I think many of you may have already read Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?, an article written by Anita Silvey that appeared in the October 2008 issue of School Library Journal. Here’s another article from The Washington Post entitled Plot Twist: The Newbery May Dampen Kids' Reading that speaks to the same subject. It seems there are children’s literature and literacy experts who feel that some of the recent Newbery winners are too complicated and inaccessible to kids. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Here are the first two paragraphs of TheWashington Post article:
The Newbery Medal has been the gold standard in children's literature for more than eight decades. On the January day when the annual winner is announced, bookstores nationwide sell out, libraries clamor for copies and teachers add the work to lesson plans.
Now the literary world is debating the Newbery's value, asking whether the books that have won recently are so complicated and inaccessible to most children that they are effectively turning off kids to reading. Of the 25 winners and runners-up chosen from 2000 to 2005, four of the books deal with death, six with the absence of one or both parents and four with such mental challenges as autism. Most of the rest deal with tough social issues.
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