Up, up, and away with the Newbery

I began my reading for the Newbery Challenge with books from the early years of the award.  My strategy is to read from each row of my most recent Newbery poster from Follett.  For convenience I also decided to start with books that are available in my K-3 school collection.

In somewhat random fashion (though I really do have a plan!) I write today about William Pene du Bois’s The Twenty-One Balloons.  This book has been signed out exactly one time since its purchase, which was before I came eleven years ago.  Why is that, I wonder?  It’s got a jazzy spine design (though that does make the title difficult to read) and the jacket is colorful.  A peek inside shows quite a few illustrations for a chapter book, and some very intriguing ones at that.  So what gives?

Perhaps it’s because I’d never read it and recommended it before.  Now that I’ve read it, I know a few more things:

1.  I can probably drum up some interest because of Hugo

2. It will appeal to both boys and girls–the right boys, and the right girls, of course

3. It is worthy of a booktalk.  There are parts that will most definitely “sell” the book

4.When I booktalk it, I’ll have other “invention” books as companions

5. I’m totally on board with a society/government that is based upon restaurants and cuisines from around the world.

Have I convinced you to dust off its cover and give it a go?  I was glad I did.  Next up…Sounder.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca D
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 04:05:38

    I loved, loved, loved this books as a kid. (I was required to read it by my 4th grade teacher, and even though being required to read something usually killed all enjoyment, I liked it anyway!). I still think the tables & chairs sinking into the floor so it can be mopped easily would be a brilliant invention.


    • buchlady
      Jan 23, 2012 @ 10:10:40

      I couldn’t agree more! I know what you mean, too, about the required reading “kill” factor. For me that book was The Wind in the Willows, also fourth grade. It was only as an adult that I could then enjoy the book!


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