Newbery Honor Author Derrick Barnes

Click here to watch the 2018 ALA Youth Media Awards press conference.

I asked Erin Entrada Kelly, Derrick Barnes, Jason Reynolds, and Renée Watson to answer two questions and to finish two sentence starters. 

Congratulations, Derrick! 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? 

Derrick Barnes: I had never seen that area code before, but I knew that there was a chance that at least one of the committees would be calling. There was just no way of me knowing which one. I was hoping and praying that at least one of them would call. When the chair of the committee said that she represented the Newbery, I almost passed out. It just blew me away. Newbery!? What!? It's every children's book author's dream to win a Newbery or at least receive an honor. When I heard the committee on the other end of the phone clapping I just thought about all of my other friends who had won big literary awards and now it was my turn. It was so surreal. My name was finally being called.

What does the Newbery mean to you? 

Derrick Barnes: It means that my name and my work will forever be a part of this exclusive lineage of fine American contributions to literature. That can never be erased. I take my body of work very seriously. I want to leave behind a legacy of books that were actually trying to say something. Books that will live with children forever as a source of inspiration.

Please finish these sentence starters: 

Reading is essential for the development of a child's social skills. It broadens their vocabulary. It allows one to experience the world without moving one step. It allows you the opportunity to converse with people from different walks of life and equips them with the verbal and intellectual skills to master whatever career they choose to embark upon. Reading feeds a hungry imagination.

School libraries smell good. Books upon books upon books, filled with entire worlds and characters that we wish were real. The amount of information between those pages is limitless. A comfortable, well furnished school library feels like home.

Borrow Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


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