John Newbery Medal Winning and Honored Books
First awarded in 1922, The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. Virginia Hamilton, in 1975, was the first African American writer to win the medal. Learn more about this award at the ALA Website.
Below are the Newbery Winning and Honored books which were written by, or about, people of African descent.
One Book Honored with The Newbery Medal or Honor in 1970
1970 – Newbery Medal Winner
by William H. Armstrong
Publication Date: Dec 30, 2019
List Price: $6.99
Format: Paperback, 128 pages
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
Parent Company: News Corporation
Read a Description of Sounder
Fiftieth Anniversary Edition
Set in the Deep South, this Newbery Medal-winning novel tells the story of the great coon dog, Sounder, and the poor sharecroppers who own him. During the difficult years of the nineteenth century South, an African-American boy and his poor family rarely have enough to eat. Each night, the boy’s father takes their dog, Sounder, out to look for food and the man grows more desperate by the day. When food suddenly appears on the table one morning, it seems like a blessing. But the sheriff and his deputies are not far behind. The ever-loyal Sounder remains determined to help the family he loves as hard times bear down on them.This classic novel shows the courage, love, and faith that bind an African-American family together despite the racism and inhumanity they face. Readers who enjoy timeless dog stories such as Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows will find much to love in Sounder. Supports the Common Core State Standards
Note: Like many books written by white people on the Black experience, Sounder was critiqued by some Black people explaining that a white man could not truly understand and effectively relate the experiences of Black people.