ALAN v23n3 - YA Literature Trivia

Volume 23, Number 3
Spring 1996

So You Think You Know Young Adult Literature

Jim Brewbaker


The first line or two of some well-known YA novels are as familiar as old friends. Others? Well, perhaps not.

Try matching the opening lines -- a sentence or two -- with the titles of sixteen Newbery winners and honor books from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. The openings (1-16) are in alphabetical order; the novels (A-P) are listed chronologically. When the name of a title character is mentioned, it is "bleeped out" with a fill-in-the-blank line. The year following the novel's title and author is the year when the novel was selected as a Newbery Medal winner or Honor book. Answers are on page 49 (Or just click on the number).

1 . As soon as the snow melts, I'll go to Rass and fetch my mother. At Crisfield I'll board the ferry....
2 . Dear __________: My teacher read your book about the dog to our class. It was funny.
3 . "Did Mama sing every day?" asked Caleb. "Every single day?" He sat close to the fire, his chin in his hand.
4 . Ever since I can remember, I had wanted to know about the Land of the Golden Mountain, but my mother had never wanted to talk about it.
5 . If books could be more, could show more, could own more, this book would have smells....
6 . It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No, wrong word, Jonas thought.
7 . Jimmy Little sat on the edge of the bed, eyes closed, listening to the rain that beat against the window. In the street below cars hissed by.
8 . "Look down on this scene," Rachel writes in her notebook. "Three people in a kitchen, sitting around a table. A man, a woman, and a girl."
9 . "Little Man, would you come on? You keep it up and you're gonna make us late."
10 . Miyak pushed back the hood of her sealskin parka and looked at the arctic sun. It was a yellow disk in a lime-green sky....
11 . The day __________ comes, we're having us a big Sunday dinner. Dara Lynn's dipping bread in her glass of cold tea, the way she likes....
12 . The tall man stood at the edge of the porch. The roof sagged from two rough posts which held it.
13 . The young prince was known here and there (and just about everywhere else) as Prince Brat. Not even black cats would cross his path.
14 . They say __________ was born in a dump. They say his stomach was a cereal box and his heart a sofa spring.
15 . 12th Day of December: I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say.
16 . When __________ died, Ob came back to the trailer, got out his good suit and into regular clothes, then went and sat in the Chevy for the rest of the night.
A. Sounder (William H. Armstrong, 1970)
B. Dear Mr. Henshaw (Beverly Byars, 1971)
C. Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George, 1973)
D. Dragonwings (Lawrence Yep, 1976)
E. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor, 1977)
F. Jacob Have I Loved (Katherine Paterson, 1981)
G. Sarah, Plain and Tall (Patricia MacLachlan, 1986)
H. The Whipping Boy (Sid Fleischman, 1987)
I. After the Rain (Norma Fox Mazer, 1988)
J. The Winter Room (Gary Paulsen, 1990)
K. Maniac Magee (Jerry Spinelli, 1991)
L. Shiloh (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, 1992)
M. Missing May (Cynthia Rylant, 1993)
N. The Giver (Lois Lowry, 1994)
O. Somewhere in the Darkness (Walter Dean Myers, 1995)
P. Catherine, Called Birdy (Karen Cushman, 1995)