Forgotten Newberys for Girls

I love going to the library with my kids. I love picking out books for my daughter that I remember reading. Each one is a forgotten treasure suddenly found. Before I know it poor Ruth is saying, “Mom, I think I have enough!”

Forgotten Newberys For GirlsPin

These Newbery Award winners are also forgotten treasures. Some I remember reading and have reread as an adult. I found them just as charming if not more so. Some are new to me. Each one however is perfect for your summer reading.

If you are looking for a mother daughter read, the list below is a fantastic place to start. Books are roughly in order of recommended age and intensity.

Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer – A delightful book. A coming of age story for the youngest readers, Fog Magic takes you back in time. I loved this gentle, simply charming story of a girl enjoying a good romp through time before she turns 12. At 12, the magic stops and she must grow up.

Pin Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey – I quickly skimmed this 1947 Newbery Medal winner. Miss Hickory is a small doll made of apple wood and a hickory nut head. She is left behind after her girl goes off to school. Her winter adventures and her eventual re-grafting into an apple tree are told in a slow and easy way.

Pin Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright – A good old fashioned simple but exciting summer is the subject of this 1938 Newbery Medal winner. Garnet is a fun loving girl who gets into more than a few scrapes the summer she finds a silver thimble. I enjoyed the window into a simpler time. This is a great book for girls who like finding a best friend between the pages


Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth EnrightPin  – I particularly loved this book for its cross generational charm. Two cousins find an old run down resort on a swamp. They meet up with a brother and a sister who have come back to live in the run down mansions. Classic summer activities ensue. Clubs, clubhouses, exploring shut up mansions, quick sand, secrets, and even a bridge building. Older people are some of my favorite people. They have fantastic stories, they love to tell them, and many of them love children. This book makes you feel like you have two more older friends.

Pin Blue Willow by Doris Gates – One of the books I remember so fondly from my childhood did not disappoint me on a second reading as an adult. Although this story is set in the American West during the dust bowl period, the story is positive and even funny in spots. Family is important, neighbors are valued, and there is a happy ending! What more could you want in a summer read?

Pin Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen – Miracles do happen, and they happen everyday when you look for them. When Marly’s father returns from the war, a former POW, he is jumpy, snappy, and depressed. The family decides to spend the summer on Maple Hill, an out of the way country home. This is a good book for anyone, but especially those who may know a family member who may be struggling after a deployment. It is light hearted with mishaps, discoveries, and most importantly, healing.

Pin The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw – Another favorite from my childhood, The Moorchild, should be saved for older readers 12 and up. Two reasons: They will appreciate the story and its complications a bit more, and because fairies are rather promiscuous by nature, there is a brief discussion on the father of Moql, the main character. Apart from that, there is nothing like a fairy tale for summer reading. This one is particularly well done and full of adventure and sacrifice.

Do you have any forgotten Newbery favorites?



  • Sarah M says:

    This is such a great list–I haven’t read any of these yet–excited to dive in.
    Sarah M

    • Jessica says:

      Oh’ good! Let us know what you think! Be sure to share your favorite Newberys for girls too.

  • samantha says:

    I am loving these list! Thank you! Our library hold list is growing.:)

    • Jessica says:

      I know how that is. 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Danielle says:

    I love Fog Magic. I discovered it among my mother’s childhood books and recently remembered it. Great to see it listed here!

    • Jessica says:

      It was the inspiration for this list. Such a charming book for young girls who are flooded with tween books without much substance. Fog Magic offers so much more!

  • Kathleen says:

    Thank you! How did you know I needed this list?!

    • Jessica says:

      I’m just that good. 🙂 Really though I was surprised by these books! As I prepared for these lists over the last year, I kept coming across great Newberys that I had not read before. Add to those the ones I read and loved as a kid and this list was born. Just as much for me as for you. 🙂

  • Bushra says:

    My sons loved Gone-Away Lake!

  • Emily says:

    I was just thinking about “Gone Away Lake” the other day and trying to remember the title. I loved that book as a little girl. Now I need to make a library trip and revisit it with my children.

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