By Kwame Alexander
The Crossover, written by Kwame Alexander and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Twelve-year-old narrator Josh Bell uses the rhythms of a poetry jam to emulate the "moving & grooving/popping and rocking" of life on the basketball court with his twin brother, J.B. This powerful novel in verse paints an authentic portrait of a closely-knit family on the brink of crisis. Swish! This book is nothing but net!
“Our 15-member committee worked diligently and thoughtfully to determine the 2015 Newbery Medal winner,” said Committee Chair Randall Enos.
By Jacqueline Woodson
Brown Girl Dreaming, written by Jacqueline Woodson and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical memoir chronicles the incidents and emotions she experienced as an African-American girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. Precise language magnifies moments and connects them to the larger historical narrative. Her elegant and evocative standalone poems weave a story about her development from a struggling reader and dreamer into a confident young woman and writer.
By Cece Bell
In this insightful and humorous graphic novel memoir, Cece Bell portrays growing up with a giant hearing aid strapped to her chest. Themes of navigating a new school, sleepovers, finding a true friend and a first crush make this book universal in appeal. Bell shows that our differences are gifts that “can be turned into something amazing.”