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Literature Awards: Newbery 2004

These sites are about the Newbery Award, which is the world’s oldest children’s book award. Learn about the winning books for 2004. Includes author biographies, reviews, excerpts, and lesson plans.


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Kate DiCamillo describes her journey in becoming a writer. She discusses her reaction to receiving the call from the Newbery Committee for "The Tale of Despereaux".
Here is a biography of Kate DiCamillo. Click on "The Tale of Despereaux" to read a review and an excerpt from this award-winning book.
Various writing activities are provided using characters from DiCamillo's books.
Students select a section of the book and research medieval times to compare the events which occur in the book and from history.
This link provides rich literary activities to implement while reading "Tale of Despereaux".
Use the prompts for writing activities while reading "Tale of Despeareaux". An explanation of the Exquisite Prompt Challenge is provided.
Students will enjoy viewing this interview of illustrator, Timothy Basil Ering. He created the art for "Tale of Despereaux".
Here are some discussion questions about the book. NOTE: The discussion questions include spoilers, so make sure you have read the book before viewing the site.
Read this article about the author of "The Tale of Despereaux."
This link provides discussion questions and summary for honor book, Olive's Ocean.
Use these creative writing activities to further students' understanding of "Olive's Ocean".
Read about this Newbery Honor book author.
Read about Kevin Henkes and his books. NOTE: This site includes ads.
Listen with students to the first two chapters of "An American Plague". Discussion questions are provided after listening. Next use the extension activities for nonfiction writing.
Here is a biography of Jim Murphy. Click on "Interview Transcript" to learn about how he became a writer.
Read this student review of the Newbery Honor book by Jim Murphy.

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