Episode 107: Interview with Kathleen Long Bostrom about the Newbery Medal

This episode begins our 3rd year of “Books that Spark”! In this episode we chat again with author Kathleen Long Bostrom, this time about the prestigious Newbery Medal awarded each year to a children’s author.

Our Guest: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Kathleen Long Bostrom, a Presbyterian minister who now writes fulltime, followed her dreams and created a career that focuses on her two passions in life: her faith and writing.

First, Kathy earned a master of arts in Christian education and a master of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as a doctor of ministry in preaching degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Then, in the early nineties, Kathy started writing articles about her faith. And by the end of the decade she was writing books. To date, Kathy has published over three dozen articles and more than 50 books.

Her books — primarily for children — include the award-winning Little Blessings series and multiple VeggieTales books.

Writing about faith has proved to be a successful combination for this prolific author. Kathy’s books have sold close to three million copies and have been translated into 22 languages including Chinese, Russian and Indonesian. In fact, she once found Italian translations of her Little Blessings books at the Vatican bookstore in Rome, Italy.

Another passion of Kathy’s is her family. She and her husband Greg live in Carlsbad, California. When she’s not writing, Kathy loves taking walks with her dog, Ellie, who she refers to as her little empty-nest dog. Her three grown children followed their own dreams and moved to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. Two were married in 2021, adding to the family.

Kathy is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency. To learn more about her or her writing, please go to www.kathleenlongbostrom.com.

Latest Books

Mama is Having a Baby (WaterbrookMultnomah), a picture book coming in 2023!

VeggieTales: This Little Light of Mine (WorthyKids Children’s Books)

It’s summer, and the Veggies are going camping. But Junior has a problem—he’s afraid of the dark. His friends reassure him pointing out all the different types of light around them, from flashlights to campfires to lighthouses. But most importantly, they remind him that God lights his path and shines through him to others. This charming tale will comfort little ones and inspire them to let their light shine.

Will You Be Friends With Me? (WorthyKids Children’s Books)

Making friends can sometimes be daunting for children. They may worry no one will like them or that they are different from everybody else. But Will You Be Friends with Me?helps kids realize they can be friends with all kinds of people, even those who are different from them. This story is great for children heading to school for the first time, or going into a new situation. Gentle and lyrical, it’s a celebration of friendship and diversity.

The Worst Christmas Ever (Flyaway/WJKP Books, 2019)

Now that his family has moved to California, Matthew has doubts as the holiday season approaches. Palm trees? No snow? And to top it off, the sudden disappearance of his beloved dog, Jasper, settles it. This will be the worst Christmas ever. Or will it? Surprising events on Christmas Eve just might change everything.

The View at the Zoo (Board Book Version, WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2019)

As morning dawns, the zookeeper makes his rounds, exhorting animals to wake up, comb their hair, and stand up straight. When human visitors arrive, the observations begin to flow. But just who is talking about whom? With a clever twist and a new, sturdy board book format, this book will have even the youngest children begging for a trip to the zoo.

