Newbery Roundup, June 2018

I’m continuing my journey through the oldest Newbery books (slowly but surely, as I’m having to request the out of print books through our interlibrary loan). It’s feeling more like a slog because of the content and writing style of the books I’ve read lately… (All summaries via

The Fairy Circus

The fairies, enchanted by a human circus which visits their meadow, put on a circus of their own with the woodland creatures.

I found this book about how the fairies used woodland creatures and flowers to create their own circus kind of boring with boring art. “Meh” basically covers it for me.

Rating: Meh

Children of the Soil

An early Newbery Honor Book, telling the story of two Swedish children and their folk beliefs.

This was better than I expected. The book is about two young, poor children growing up in Sweden and being creative to improve their lot in life. The children work toward their main goal–buying a cow–by selling things that they make or find, and the sections about this are interspersed with folk tales and stories about the culture’s traditions.

Rating: Good but Forgettable

The Railroad to Freedom

Tells the story of Harriet Tubman who escaped from slavery herself and then brought more than 300 people to the North and freedom by way of the Underground Railway.

I appreciate that the early Newbery books include a story about Harriet Tubman, but the language and art are so outdated that they are offensive. There are a lot of better, more recent children’s biographies of this important historical figure. There’s no reason to read this one anymore.

Rating: Skip This One

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