on once-elegant houses bordering a once-there lake, and the unusual brother and sister who still live there.
"It was quite untrue that the Minnipins, or Small Ones, were a lost people, for they knew exactly where they were." Gummy, Curley Green, Muggles and Mingy are renegade Minnipins, having had the temerity to paint their doors different colors from their neighbors; they are also the unlikely heroes of this fine fantasy set in the imaginary Land Between the Mountains.
This collection of tales and legends from Scotland ranges from the humorous "The Laird's Lass and the Gobbha's Son" to the haunting "The Stolen Bairn and the Sidhe" to the romantic "The Fisherlad and the Mermaid's Ring." Nic Leodhas (aka LeClaire Alger) retold several collections of Scottish tales, and she could still give lessons on how it's done with flair and style.
This early work by respected author Lester is illustrated by the celebrated Tom Feelings. Based oninterviews with former slaves conducted by the Federal Writer's Project and other primary source materials, Lester's retellings are a heart-shaking, eye-opening look at the horror and hatred that goes hand in hand with human bondage.
This is an early autobiographical work about surviving the Holocaust in hiding that holds its own with the new material currently being published on this subject. Reiss' reminiscences capture the fear, loss, longing, and impatience of two sisters, hidden for two years in a spare room in a Dutch farmhouse.
Great-great aunt Dew doesn't always know where she is, or who her great-nephew Michael is, or what day it is, but she knows about her hundred penny box. Aunt Dew has one penny for every year of her life, and she has the story to go with each one, and a great-nephew to listen to them.
Alex loves his new stepfather Jake the cowboy, but can't seem to get him to realize he's not just a kid who gets underfoot. That is, until Jake has a run-in with a wolf spider and Alex proves that he can be a big help after all in this warmly written, beautifully illustrated honor.
Here's two for the price of one with Freedman's accessibly written, well-researched, photo-illustrated biographies. Freedman has a knack for placing his subjects in the context of their time, never losing sight of the long view provided by hindsight and history.
The most recent title on the list, Curtis's novel reads like a family rememberance, and it is the "Weird Watsons" that readers will remember and give a place in their hearts. Ten-year-old Kenny articulates the cry of a generation when, referring to the bomb thrown into a black church in Birmingam in 1963, he asks his brother "Why would they do that. Byron? . . . Why would they hurt some little kids like that?" This is a masterpiece of emotional understatement.
This page was last updated on February 3, 1998.