Past Books

  • The Bible Explorer’s Guide People and Places: 1,000 Amazing Facts and Photos (Zondervan, 2019)
  • VeggieTales: Count Your Blessings (WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2017)
  • VeggieTalesHooray! It’s Easter Day! (WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2017)
  • That’s So Weird! 100 Fun and Fascinating Facts About the Bible, (Museum of the Bible Books, 2017)  
  • Stories from the Bible (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)
  • VeggieTales: Veggies on Vacation Activity Book (WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2016)
  • VeggieTales: This Little Light of Mine (Ideals Children’s Books, 2015)
  • VeggieTales: Count Your Blessings Activity Book (Ideals Children’s Books, 2015)
  • Easter Stories and Prayers (Tyndale House Publishers, 2015) — Little Blessings collection 
  • Good Night, God! (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Good Morning, God! (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Rufus and Ryan Give Thanks (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Rufus and  Ryan Celebrate Easter (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers (Ideals Children’s Books, 2013)
  • Rufus and Ryan go to Church (Ideals Children’s Books, 2013)
  • Bedtime Stories and Prayers, (Tyndale House Publishers, 2013) — Little Blessings collection        
  • Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year A (Westminster John Knox Press, 2013) — co-editor
  • Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year C (Westminster John Knox Press, 2012) — co-editor
  • Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year B (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) — co-editor
  • The View at the Zoo (Ideals Children’s Books, 2011)
  • Making Space for the Spirit: 100 Simple Ways to Nurture Your Soul (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010)
  • 99 Ways to Raise Spiritually Healthy Children (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010)
  • 99 Things to Do Between Here and Heaven (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009)
  • What is the Bible? (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009) — Little Blessings series
  • Who Made the World? (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009) — Little Blessings series
  • Questions from Little Hearts (Tyndale House Publishers, 2009) — Little Blessings series
  • Waiting for Christmas: The Story of the Advent Calendar (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2006)
  • Why is There a Cross? (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006)
  • Josie’s Gift (Broadman and Holman Inc., 2005)
  • Finding Calm in the Chaos: Christian Devotions for Busy Women (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005)
  • The Day Scooter Died: A Book About the Death of a Pet (Zonderkidz Inc., 2005)
  • The Secret of the Twelve Days of Christmas (KiwE Publishing, Inc., 2005)
  • Easter, Easter, Almost Here! (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2005)
  • When Pete’s Dad Got Sick: A Book About Chronic Illness (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2004)
  • Paul’s Call: How Paul Became A Christian (Geneva Press, 2004) 
  • Sunrise Hill: An Easter Story of Faith, Inspiration, and Courage (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2004)
  • Mary’s Happy Christmas Day (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2003)
  • Green Plagues and Lamb: The Story of Moses and Pharaoh (Geneva Press, 2003)
  • The Snake in the Grass: The Story of Adam and Eve (Geneva Press, 2003)
  • Winning Authors: Profiles of the Newbery Medalists, 1922-2002 (Libraries Unlimited, 2003)
  • Papa’s Gift: An Inspirational Story of Love and Loss (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2002)
  • Thank You, God! (Tyndale House Publishers, 2002)
  • What is Prayer? (Tyndale House Publishers, 2002)
  • Song of Creation (Geneva Press, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2001)
  • God Loves You (Tyndale House Publishers, 2001)
  • Are Angels Real? (Tyndale House Publishers, 2001)
  • What About Heaven? (Tyndale House Publishers, 2000)
  • The Value-Able Child: Teaching Values to Children Grades K-2 (Good Year Books, 1999)
  • Who is Jesus? (Tyndale House Publishers, 1999)
  • What is God Like? (Tyndale House Publishers, 1998)
  • The World That God Made (Tyndale House Publishers, 1997)

Periodicals & Anthologies

  • “In Praise of Sloth,” Horizons, November/December 2021
  • “Ordinary Time, Part 2,” Presbyterians Today, September/October 2020
  • “Ordinary Time, Part 1,” Presbyterians Today, July/August 2020
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corp., spring 2019
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corp., summer 2019
  • “Celebrating Holy Week with Children,” The Presbyterian Outlook, February 29, 2016
  • “Advent Calendar: Decluttering Christmas,” Presbyterians Today, December 2014
  • “Identity Crisis,” Horizons, January/February 2014
  • Common English Bible (Christian Resources Development Corp, 2011) — consulting editor
  • “Becoming a Wise Woman,” Horizons, November/December 2011
  • “Using Children’s Literature to Teach in the Church,” The Clergy Journal, March/April 2009
  • “Something About Mary,” Horizons, November/December 2007
  • “Too Close for Comfort,” Horizons, March/April 2007
  • “For Everything, a Season: Presbyterian Women’s Annual Bible Study, 2005-2006,” Horizons, March 2005
  • “Advent Calendar: The Hymns of Advent,” Presbyterians Today, December 2004
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2004
  • “Tuesday Mourning: Remembering David Steele,” The Presbyterian Outlook, November 2001
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2000
  • “A Gathering of Hearts: Six Decades of Memories of Miller Chapel,” inSpire, Spring 1999
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 1999,
  • “Children of Clergy Couples,” The Christian Ministry, September/October 1998
  • “Effective Clergy Couples,” The Christian Ministry, May/June 1997
  • “Hiding in the Dark,” The Christian Ministry, January/February 1997
  • “Prayer: Hot Line to Heaven – NOT!” Horizons, March/April 1995
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries (Mon Valley Ministries, 1994) — anthology
  • “Praise God for Problems!” Horizons, November/December 1993
  • “This Call’s for You,” A Christian Vocation Workbook for Congregations, 1993
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries (Mon Valley Ministries, 1993) — anthology
  • “Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B,” Westminster John Knox Press) — six articles

