1977

Tunes for a Small Harmonica

By Barbara Wersba

Original Publisher: Harper & Row
Current Publisher: Out of Print
Digital Publisher: Not Available

Reading Level: Not Available

Children’s Literature Finalists That Year:

  • Milton Meltzer for Never to Forget: The Jews of the Holocaust
  • John Ney for Ox Under Pressure
  • Mildred D. Taylor for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Barbara Wersba for Tunes for a Small Harmonica

Children’s Literature Winner That Year: Katherine Paterson for The Master Puppeteer

Judges That Year: Kay Boyle, Julia Cunningham, Emily C. Neville

The Year in Literature: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor won the Newbery Medal.

More Information: Wersba once said about her early childhood and connection to writing, “I thought I was lonely when I was simply a loner—and spent much of my childhood daydreaming, writing poems, and creating dramas for my dolls. We lived in California, in a suburb, on a hilltop, and I would spend hours sitting in an almond tree in the back yard—gazing at the glittering city of San Francisco, miles away. I wanted to be a musician, or a dancer, or a poet—anything that would lift me out of what I considered to be a sad life. At night, lying in bed, I would hear the sound of trains passing in the valley, and imagine that I was on one of them. Get away, get away, said the wheels of the trains.”

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