Newbery Honor Author Holly Black

Is it possible that the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference was two weeks ago? I have not stopped smiling since we called Kate, Holly, Kevin, Amy, and Vince to share good—no, greatnews. 

I asked two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo (Flora and Ulysses) and Newbery Honor authors Holly Black (Doll Bones), Kevin Henkes (The Year of Billy Miller), Amy Timberlake (One Came Home), and Vince Vawter (Paperboy) the same three questions.

Today's special guest is Holly Black! Congratulations, Holly! 

Doll Bones by Holly Black |Margaret K. McElderry Books | 2014 Newbery Honor 

Everyone loves hearing about THE CALL. What ran through your head when the phone rang? What were you thinking about when the Newbery committee was laughing and clapping?  What did you do after you hung up the phone?

Holly Black: I was asleep when the phone rang, because I had been up until five with a fussy baby, but I remember having two distinct thoughts: 1) Could this really be happening? 2) Please don’t let my 8-month-old wake up!

The whole thing was amazing and really surreal and the chorus of laughter and cheers on the other end of the phone only made it more surreal and amazing.

After I hung up the phone, I danced around the room and then the phone rang again (my editor) and my husband realized that he and the baby better go to the guest room if either of them wanted any sleep at all.

What does the Newbery mean to you?

Holly Black: When I was a kid, the Newbery always meant the good books, the ones with the shiny stickers that were standing up in the library.

The Newbery meant Charlotte’s Web and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Cricket in Times Square, Wrinkle in Time and A Ring of Endless Light, The Black Cauldron and The High King, The Dark is Rising and The Grey King, The Egypt Game, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Bridge to Terabithia and The Westing Game, The Blue Sword and The Perilous Gard, all books I loved and read enough times that their covers were tattered, spines broken and pages curled.

It’s a bit strange to reconcile my idea of the Newbery with my idea of one of my own books receiving a Newbery Honor. I’m still working on that.

Please finish this sentence starter:

Reading is an opportunity to understand the world and ourselves better by trying on characters who are like and unlike us in situations that are both familiar and unfamiliar.

Thank you, Holly! 

Holly Black presented at the 2013 National Book Festival. 

Holly shares how she came up with her last name. 

"DOLL BONES is the book that I’ve been trying to write for a long time. It’s about a lot of things that are really personal to me—and it’s also about a lot of things that creep me out." - Holly Black 

Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi presented at the 2009 National Book Festival. 

"You don’t realize that as a kid books are changing you, sending you off in new directions and getting you interested in things that you didn’t know you would be interested in.” – Holly Black

I am giving away one copy of Doll Bones

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/10 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/11. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Borrow Doll Bones from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. I couldn't help but smile and feel your "don't let the baby wake up" hope when you got the call, Holly. Congrats to you!!!! :D


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