Newbery Surprise

Last Stop on Market StreetI’ve been speculating about the 2016 Youth Media Awards for a whole year now, but some of the results still took me by surprise. The biggest surprise, of course, was the biggest winner, a book that received the Newbery medal, a Caldecott honor, and a Coretta Scott King illustrator honor. That is Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena with illustrations by Christian Robinson. To be honest, even though I had read it earlier in the year, Last Stop on Market Street wasn’t even on my radar as a potential award winner. After checking it out and giving it a reread, though, I can see why three different committees liked it more than I do. The artwork is distinctive, child-friendly, and emotive, even if it doesn’t fit my conception of beautiful artwork. The plot may be much shorter and much simpler than other Newbery winners, but it is well-written, and it is full of positive messages that are meaningful without being pedantic. And, although it’s too long for a preschool storytime and too short to challenge an independent reader, it still speaks to a wide audience of early elementary school kids and their caregivers. I’m still a little disappointed that none of my favorites won the 2016 Newbery award, but I’m content with the outcome. If you had a vested interest in the 2016 Newbery, feel free to weigh in with a comment.



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