'Criss Cross' Nets Newbery Medal for Perkins

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Lynne Rae Perkins is the illustrator and author of several books, including 'The Broken Cat'

Lynne Rae Perkins is the illustrator and author of several books, including The Broken Cat and Snow Music. HarperCollins hide caption

toggle caption HarperCollins

Lynne Rae Perkins' coming-of-age novel about a group of friends is this year's winner of the John Newbery Medal, awarded to outstanding writing in children's literature. Criss Cross tells the story of 14-year-old Debbie as she wishes something would happen to her to make her life different.

In telling Debbie's story, Criss Cross delves into a variety of sub-plots, as well as a wealth of story-telling tools. Haiku, art, and an interview format are all used to describe how young people in the 1960s grapple with mysteries of life and love.

The Newbery Medal is administered by the American Library Association. In awarding the prize to Perkins, award committee chair Barbara Barstow praised Criss Cross as "an orderly, innovative, and risk-taking book in which nothing happens and everything happens."

Books Featured In This Story

Criss Cross

by Lynne Rae Perkins

Hardcover, 337 pages |


Purchase Featured Book

Criss Cross
Lynne Rae Perkins

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from