A! Magazine for the Arts

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Local writer receives Newbery Honor medal

February 23, 2021

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's children’s book, “Fighting Words,” was chosen as a Newbery Honor Medal winner and an Odyssey Honor from the America Library Association. “I am so incredibly happy and grateful. As I’ve said many times, this book is my heart,” she says. This is Bradley's second Newbery Honor Medal. She received one in 2016 for “The War That Saved My Life.”

“Fighting Words” is a middle grade novel about sisters, sexual abuse and healing. The book is described on online book sites this way.

“Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom’s boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful, they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della’s own wolf — her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della’s world turns so far upside down, it feels like it’s shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she’s been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it’s time to be loud.

“In this powerful novel that explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse and leavens an intense tale with compassion and humor, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a story about two sisters, linked by love and trauma, who must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.”

Bradley’s reviews include these two raves.

“Della’s matter-of-fact narration manages to be as funny and charming as it is devastatingly sad. . . This is a novel about trauma and the scars it leaves on bodies, minds and hearts. But more than that, it’s a book about resilience, strength and healing.” —New York Times Book Review

“Della’s tough, straightforward narration pulls no punches as she learns the power of using her ‘big mouth’ and inspires others to tell their stories when and how they are able. Sharp characterizations by Newbery Honoree Brubaker Bradley create an essential, powerful mirror and window for any reader.” —Publishers Weekly

Bradley has written more than 15 books for children. Many of Bradley’s books are historical fiction written for middle-school children. She’s written books set in the time of Thomas Jefferson, World War I America, World War II France, Marie Antoinette’s France, Teddy Roosevelt’s U.S. and the Southwest Territory. She also has written children’s books and a series of science books for children.

She and her family live on a 52-acre farm in Bristol with ponies, dogs, cats, sheep, goats and lots of trees.

Her books are available in bookstores and at Amazon.com. For more information, visit www.kimberlybrubakerbradley.com.