Awards & Accolades

  • Northern Lights Book Award finalist (religious/spirituality) forStories from the Bible, 2019
  • David Steele Distinguished Writer Award, Presbyterian Writers Guild for body of work, 2014
  • Distinguished Alumna Award, Princeton Theological Seminary for contribution to field of  children’s literature and service in ministry, 2013
  • Inclusion in “Something About the Author,” and “Contemporary Authors” — two of the premiere reference sources for information on children’s authors, 2003, 2012, and 2020 editions
  • 2000 Gold Medallion Award finalist, Outstanding Book in Christian Publishing, Who is Jesus?
  • 2001 People’s Choice Award nominee for What About Heaven? Evangelical Christian Publishing Association
  • “This Call’s for You,” A Christian Vocation Workbook for Congregations, Christian Vocation and Enlistment Services, Presbyterian Church (USA), prize winning sermon, 1993
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries, Small Church Preaching Awards — two first-prize sermons and two honorable mentions, 1993
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries, Small Church Preaching Awards— one first-prize sermon and one honorable mention, 1992  

Workshop Facilitator & Speaker

  • “Christian Children’s Books Online Conference,” Speaker and panelist, October 2020, May 2021, October 2021.
  • “The ABC’s of Writing Poetry for Children,” MayFest, SCBWI-San Diego, CA, facilitator, 2020
  • “Publishing in Color,” conference, University of Southern California, workshop leader, 2019
  • “Publishing in Color,” conference, University of Southern California, workshop leader, 2019
  • “The ABC’s of Writing Poetry for Children,” MayFest, SCBWI-San Diego, CA, facilitator, 2018
  • “Writing for the Faith Market,” Mid-Winter Retreat, SCBWI-San Diego, CA, facilitator, 2017
  • “Writing and Publishing Children’s Books,”             Frederick Buechner Writer’s Workshop, Princeton Theological Seminary, facilitator, 2016
  • Massanetta Springs Bible Conference, preacher, 2013
  • Synod School, Synod of Lincoln Trails, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) event, keynote speaker, 2002

Praise for Kathleen Long Bostrom’s Books

The Worst Christmas Ever

“Expressive artwork in bright colors shines with holiday cheer, even when the smiles are hard to come by, in this text that focuses on themes of faith, family, community, and home.”

—Foreword Reviews

Stories from the Bible

“Bostrom, a Presbyterian minister and the author of the popular Little Blessings series for younger children, retells the Biblical stories in graceful prose full of rich vocabulary, strong dialogue, and humorous touches such as words conveying sound effects. Each spread offers an illustration done in Mirtalipova’s striking style, full of swirling lines and motion. The illustrations are particularly accomplished in their variety of composition, such as a parade of sea creatures swimming across the bottom of a spread or Jonah inside the belly of the whale. Throughout, the human characters all have tan or brown skin and dark hair. A final page lists the corresponding Biblical text reference for each story. This beautifully illustrated collection will be useful in larger library collections and for reading aloud in Christian families and in church settings. (Religion. 5-9)”

— Kirkus

Connect with Kathleen Long Bostrom

Connect with Kathy online:

Twitter: @KathleenBostrom

Facebook: Kathleen Long Bostrom / Author

Instagram: kathleenbostrom

Goodreads: Kathleen Bostrom

Books Discussed in this Episode:

Transcript with Links:


Welcome to “Books That Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion, leading to teachable moments with our kids each year. There are two main awards for children’s literature. One of the awards is the Newbery Medal for literature, and this is awarded to writers. And we have the Caldecott Medal, which is given to an illustrator for a picture book. And it is an amazing honor and privilege to win these awards. Today we have one of our guests we’ve had before, Kathleen Long Bostrom is here to talk with us about the Newbery Medal. She wrote a book about it, and we’re going to talk a little bit about that and about this wonderful medal. Well, Kathy, I am so happy. You’re joining us again today. I’m looking forward to talking with you.


I’m excited about the topic, about the Newbery Medal and the Newbery books and Newbery authors and everything Newbery today.


