In 2001, the medal winner was:
I read this in 2004 and Grandma Dowdel is one of the most memorable characters in children's literature. It is definitely deserving of its medal! If you haven't read this one, you should, and when you do, get ready to laugh and laugh.
I also read this in 2004. Oh how I love this book! Thanks to Kate DiCamillo, a dog named Winn-Dixie, a mouse named Despereaux and a squirrel named Ulysses are among my heroes.
I read Joey Pigza Loses Control earlier this year and could only see it through the lens of a parent. Joey goes to stay with his father and his paternal grandmother for six weeks. Unfortunately, the trip is NOT wonderful, and Joey winds up in real danger. This book terrified me! Entrusting your child to someone else and then having them completely fail to live up to that responsibility is one of the worst things that can happen to a parent.
Sophie is an adopted child (this is Sharon Creech after all) who travels with her two uncles and cousins across the Atlantic Ocean to England. I am not a fan of boats and had bouts of psychological seasickness while reading about her journey. I enjoyed the stories she told about her grandfather most of all. My favorite Sharon Creech book is still Ruby Holler, which was not recognized by the award committee.
I recently finished this one and it is a good reminder that the Newbery criteria states that books for children up to age 14 are eligible for this award. Hope lives with her aunt and has moved around a lot. She is a teenager who loves being a waitress. Interestingly enough, she was originally named Tulip and actually changed her name to hope. She and her aunt move to Wisconsin to help a diner owner who is diagnosed with leukemia. A mayoral race is a large focus of this book, and the small town politics make for an interesting read.
On to year 2000!