5 Minutes For Books is having another Children’s Classics Carnival – this time focusing on Newberry Medal winners. Head on over there and check out other great reviews – or submit your own!

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Newberry Medal Winner 1952)

(From Amazon.com) A heartwarming, yet quirky, story about a boy called Jerry whose much-loved puppy, Ginger Pye, goes missing.

Jerry and his sister begin a desperate hunt for Ginger, who they’re convinced has been stolen away by the stranger in the yellow hat. After months of fruitless searching the children are about to give up hope when a chance gust of wind reveals the villain to the children…

A book which has stood the test of time and deals with the special relationship between a boy and his dog in a fun and lively way.

My Thoughts:

I remember my parents reading this to my sister and I when we were kids, and we loved it! A wonderful, comforting, family-centered book for children. I actually can’t remember much more except that we loved it and were totally drawn into the story. I can’t wait to read it to my daughter. :-)

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, Newberry Medal Winner in 1959

(From Amazon.com) Forced to leave her sunny Caribbean home for the bleak Connecticut Colony, Kit Tyler is filled with trepidation. As they sail up the river to Kit’s new home, the teasing and moodiness of a young sailor named Nat doesn’t help. Still, her unsinkable spirit soon bobs back up.

What this spirited teenager doesn’t count on, however, is how her aunt and uncle’s stern Puritan community will view her. In the colonies of 1687, a girl who swims, wears silk and satin gowns, and talks back to her elders is not only headstrong, she is in grave danger of being regarded as a witch. When Kit befriends an old Quaker woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, it is more than the ascetics can take: soon Kit is defending her life. Who can she count on as she confronts these angry and suspicious townspeople?

A thoroughly exciting and rewarding Newbery Medal winner and ALA Notable Children’s Book, Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond brings this frightening period of witch hysteria to life. Readers will wonder at the power of the mob mentality, and the need for communities in desperate times–even current times–to find a scapegoat.

My Thoughts

I’ve read The Witch of Blackbird Pond countless times since I was a teenager. It’s one of those ageless books that anyone can enjoy. It brought the Salem Witch Trials to life for me – I so admire the author for her ability to take us into a historic time period and make it real. You really care about Kit and Nat, and wonder how the townspeople could be so cruel. This is definitely worth reading if you’re interested in that time period or even for just a quick suspenseful read, no matter your age!


5 Responses to Newberry Medal Winners – 5 Minutes For Books

  • I checked Ginger Pye out at the library recently, but we never read it. Maybe I’ll do a read-aloud for my son and my daughter. It’s fairly short, and we do better sticking with shorter books if we are reading aloud.

  • Ginger Pye sounds really cute, it’s one I’ve never read but I think I’ll have to read it to my kids someday!

  • My now 13yod loved reading Ginger Pye. She read it about 2-3 years ago. It is a great story

  • Going to read both of these, especially The Witch of Blackbird Pond since I recently visited Salem, MA.

  • Ginger Pye sounds like a really great read aloud to do with my son. Thanks for the great reviews :)

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