Yes. I’m excited. I’ve been looking forward to this. Let’s start by talking about your book, I know it’s hard to find. You have to find it pretty much a used copy it seems like right now, but I still think it’s available in some places. And I’d like you to talk about that a little bit first, and then let’s talk about the actual award


A little bit. Okay. The book is Winning Authors: Profile of the Newbery Medalists, and I wrote it quite a while back. It’s been out for a while, but it was written in the days when people went to the library to do their research. And that’s kind of changed, now it’s so much online. This was published in 2003, but I began it years before that. It came about because I was starting to write children’s books in the late 90s. And I was interested in the authors who were the ones that were winners of the Newbery, just because to me, I thought, if I’m going to be writing for children, I need to be reading and learning about those authors who do it really well. And so I started going to the library and looking for information on the authors who had written Newbery books, many of which I realized as I studied this, that I had loved as a child,


As like Dr. Dolittle, for instance, was a Newbery winning book very early on, and then learning the story behind the books and why they were written and when Miss Hickory, which I bet nobody reads these days, which was the story of a little Hickory nut lady. I love that book, so learning that these were Newbery books, I didn’t pay attention to that growing up. I just loved the books. And so I wanted to learn about the authors and I’d go, and it was just very difficult to find information on the different authors. I wanted something that had the information all in one book and I couldn’t find it anywhere. And I looked and looked and researched and went on to libraries, bookstores, nothing. And so I thought I’ll write the book that is about the Newbery metal, so people can learn what it is and the history of it.


And then I want to share information about the authors so that it’s all in one place. And so I did get a book contract and I did work on the book. And so I thought I would reach out to the authors. And again, in those days you sent letters by post snail mail they call it now I guess, unless there’s some new name I’m missing books and things to the post office, with self-addressed stamped envelopes and things, and sending my phone number out. And I was lucky in that I was on a writer’s retreat in Wisconsin. I was living in Illinois and Lois Lowry, a Newbery winning author, was the guest speaker. So I reached out to her and asked if I could interview her during the retreat time during a break. And she said, yes. And I just had the most wonderful meeting with this amazing, incredible well known author who had one Newbery book at that point. And she invited me to her room and we had a cup of tea and we talked, I thought, wow, she’s just a wonderful, nice, kind, easy to talk to person. So she was my very first interview, personal interview. And then I sent some letters to some other authors, including Katherine Paterson because her husband, John who’s gone now, he is a Presbyterian pastor and I was a Presbyterian pastor. So I sent her a letter, and one day we came home from an outing with our children and we were checking our phone messages. We had phones that were connected to the walls in those days by cords and machines that took messages. I’m just saying that cause a lot of people have no idea what that was like now, there was a message that said, “Hi, this is Katherine Paterson calling back. And yes, I’d love to talk with you. And here’s my phone number.” And I honestly was just astounded that she would call me back, even though I’d asked her to call or write. And so we kind of struck up a friendship that continues to this day. This was probably 25 years ago now. She was just the most wonderful- she is the most wonderful person. She’s almost 90 now. And last year I was able to do a zoom interview with her. We had tea together on zoom and I recorded that. It was part of an online Christian children’s books conference. So just things like that, that along the way, got to meet many of these amazing authors and put this book together. So that’s really how the book came about. Yes, it’s hard. It was supposed to be a library book. So it was expensive even then.


And now finding a copy of it is difficult. I wish there were more copies of it. I need to update it. It was the first 75 years and now we’re at 100, so,


Oh, that would be wonderful if you wrote a sequel.


Right. To just get more up to date and talk more about the changes in the medal. A lot of books that receive the medal over the years would probably not even be considered today. They were just, you know, just things have changed as they should, but it’s kind of an interesting history. The books apparently never go out of print, so they’re all available. And so it is an interesting historical thing to read through the books, which I’m trying to do, read through all of them again.


So is there only one winner each year?


One winner each year, they have runner ups. So a few of those and that changes. So there’s one winner for the Newbery. There’s one winner for the Caldecott, which is for illustration. And then there are additional books and there may be one, there may be five. It just depends on the committee that chooses the books. The winner is announced at the American library association mid-Winter conference, which is in January. And then the winner speaks at the conference in the Spring, which is just finishing up right now. And this year’s winner spoke. I was reading her speech online and they’re all just wonderful. I’ve attended a number of those in person when we lived in Illinois and they were held in Chicago and that’s just great fun, but


It sounds so interesting. Well, and I just love reading author biographies anyway, but then to be able to see these who have been award-winning writers who have affected children’s literature and have influenced so many people, I think it’s just a wonderful gift that you’ve basically given to children’s literature. That’s wonderful. Tell us a little bit more about, do you know, what are the criteria they use for this award? How does a book become nominated or possibly win?


