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3.13 of 5 stars 3.13  ·  rating details  ·  502 ratings  ·  63 reviews
There is always something to look forward to in Dobry's small Bulgarian village. From the delicious peppers and tomatoes he helps his mother and grandfather grow, to the visiting Gypsy Bear, to the Snow-Melting games that are the highlight of winter, Dobry lives withing the circle of the year--and uses it in the art he shares with his friend Neda. Newbery Medal winner. Ill ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 1st 1967 by Viking Press (first published 1934)
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The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
93rd out of 95 books — 2,160 voters
When You Reach Me by Rebecca SteadThe Giver by Lois LowryThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamilloHoles by Louis Sachar
List for #nerdbery
50th out of 94 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

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You know how there's often an excerpt of the book on the cover--something to make the book sound exciting so people will want to read it? This is what's on the back cover of DOBRY:

Roda, the mother, baked bread in the courtyard ovens. First she built up wood fires in the ovens until their openings glowed redder than their tile roofs. When the ovens were hot enough Roda raked out the coals and put in the loaves of bread, well wrapped in horseradish leaves which Dobry brought.

When the fi
Shauna Edwards
Young Dobry lived with his mother and grandfather in the mountains of Bulgaria. He was a very talented artist who painted, drew, and sculpted incredible pieces of artwork. Though extremely gifted, his mom’s expectation was for him to work on the family farm. Dobry’s passion, however, was not to become a farmer, but rather to attend art school and become a successful artist.

Dobry shared his simple country life with Neda, his best friend. Together they shared all the exciting events of Bulgarian
Beautifully written, and the Bulgarian peasants are interesting. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as a child, though, as it's so subtle and quiet.

I particularly liked bits of wisdom like this:

"When we eat the good bread we are eating months of sunlight, weeks of rain and snow from the sky, richness out of the earth. We eat everything now, clouds even. It becomes part of us.... We should be great, each of us radiant...."

The illustrations are marvelous, too. Some are careful and realistic, so
Winner of the 1935 Newbery, this is the tale of a young Bulgarian peasant lad who lives with his mother and story-telling grandfather. A fledgling artist, a primitivist, and quasi-mystic, Dobry lives in the moment of every day, enraptured equally at the falling of snow, the flight of storks, the babble of a river, the baking of good bread with cheese and butter, a snow-melting contest, or a massage by a tame gypsy bear. As he lives and works through the months and seasons, he develops his art as ...more
Newbery winner. 1935

I wanted to give this book more stars just so my review started in stark contrast to all the 2 & 3 star ones that really hated it. Why give a book ANY stars if you disliked it that much? Oh the weirdo social implications of rating a book. I don't think I'd recommend this book, but I certainly wouldn't defame it like The Wheel on the School or Miss Hickory. (One of the plus points on reading others reviews was seeing that someone else agreed that this book had some WTF mom
Jan 21, 2011 Jill rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: don't think a kid or young adult would enjoy this unless for the Bulgarian cultural factor
Shelves: newbery-medal
A real yawn fest, this on. I didn't care for it at all and don't think I would have spent the time finishing it if it weren't part of my goal of reading all the Newberys. It has no plot! No conflict! I just have a hard time believing that everyone in a poor farming community in Bulgaria would be upbeat, carefree and contented all the time. I just don't buy it. Yes, it's interesting to learn things about Bulgarian life and culture such as how they nod their heads for no and shake their heads for ...more
This book was a little too uneventful for my tastes. It is basically about the every day lives of Bulgarian peasants who live in a mountainous area. It was a bit dull reading about their every day activities, but these peasants kept busy from sun up to sun down. The highlights of their lives seemed to be the coming of the gypsy bear, who helped them know when it was safe to bathe in the river Yantra, and who also massaged anyone who wanted one, by walking on their backs. The other highlight was ...more
Benji Martin
This Newbery winner, more than any other that I've read so far has me feeling very conflicted. I can see that it's a charming book. (Any book that starts with a boy sick in bed because he ate too many tomatoes has got to be at least a little charming right?) I liked the simpleness of the story, I loved the illustrations, and I loved the Bulgarian setting. I knew practically nothing about Bulgaria before reading Dobry, and I'm certain that I've never read a novel set in Bulgaria before.

