2022 Newbery Book Reading Challenge

As a homeschooling mom, I threw out a reading challenge this week – to celebrate the 100th year of the Newbery Book Award:

Let’s read 50 Newbery Award Winners this year!

This is mostly because I want a reason to read children’s books – new ones and old favorites. (See below for a printable reading record.)

While I was working up a lather of enthusiasm about the books I am already reading and how everyone should too and how fun it will all be, Johnny interrupted by asking: “How does a book get to be a Newbery Award Winner?” 

Good Question. 

There are guidelines for Newbery Award winners, but his question led into another question for all of us:

“What – in your opinion – makes a good book?”

(Jumpstarting my rusty math brain to help students with their algebra is generally not a fun part of a good homeschool day but discussing books we’ve read and what makes a good book is the fun stuff.)

Here is a list we made about what makes a good book. We realized that there is no wrong answer and different people may have different opinions. Please share your own ideas in the comments!

A good book:

  1. Transports me to a place or situation. I feel like I am there.
  2. Creates believable characters who I can understand in some way.
  3. Even if it’s a fantasy book, there is something that I can relate to.
  4. Teaches timeless truths about people and life.
  5. Contains some type of realness – like historical facts or events. (That one was from my historical-fiction-loving child.)