The Newbery Medal is always for a middle grade book, so that would be third through sixth grade around. They have to be written for a particular age group. So a picture book, there have been picture books that have won the Newbery including a few years ago by a San Diego author. It’s very rare because they’re mostly middle grade books. I believe, you know, they form a committee every year with a number of people from the library association and librarians and authors and people. And they read through a zillion books during the year that have been brought to their attention. So not exactly sure, always how those books are chosen, but they’re ones that have been recommended to them or have been popular or maybe not. Some of them are ones that people are very surprised by, so it’s not always a given that people are going to know that one’s for sure going to win the Newbery.


It’s not quite like the Academy Awards where there’s 10 choices and they pick from the 10 and you know what? The 10 are in advance. This is always more of a surprise. And very few people have won it twice. Although there are a couple, including Lois Lowry and Katherine Paterson, among others, but it’s a very rare thing. So this committee, they get together well, they read on their own and then they meet and discuss and they have their own criterion. Linda Sue Park, Who’s a Newbery winner gave a talk on this at a conference a few years ago because she had been on a committee. So she was discussing the number of books that they had to read through. And it just like, I think every day, all day you’d be reading these books, but what a wonderful thing, you know, and then having to choose, which I imagine is very difficult.


So I don’t know how close the votes are or anything like that. Even how many are looked at each year. I think that just varies as well. So it’s, I need to research that a little more, go back and read my notes from her speech. Because I think that is very fascinating, like how do you get to be a winner? So it has to be an original book. It can’t be a reprint of a previous published book or any kind of compilation. It has to be published within the previous calendar year. It has to be published in the United States of America. It has to be of interest to children up to around the age of 14. So I guess you would say that’s sixth to eighth graders. Outstanding quality of writing and also significance to the world of literature.


So a lot of the books tend to touch on something that might be changes in the world, you know, that we’re aware of, but they can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry. This last book that won, The Last Cuentista, which is a word that means storyteller, took on more of a, she doesn’t call it science fiction in her speech, but it has that sense. It deals with space travel and time travel. But basically the story is about the suppression of story, the suppression of books. So that, as she said in her speech that I was reading, is a very timely topic as a lot of books are being banned these days. And many of them, several of them are Newbery winning books. So the author also has to be a citizen, a resident of the United States.


The Newbery Award committee is appointed by the Association for Library Services for Children, which is a division of the American Library Association. 15 committee members are nominated, seven by that association and seven by the president-elect of the library association. So that’s the number of people. The chair is elected by the membership of the American Library Services for Children from a slate submitted by a nominating committee. They serve a one year term and they cannot be reelected to a Newbery Award committee for another five years. So here I’m answering the question you asked me earlier. The members and book publishers can recommend members of the ALSC and book publishers can recommend a book for consideration by the committee, but the final nominations have to come from a member of the committee.


I have to ask of the ones that you know of and that you researched. What is your favorite of those books? Do you have a favorite? Are you able to choose one that is your favorite that stands out to you?


Yeah, that is a tough question because they’re all so very different.


That’s true, yeah.


Well, I have to say a book that I’ve reread a number of times is Katherine Paterson’s Jacob, Have I Loved, and the Genesis of that story comes from the Jacob and Esau story. The jealousy of the two brothers, they’re in the Old Testament. It’s a story of these two siblings that have, that are very different and the rivalry kind of between them, but that’s just skimming the surface, but that’s her inspiration. And that is one of my favorites. I recommend that. And Sharon Creech Walk Two Moons. I’ve read that a number of times. I did meet and keep in touch with Sharon too. That’s an amazing book. Richard Peck and his books are just wonderful. I met and interviewed him. He died just a few years ago, but his books are wonderful. So gosh, there’re just any number of them there. But those are a few that speak out to me, Scott O’Dell who won the Newbery book in 1961 for Island of the Blue Dolphins. That was a favorite of mine growing up. And I didn’t realize till I researched the book that he lived in San Pedro, California, which is where I grew up. So that was fun.


