Friday, January 29, 2010

For Newbery Fans

Every January at their mid-winter meeting, the American Library Association (ALA) announces the Newbery Medal winner. The author of the winning title appears on national tv the very next day. Sales of the winning book escalate. Enter any library or bookstore and you’ll see Newbery winners set aside, waiting for you to realize you need these books. They have been adjudged and acclaimed quality literature. That’s how I discovered THE DARK FRIGATE by Charles Boardman Hawes whose book won the 1924 Newbery. Alas! The author died in 1923.

Two Newbery medalists are related. Do you know the only father and son authors to win the Newbery? They are the Fleischmans, Sid and Paul. Sid is the father and of course, the older, but his energy and his continued outpouring of lighthearted and humorous books make him seem ageless. Both have written many books and won numerous awards. Sid Fleischman’s Newbery winner was THE WHIPPING BOY, 1987. Only two years later, Paul, the son, won for JOYFUL NOISE, 1989.

My bookshelves are home to a Fleischman section.

By Sid: HUMBUG MOUNTAIN, MR. MYSTERIOUS & COMPANY, and the hilarious McBroom series which kept my children giggling for many hours.

and many others from both writers.

Both published new books in 2009:

Check your own shelves for Fleischman favorites. If your children are grown but haven’t yet moved their books, you might find you already have several written by this father and son duo. And if you don’t have any, you have lots to discover.

To me, father and son do not write alike. The common thread is talent. Everything else is a great story told well by master craftsmen. What do you think?


  1. Joan-- just read through a number of your blogs! Awesome! they are a quick read and fascinating. They make me want to go find and read the books.


  2. Great post!
    Are you going to SpringMingle this year?

  3. Sandy, thanks for your comments. I hope this brings a bit of home to you. Can't wait to read what you write about your adventures.

    Gail, I won't be going to Springmingle this year, but if you do, please tell us which books are being buzzed about. I love it when book lovers chime in!

  4. I loved reading about these talents.
    Their books are so widely loved & I have several that you mention here.
    I especially like Mr. Mysterious & Co & Whirligig.

    Any readers or writers who have a chance to attend a Sid Fleischman workshop (I haven't yet had the pleasure of attending A PF one) will
    feel energized & appreciated as a colleague. He is caring & generous.


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