Friday, November 14, 2008

Newbery Smackdown


The great debate of Newbery 1953! In 1953, the Newbery Committee awarded its prestigious medal to Secret of the Andes. The committee named Charlotte's Web as an honor book.

As Secret of the Andes faded into relative obscurity while Charlotte's Web gained status as a modern children's classic, the "loss" of the Newbery Medal for Charlotte's Web rankled many a children's librarian, teacher, and children's literature aficianado.

And now Sharon McKellar has posted a challenge to the Heavy Medal readers: read both books and evaluate them according to the Newbery criteria. Discussion on the books will open after Thanksgiving.

Since I'm working my way through the Newberys, I immediately signed up for the challenge. I've reread Charlotte's Web numerous times; I first read it when I was in elementary school. I haven't read Secret of the Andes, but I've heard plenty about it.

It will be a challenge to set aside my fondness for Charlotte's Web and evaluate them according to the Newbery criteria. But I'm looking forward to it!

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