Newbery Interview: Niki Barnes

I am super excited to interview my Michigan Nerdy friend Niki Barnes today. As someone that is completely obssessed with the Newbery Medal, it is good for me to take a few minutes each week and see what my friends think of the award that means so much to me. Thanks for playing along, Niki!

My questions will appear in red, Niki’s answers in black.

What is your favorite Newbery Medal winning book?

Maniac Magee

What do you love about Maniac Magee?

Everything! But seriously…it is hilarious and thought provoking. Maniac Magee represents everything that is great in a Newbery Medal book. Kids love the hilarious antics of Maniac Magee. I’ll never forget the infamous baseball scene! It is one of my favorite scenes ever in a book. I also loved reading it to my fourth graders because it was a great way to open up discussion about black-white relationships. I work in an almost all white community. So I always felt like this was a perfect book to share to show that people are just people…amazing, funny and complex- just like Maniac Magee.

What is your earliest memory of the Newbery Medal?

I don’t remember much about the Newbery when I was a child. I didn’t pay much attention to it till I was a teacher. I think I now know so much more about the power of the Newbery because of Mr. Sharp and Mr. Schu.

The Newbery Medal is.. a great way to celebrate children’s books. They may get it wrong sometimes in retrospect… but no one can doubt how much it means for a book to get the Newbery Medal.

Niki Barnes is a second grade teacher. She loves books and is a proud (library) card carrying member of the Nerdy Book Club.

Be sure to follow @NikiOhsBarnes on Twitter.


If you’d like to be featured in my Newbery Interview series please fill out the form in the link below.


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