Book Lists Book Reviews

My Favorite Newbery Winners

Of the 95 Newbery winners, these are my 15 favorite Newbery award winners chosen by a committee of librarians as the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children for the previous year


I meant this list of my favorite Newbery winners to only have 10 books on it. But then it was just impossible for me to get it that low.

Since 1922, 95 books have won the Newbery Medal and I’ve read 66 of them, so narrowing it to 15 seems fairly reasonable in my mind.

(When I did my favorite Caldecott books, I picked twelve. Apparently I love novels more than I love picture books).

Newbery winners

My 15 favorite Newbery Winners

And if I’ve missed your favorite Newbery award winners, I’m super sorry and also probably just haven’t read them yet.

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  • Reply Tina's Blog August 7, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Not that you asked for my two cents, but since you liked Dicey's Song I think you need to read the other books in the Tillerman series. They are wonderful.

  • Reply KT August 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I have read 63 too! I think I have read everything from 1980 forward – those early years are somewhat painful, plus my library doesn't even have Daniel Boone, so I may never actually accomplish my goal of reading them all. I am with you in having gone into The Bronze Bow thinking it would be awful and totally loving it.

    Other favorites: The High King (you do have to read the first 4 books to appreciate this one though – kind of a negative), The Twenty One Balloons, and Island of the Blue Dolphins.

  • Reply Amy August 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is really the first book I remember sobbing over as a kid. Also, what gives people the right to make such awesome books into such stupid movies?

    I have to say that Out of the Dust is one of my favorite books of all time, so I'm a little heartbroken it didn't make the list.

  • Reply Melanie August 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I was just thinking about Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. I own a copy and was fascinated by the book as a child. I want to go back and read it, but I'm kind of afraid that it won't be as magical as it was when I was younger.

    • Reply Jocelyn March 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      It will be a different magic.

  • Reply Kayris August 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    My SIL and I were just talking about Homecoming the other day. Mostly about how I had to read it for school and I hated it with a passion.

    Have you read the other books in the Giver series? The last one came out late 2012 and was just a fantastic conclusion.

    I can't pick one from the list but Number The Stars and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry are both up there.

  • Reply Angiegirl August 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Dicey's Song . . . That perfect book. And then to follow it up with A Solitary Blue. I adore the entire series.

  • Reply Katie Walker August 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    All so good. I also loved The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I loved reading it, but I loved listening to him read it even more. It was fantastic!

  • Reply Laura H August 8, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Way off subject. But did you hear author LA Meyer passed away last week? Very sad

  • Reply Kristin August 9, 2014 at 12:54 am

    I love a lot of the books you put on your list! I've actually read several Newbery Medal and Honor books in the past few months– not to my kids but to myself! I did read with my kids this summer and neither of us liked it. We didn't hate it and we all wanted to finish it, but it never grabbed us. 🙁

  • Reply Sherry August 11, 2014 at 5:11 am

    I was surprised by how many of these I'd read. (Eight!) And a few of those of those I've read multiple times, so maybe that makes up for not reading the other ones? At any rate, I'll add them to my list. (A few of them are ones I'd been interested in when you wrote about them before.)

  • Reply Caitlyn August 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I love this list! Walk Two Moons is incredible. Everything Cynthia Voigt has written is awesome, but living in MD – this series has a special place in my heart. But I think that From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is slightly better than The View From Saturday (maybe not better in the literary sense… but I still fantasize about moving into a museum). Have you read that one? If not, check it out, it is SO worth the time!

  • Reply Jenna Hatfield August 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

    I'm way behind on summer blog reading, so I'm glad this one caught my eye. I'm going to pin this to make suggestions to my sons. I've read a number of them, but I'd like to read them again.

    Thank you!

  • Reply april August 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I honestly don't remember Bridge to Terabithia but I want to read it now. I'm thinking of starting to read the Chronicles of Narnia to Henry – I continue to dislike reading aloud but he loves for me to read to him. We're working on it.

  • Reply Pam September 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! Now I know what my son and I will be reading together this year 🙂 sadly, I was not a reader as a young person, so I'm making up time now and reading great juvenile fiction. BTW…The Bronze Bow is simply magnificent! My 14 year old loved it. He did it as a novel study, and could hardly put it down.

  • Reply Shauna August 15, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Walk Two Moons is one of my favorite books ever. Glad it made your list! Have you read Hello, Universe yet? I just finished it and can’t stop thinking about it.

  • Reply Shauna August 15, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Walk Two Moons is one of my favorite books ever! Glad it made your list. Have you read Hello, Universe yet? I just finished it and I can’t stop thinking about it.

  • Reply Mikayla Stucki August 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve read 9 of the ones you’ve mentioned here, plus several others. I love all the ones on your list that I have read, but my all-time favorite has to be The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I loved the book to begin with but what really clinched it (weird as this might sound) was reading his Newbery acceptance speech for it. Big. Fat. Tears. Every. Time. I still keep a copy of that speech because the speech and book together are just wonderful.
    If we’re including Honor books, Ella Enhanted would also be at the verrrry top of my list.

  • Reply Lisa August 16, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I loved The Bronze Bow!

  • Reply Lindsey August 25, 2018 at 10:34 am

    This post made me feel nostalgic in the BEST way! I think it’s time for me to re-read the Tillerman kids series.

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