Newbery Honor Author Ashley Bryan

My heart has not stopped smiling for Kelly Barnhill, Ashley Bryan, Adam Gidwitz, and Lauren Wolk since the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference ended last week. It is an exciting and important time for children’s literature. 

Click here to watch the ALA Youth Media Awards Webcast. 

I asked Kelly Barnhill, Ashley Bryan, Adam Gidwitz, and Lauren Wolk to answer two questions and finish two sentence starters.

Today is Ashley Bryan’s turn to shine! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Ashley Bryan! 

Illustration Credit: Ashley Bryan
Congratulations, Ashley Bryan! 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 clapping and cheering for you?  

Ashley Bryan: Thank you. I was very excited to hear that the writing held up! I was especially happy to hear from the Newbery Committee because I'd worked so hard to make the story exactly right, and was so glad that the committee felt that the voices speaking in the story were strong in language as well as meaning.

Illustration Credit: Ashley Bryan 
What does the Newbery mean to you?  

Ashley Bryan: The Newbery is the top recognition of the writing for young people. I keep a quote by Walter de la Mere by my work table at all times: "Only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young," and the Newbery recognizes that. Also, the recognition means that the discussion about slavery in America will be further opened. A child will ask "What does it mean that  a person cost $100?", and that introduces the connection between a child and American history in a meaningful way. The relationship to the adult world is very important for the growth of a child, and books can do that. And everyone has dreams, and that, in part, is what it means to be human, and child readers will see that even slaves had dreams -- they, too, were humans!

Illustration Credit: Ashley Bryan
Please finish these sentence starters: 

Reading is at the heart of life! 

School libraries are the culture of the nation!

Borrow Freedom Over Me from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


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