I'm a Sucker for a Lovely List
My love of book lists seems to work in tandem with the love the Brits lavish on creating such lists. Tis kismet. I mean, how better to explain The Independent's recent publication of the, "10 books today nominated as the most important children's novels of the past 70 years"? They're calling it the Carnegie of the Carnegies, which is essentially the same as saying the Newbery of the Newberys but in Britspeak. Voila their winners alongside their amusingly brief plot descriptions:
* SKELLIG David Almond (won in 1998)
A tale of a creature beneath the garage
* JUNK Melvin Burgess (1996)
The lives of young heroin users
* STORM Kevin Crossley-Holland (1985)
Girl discovers the secrets of a marsh
* A GATHERING LIGHT Jennifer Donnelly (2003)
Novel about a real murder
* THE OWL SERVICE Alan Garner (1967)
A terrifying legend re-emerges
* THE FAMILY FROM ONE END STREET Eve Garnett (1937)
Portrait of a working-class family
* THE BORROWERS Mary Norton (1952)
Tiny people live beneath the floor
* TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN Philippa Pearce (1958)
Adventures in a magical garden
* NORTHERN LIGHTS Philip Pullman (1995)
First of the trilogy His Dark Materials
* THE MACHINE-GUNNERS Robert Westall (1981)
Second World War novel
It goes on to say: " Meanwhile, the shortlist for this year's Carnegie Medal, also announced today, included two first-time novelists, Siobhan Dowd, for A Swift Pure Cry, and Ally Kennen's Beast, as well as Anne Fine's The Road of Bones; Meg Rosoff's Just in Case; Marcus Sedgwick's My Swordhand is Singing, and Kevin Brooks' The Road of the Dead."
Speaking of the Newbery of the Newberys, two can play at THIS game. The top ten children's books written in the last 70 years that also happened to win the Newbery Award (not Honor)? Here's my take with my own brief descriptions:
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)
A boy and his shard.
2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)
A boy searches for his father.
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)
Yet another boy (hm) digs holes.
1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry(Houghton)
Once more a boy (uh-oh) can see the future.
1983: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)
A girl (yay!) tries to deal with life.
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
A girl (double yay!) solves a mystery.
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
A boy and a girl (that's more like it) hang out until she drowns.
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (Atheneum)
A mouse (girl mouse) saves some rats.
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar)
Two boys and a girl save a scientist.
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)
A man discovers an island.
I've excluded my own year on purpose. It just didn't seem fair. You'll note that I don't go much earlier than 1948, but it's just my bad luck that Caddie Woodlawn won in 1936 and not '37 (you may stare at me in horror, but I still like that book). The nice thing about this list? No one on earth is going to necessarily agree with me. But these are the ten I liked the most. I stand by A Wrinkle in Time too! Consarn it.
Thanks to Big A little a for the first list.