The 2012 John Newbery Medal WinnerJack Gantos won the John Newbery Medal for his novel Dead End in Norvelt. (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011. ISBN: 9780374379933) Compare prices. Read librarian Jennifer Kendall's book review of Dead End in Norvelt.
According to the official announcement of the award, "The importance of history and reading (so you don’t do the same 'stupid stuff' again) is at the heart of this achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice." (Source: 1/23/12 ALA press release)
Jack Gantos was actually raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania. "I love that little town, I love the history of that town, and I love the values that were built into that town,” he says. “I try not to over-detail the history, but I do spell out the values of that town, and of course the book is just shot through with humorous scenes, one after another after another." (Source: 1/26/12 Publishers Weekly)
Jack Gantos has also been recognized with the 2012 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction for Dead End in Norvelt. In 2010, The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) honored Jack Gantos as the ALAN award winner for his contributions to adolescent literature.
Gantos received a 2001 Newbery Honor for Joey Pigza Loses Control and 2003 Printz and Sibert Honors for Hole in My Life. Hole in My Life, Gantos's own gritty life story, is on teen librarian Jennifer Kendall's list of recommended Contemporary Biographies, Autobiographies and Memoirs for Teens.
2012 Newbery Honor Books
- Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. ISBN: 9780061962783)
The author was born in Vietnam and moved to Alabama in 1975 after fleeing Vietnam with her family. Her book is based on her own and her family's experiences. "[Ten-year-old] Hà and her family flee war-torn Vietnam for the American South. In spare yet vivid verse, she chronicles her year-long struggle to find her place in a new and shifting world." (Source: 1/23/12 ALA press release) Thanhha Lai also received the 2011 National Book Award for Young People's Literature for Inside Out & Back Again. Compare prices.
Read the review of Inside Out & Back Again.
- Breaking Stalin’s Nose written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2011. ISBN: 9780805092165)
"On the eve of his induction into the Young Pioneers, Sasha’s world is overturned when his father is arrested by Stalin’s guard. Yelchin deftly crafts a stark and compelling story of a child’s lost idealism." (Source: 1/23/12 ALA press release) Compare prices.