Newberys are Proof: Kids Books Aren’t Just for Kids
By Cheryl Homan-Wendell, Literary Services Librarian
C.S. Lewis said it well: “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally–and often far more–worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
Children’s literature is an unknown or forgotten world for adult readers. We grown-ups may be of the belief that to walk through that Children’s Room door and explore the likes of Rowling, Silverstein, or Dahl is, if not beneath us, at the least, no longer worth the time.
Back in 1922, the American Library Association began the tradition of awarding the annual John Newbery Medal to the author “of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. For an author to win the Newbery Medal, they have shown quality and creativity in their writing. Their literary work is worthy of recognition. Many of us remember our own encounters with some of their books, such as E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web or Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet. Books that shaped our outlook on the world, or expanded our imaginations.
One such book is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. The Library has a limited supply of this 2010 Newbery winner for middle schoolers at the first-floor service desk. It’s a story about an ordinary sixth-grade girl who starts to receive mysterious messages from someone who knows all about her, including things that have not happened yet. Part sci-fi, part mystery, it’s hard to put down.
Middle schoolers are invited to a book discussion on Thursday, July 11 at 7 pm, with snacks and refreshments provided: Click here to sign up. While this program is geared toward young teens, the Library also has a copy of When You Reach Me in the Juvenile Fiction collection. And there’s no age limit for borrowing it!
Those books you immersed yourself in when you were a youngster are still there, and they have been joined by many more! They provide us with tangible evidence that there is an enduring quality and creativity shaping young minds today, and they’re available to all who have a Library Card.
Book Club opportunities at the Library span all ages. We host book discussion programs specifically for adults, high schoolers, middle schoolers, and grade schoolers alike. Even the 0 to 6 age-group takes home a book to keep and read with their family.
Two things are for sure: Book clubs aren’t just for adults—and kids’ books aren’t just for kids. New literary discoveries–alongside those long-lost favorites of yours–all await you at the Library.