Oh, wow. Yeah. I love that book. Well, there’s so many of them that are just classics now that we use when we’re teaching literature, because they are such quality books. You mentioned the Caldecott, which is the illustrator’s award. You know, can you give us a little information about that one? I haven’t researched that one, how they give that award, but is that one only awarded to one illustrator each year?


Right? Same thing. It’s just, it came along 15 years after the Newbery Medal, when it was a gentleman suggested a second annual medal for children’s books, for picture books. So that’s one where more of the picture books are of course nominated. And the winners are usually, well, they are picture books. Because that’s where the focus is. It’s considered the most distinguished picture book of the year and they must the winners of the Caldecott or the nominees have to meet many of the same requirements as the nominees for the Newbery Medal and the American Library Services for Children also has the responsibility of choosing that winner. It’s always fun to see who’s going to win that too. You know, I always look and watch for that or go to the bookstores. And so that’s my big thing. I always have to buy the newest Newbery book and bring it home and read it. And that’s great fun.


That’s awesome. Well, I do hope that you get to do a sequel to this. I think it would be amazing.


It would be, it would be. It would be great fun to do. I just encourage readers to be aware of this. This is the 100 year anniversary of the Newbery Medal and there’s still people who don’t know about it. I think, you know, there’s just so much emphasis on different kinds of media, but the value of books can never diminish in my eyes. I think most young kids don’t really care or think about that when they pick up a book to read. But I think once they learn that this was written by this really interesting and amazing person, I think the stories of many of the Newbery writers themselves would inspire children, not just to read, but maybe to try their hand at writing or illustrating if it’s the Caldecott. But I think learning that the backstories of the author is a great inspiration for children and teachers and adults. I’d like to get that information out more widely that, hey, these are interesting people, learn about them. You might be one of them someday.


That’s right. Oh, I love that. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today about this. And we have to mention one last thing that Newbery is spent with one R, because everybody misspells it, including me. I misspelt it


I’m always correcting people on that. That was one of my goals in life. Let’s all be sure to spell it correctly.


Yeah. So, but it’s been fun catching up with you a little bit again, I hope to talk to you again in the future. Sometime it’s been really a joy.


I look forward to our next conversation.


Me too. Thank you for joining us for “Books That Spark,” a podcast celebrating books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussions, as we disciple our children and help them follow Christ with their whole hearts. If you would like to connect with Kathleen, you can reach her at her website, KathleenLongbostrom.com and you can also access her books there and you can find most of them also on any book seller’s website. In addition to that in the show notes, you will also find a list of the different Newbery winners for the past 100 years. We wanted to include that in the show notes for you. So be sure to check that out on my website at TerrieHellardbrown.com under transcripts for the podcast. And if you would like to join my mailing list, you can reach me at terriehellardbrown.com on the very first page. There’s a link where you can sign up for my mailing list and get notified whenever I post a podcast or a blog post. And whenever I send out my newsletter. Thank you for listening. And if you enjoyed this podcast, please like, and share and let other people know we’re here. We appreciate you.

Newbery Winners List:

This is the list of winners. The list of those given honors each year can be found in several places on the Internet.

Speech from this Year’s Newbery Winner

Your Host: Terrie Hellard-Brown

Terrie Hellard-Brown writes and speaks to help children and adults find God’s purpose and plan for their lives. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids. Her podcast posts each Tuesday morning.

Her blog posts discuss living as a disciple of Christ while parenting our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of our lives to disciple our children.

Terrie uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on “the spectrum”), 37 years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 32 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers.

Her motto is “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be WONDERFUL” and keeps her childlike joy by writing children’s stories, delighting over pink dolphins, and frequently laughing till it hurts.


Today starts our 3rd year of “Books that Spark”! Wish us a happy birthday in the comments below or on social media with the hashtag #booksthatspark to be entered into this month’s drawing. The drawing takes place on July 31st.

We’re giving away a copy of The Little Pot to two winners to celebrate our 2 years of podcasting. This book reminds us of our most important job as believers – bearing fruit as we abide in Christ. That’s our goal and prayer here at “Books that Spark” — that we would bear fruit and each of us encourage each other to be fruit bearers.

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