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Newbery 100 Challenge

About six weeks ahead of the 2020 general election, I gave up on social media…at least for an extended break. In the meantime, I had picked up a new book (on my phone…such an odd phrase in digital days) from our city library: Uglies, the first book in Scott Westerfield’s NYT bestseller dystopian series. Ms. Jo (my wife) had encouraged me to read it for years, and I tore through the series in just a few weeks. Now that I had those one to two hours a day free from mindless scrolling through the same five sites every day, I was filling my free times with more reading. Once I start a good reading binge, it can get out of control.

I have a few default books when it comes to reading; those favorites I read annually, whose tales I know so intimately: Hunger Games, 1984, any Redwall book, or the others escaping my initial thought. However, some of my favorite books, the ones that have been in my annual rotation since I was a kid, are heavy in the Newbery winner category: Maniac Magee (1991), A Wrinkle in Time (1963), Dear Mr. Henshaw (1984), The Giver (1994, really, The Giver is 4th on this list!?!). These are in no particular order, or maybe an order meant to hide my childhood identity of challenging order and seeking my place in society…(cough, cough).

Here at Sapna Academy, we love to read Young Adult (YA) fiction, and whenever I’ve been looking for something to read (especially in the last few years), I pull out the Newbery Award list acquired from our local library and pick something. That’s how I ended up picking up Ann Nolan Clark’s Secret of the Andes in 2019. That book won the 1953 Newbery Award, and even today, it’s message is inspiring, hopeful, and uplifting. After reading the Uglies series I pulled up the Newbery list and saw that 2021 would be the one hundredth Newbery Award winner! As of this writing, When You Trap a Tiger, written by Tae Keller has been selected as the 2021 Newbery winner.


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