The Girl Who Drank the Moon” and Ashley Bryan’s “Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves,Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life” have won the Newbery Medal and the Newbery Honor Award, respectively.
The awards, which are given away in recognition of excellence in children’s books, were announced at the American Library Association’s winter meeting held in Atlanta. While the Newbery Honor Award is the highest honor given to a children’s book, the Newbery Medal is the runner-up.
Honor awards were also bestowed on books such as Adam Gidwitz’s “The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog” and Lauren Wolk’s “Wolf Hollow.”
“Freedom Over Me” has also bagged a couple of Coretta Scott King Book Award honor medals. Bryan, who has been working on his book for the past several years, completed it only last year. He started writing it when he bought slave records at a Maine auction. These records bore the names, ages, and prices of a number of slaves, and Bryan imagined these slaves as free people and wrote their stories. Bryan’s book has also emerged as a finalist for the Kirkus Prize.
Bryan, who is now 93 years old, has authored over 50 children’s books. Most of them are on the traditions and lifestyle of African Americans. He has won the Maine Library Association’s Lupine Award and several Coretta Scott King awards.
The full list of award winners can be viewed here.