I suppose as a parent I should express shock. But actually, I have found the Newberry award a very helpful guide. My kids learned long ago that any book bearing the Newberry gold star is to be avoided like the plague. If not perverse, it will be vapid; if not politically correct, then it will be grimly didactic. We own hundreds of children's book, many contemporary - but no Newberry winners of later vintage than Johnny Tremain (1942). That saves a lot of time!
Here are my favorites since 1942:
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
Granted there are some lean years in there but I think it a fallacy to call the above titles vapid, perverse, politically correct; possibly didactic, but grimly so? Shouldn't we look to literature to teach us something? When did a book with a moral become something to be upset about? Frum needs to loosen his corset strings before he faints of the vapors.