Island of the Blue Dolphins

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NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1961

Island of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O’Dell

Age: 10+

Interests: survival, strong girls, indigenous peoples, history, independence, island life, animals, dogs

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The Lark on the Wing

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CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNER – 1950

The Lark on the Wing

by Elfrida Vipont

Age: 11+

Interests: music, religion, romance, coming of age stories More

The Storm (Lighthouse Family series)

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The Storm (Lighthouse Family series)

by Cynthia Rylant

illustrated by Preston McDaniels

Age: 4+ (read to); 6+ (independent reading)

Interests: animals, cats, dogs, mice, ocean, boats, weather More

The Family from One End Street

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CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNER – 1937

The Family from One End Street

written and illustrated by Eve Garnett

Age: 5+ (read to)

Interests: family, siblings, Great Britain

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Harris Finds His Feet

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GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 2009

Harris Finds His Feet

by Catherine Rayner

Age: 2+

Interests: rabbits, grandparents, growing up, independence

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Starbuck Valley Winter

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CANADIAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BOOK OF THE YEAR – 1947

Starbuck Valley Winter

by Roderick Haig-Brown

Age: 10 +

Interests: hunting, wilderness survival, winter survival, animals, canoeing, Canada, British Columbia

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The Guardian: “Parental Supervision Not Required…”

This is worth a read – “Parental Supervision Not Required: The Freedom of Classic Children’s Fiction” by Sarah Hall in The Guardian.

Not without interest, though a bit obvious – “the heroes of classic children’s fiction enjoyed far less restricted lifestyles than kids do today. Is that why their stories still appeal?” Um, yes?

One wonders about future classic novels set in our time, in which young heroes and heroines must manage to have adventures within the confines of their own living rooms…

Strangely enough, the comments on this article are thoughtful and interesting themselves. (Now that is rare!) Apart from (presumably) elderly rants about today’s lazy parents plunking their kids in front of tv sets and computers, there are some very good points made. Namely:

1. re. Swallows and Amazons-style adventuring – kids never had that much freedom! These books were regarded as fantastical even when they were written.

2. the main reason that children are prevented from walking about unsupervised is not because of parents crazily paranoid about abduction, but because of the danger from motor vehicles – witness the sheer number of vehicles on the roads and the lack of skill and care of the drivers, not to mention road rage, cell phone use, etc. And no longer are there any really quiet streets. Even in my fairly child-friendly neighbourhood cars regularly roll through four-way stops and ignore the school crosswalks.

All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.