When Youth Services Manager Mary Flamino was little and her mom took her to the library to pick out books, she was always intrigued by the shiny gold sticker on the cover of some of the longer chapter books she pulled off the shelf. Seeing that made her want to check those books out, and she realized how much she enjoyed the stories and characters.
Later, while in school for her Master's in Library Science degree, she spent a semester reading books that won the John Newbery Medal, awarded for "the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children." And she's never stopped. Mary says that it's okay to judge a book by its cover, when that cover has a John Newbery Medal on it.
Your Personal Librarian can help you find great books that haven't won awards, and read-alikes for award-winners.
Mary's Newbery's Podcast
Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, 2018
The lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well, and Valencia, Kaori and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, 2013
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, 2010
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on a TV game show, a 12-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, 2009
Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, 2007
Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, 10-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to see the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, 1995
After her mother leaves home suddenly, 13-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.
The Giver by Lois Lowry, 1994
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community, and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, 1963
Meg and Charles Wallace set out with their friend Calvin in a search for their father. His top secret job as a physicist for the government has taken him away and the children search through time and space to find him.