Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner: Locomotive by Brian Floca
All aboard! From the creator of the “stunning” (Booklist) Moonshot, a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads.
is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling
together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These
pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and
strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving;
and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the
landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!
John Newbery Medal Winner: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Age Level: 8-12
Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal! Holy unanticipated occurrences! A
cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by
master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero
stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The
squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic
Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible
Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and
save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has
been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled
poetry—and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the
possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New
York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud
story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an
exciting new format—a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic
sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white
by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.
Randolph Caldecott Honor: Journey by Aaron Becker
Age Range: 4-8 years
Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously
illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and
A lonely girl draws a magic door on
her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder,
adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a
balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey
toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor,
only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it
also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line,
luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron
Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her
greatest and most exciting adventure of all.
John Newbery Honor: Doll Bones by Holly Black
Age Range: 10-14
Discover the award-winning Doll Bones, from Holly Black, the cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book. A School Library Journal Best Book. A Booklist Editor’s Choice Books for Youth. A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book. A NYPL “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.” A 2013 Goodreads Choice award nominee. A People Magazine “Best New Kids Book.” Six starred reviews!
Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long,
they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and
thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a
bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.
But they are in
middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe,
and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy
declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a
girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty
Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to
lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and
as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to
happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there
really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its
John Newbery Honor: The Year of Billy Miller by Keven Henkes
Age Range: 8-12
John Newbery Honor: One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Age Range: 9-12
In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known
for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking
her mind plainly.
But when Georgie blurts out something she
shouldn’t, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of
“pigeoners” trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And when the
sheriff returns to town with an unidentifiable body—wearing Agatha’s
blue-green ball gown—everyone assumes the worst. Except Georgie.
Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down (and coffined) before
her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister. She will track
every last clue and shred of evidence to bring Agatha home. Yet even
with resolute determination and her trusty Springfield single-shot,
Georgie is not prepared for what she faces on the western frontier.
I’m not too surprised by the winners this year. They are all fantastic books. My kids love Journey, and I am a fan of Kate DiCamillo’s other books, so I’m happy to see that she won an award this year. Of course, Holly Black is a master of the craft, so it’s no shocker to see one of her books on this list. Have you read any of these books?