Newbery Award Winners 2000- 2022
(to access the entire Newbery list go to: www.ala.org)
2022: The Last Quentista by Donna Barba Higuera
Había una vez . . . There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?
|Ages: 10-14||Genre: science fiction||Themes: diversity, storytelling|
2021: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
When Lily moves with her family to Washington to be with her ailing grandmother, or Halmoni, the last thing she expects is to encounter a magical tiger she’s heard about in Halmoni’s Korean folktales. She soon learns that the tiger is the key to uncovering Halmoni’s past and possibly saving her life. When You Trap a Tigeris a powerful story about one of our greatest powers — storytelling and the effects those stories have on who we become.
|Ages: 10-14||Genre: magical realism||Themes: folktales, multicultural, death|
2020: New Kid by Jeremy Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
|Ages: 9-12||Genre: graphic novel||Themes: multicultural, art|
2019: Merci Suarez Changes Gear by Meg Medina
Using humor and grace, Merci, a charming and plucky protagonist, cycles through life’s challenges with the support of her intergenerational family. This richly nuanced novel tackles the complexity of navigating a multicultural identity amidst changing family dynamics.
“Meg Medina’s warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family’s life with authenticity and empathy,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ellen M. Riordan.
|Ages: 9-12||Genre: realistic fiction||Themes: immigration, multicultural|
2018: Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
Filipino folklore and real life converge at the bottom of a well. Even while following signs and portents, the characters are the definition of creative agency. Masterfully told through shifting points of view, this modern quest tale shimmers with humor and authentic emotion.
|Ages: 8-14||Genre: realistic fiction||Themes: folklore, four intertwining POVs|
2017: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Moonlight is magic. Ask anyone you like.” Barnhill’s story is also pure magic, distinguished by careful development of a complex plot and indelible evocation of unique characters. Love, heartbreak, hope, sorrow, and wonder all shine in exquisite, lyrical prose.
“This compassionate, hopeful novel invites children everywhere to harness their power, and ask important questions about what keeps us apart and what brings us together,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Thom Barthelmess.
|Ages: 10-14||Genre: fantasy||Themes: adventure, magic|
2016: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him. CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom. Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
|Ages: 3-5||Genre: picture book||Themes: poverty, gratitude|
2015: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Twelve-year-old narrator Josh Bell uses the rhythms of a poetry jam to emulate the “moving & grooving/popping and rocking” of life on the basketball court with his twin brother, J.B. This powerful novel in verse paints an authentic portrait of a closely-knit family on the brink of crisis. Swish! This book is nothing but net!
|Ages: 10-14||Genre: novel in verse; realistic fiction||Themes: sports, multicultural|
2014: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
Comic book fan and natural-born cynic Flora Belle Buckman and Ulysses, a flying, superhero, poetry-writing squirrel, join forces to overcome Ulysses’ arch-nemesis, Flora’s mother and encounter a quirky cast of characters. Through poignant, laugh-out-loud episodes, this homage to comic books is a testament to the power of love.
|Ages: 8-12||Genre: graphic novel||Themes: humor, comic books|
2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Ivan’s transformative emergence from the “Ape at Exit 8” to “The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback,” comes to life through the gorilla’s own distinct narrative voice, which is filled with wry humor, deep emotion and thought-provoking insights into the nature of friendship, hope and humanity.
“Katherine Applegate gives readers a unique and unforgettable gorilla’s-eye-view of the world that challenges the way we look at animals and at ourselves,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Steven Engelfried.
|Ages: 8-14||Genre: illustrated book with animal POV; based on a real gorilla||Themes: friendship|