“The Peasant Boy who Would be an Artist”

Set in the mountains of 1913 Bulgaria this rambling story covers some 4 years in the life on a strapping peasant boy. Nestled at the foot of the many mountains of Bulgaria his village carries on the rhythm of life closely aligned with the seasons. His Grandfather is an admired storyteller, proud of his strength like an ox and ability to withstand the cold (Polar Bear-like plunge in the River and the annual Snow Melting Contest). His mother, Roda, a widow w
I liked this book about peasant life in Bulgaria for its characters, warmth, optimism, and focus on family. Dobry’s grandfather, a strong and positive presence in his life, is my favorite character—a great role model for maintaining vitality as I age! Grandfather eventually convinces Dobry’s mother—widowed during World War I—to let her artistically talented son break from the family tradition of tending their land to attend art school in a distant city to develop his gift.

This 1934 Newbery winn
Dec 31, 2013 Debbie added it
79 1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking)

Aug. 27, 2013 176 pages

Dobry is a Bulgaira peasant boy who lives with his mother and grandfather. The family is hard-working and their days are full of traditions. Dobry has a gift for art. He begins by drawing with charcoal and later learns to sculpt. The book also features stories told by the grandfather or by Dobry.

"Come, come!" Grandfather said impatiently. But when he saw a leaf all ruddy gold like a living coal he picked it up, put it away in his s
Dobry is a nice book, I thought. The portrayal of simple life in a typical Bulgarian village is charming, with interesting tall tales from the culture spread generously throughout the text so as to add some flavor to the novel's very basic mainframe.

Dobry, a boy from Bulgaria who is full of life and energy and good humor, comes from a family line of bread makers. He loves warm bread straight from the oven just as all of his kin does, but as time passes he begins to come into the realization of

Dobry is a young boy living in the Balkan highlands of Bulgaria. The story is about his coming-of-age and self-discovery. Dobry is different from the rest of the peasant villagers. Yes, he can work the land and manage the livestock like his fellow villagers, but Dobry is an artist. He never falters in his desire to be who he is, even though his mother thinks his aspirations are impractical. Thanks to Dobry's wise and understanding grandfather, Roda, Dobry's mother, comes to realize that she must

Everything is different, each leaf, if you really look. There is no leaf exactly like that one in the whole world. Every stone is different. No other stone exactly like it. That is it, Dobry. God loves variety... He makes a beautiful thing and nothing else in the whole world is exactly like it... In odd days like these ... people study how to be all alike instead of how to be as different as they really are.

This is another of the out-of-print Newberys. It's definitely not the best of what we've
Another Newbery Medal winner - This book tells the story of a young boy in a Bulgarian village who lives with his mother and grandfather. The story goes through the typical day-to-day environment with an occasional story being told by the grandfather. One story (actually told by the boy) is about the two animals that Noah forgot to take on the ark. The story can be a little dry and I'd be surprised if the typical elementary student would read and enjoy this.
Carl Nelson
1935 Newbery Medal recipient.

Idyllic recounting of life in a Bulgarian mountain community. Enjoyable for its folksy depiction of ceremony and superstition. The downside of the book is that it is very episodic and contains little conflict or resolution to make the reader more invested in the story than simple postcard descriptions of pastoral life. I can't quite imagine many children reading this book past the first 20 pages or so…
This is a slow-paced book with an old-fashioned, slightly foreign feel. It reminded me a little of parts of the Betsy-Tacy books. It's a good story, with lots of description, but I had a hard time getting through it. This is one of those styles of writing that I have to be in the mood for, and when trying to review 100 books, a slow pace is just killer. I would consider going back to it, but overall this is one of those Newberys that is not going to appeal to everyone.
I don't think this would ap
Finally finished this book. I read it because it is a Newbery Award winner from 1935. It took awhile to read it. It's not like today's books that are all action and adventure right away. In fact, there's really no action in it at all.
Despite that, I really enjoyed the book. The writing is beautiful. I really came to see and understand the little Bulgarian village where Dobry lived, and came to admire his Grandfather immensely.
I can recommend this book to adults and kids that really enjoy readi
I struggled to finish this book. If I didn't have a goal to read all of the Newbery award books, then I probably wouldn't have. There was one part that I really liked where they hide a coin in a loaf of bread for Christmas and whoever gets the coin, gets good luck. The shoemaker, Hristu, impatiently tries to find the coin by crumbling up his bread and then pouts afterward when Dobry gets it. But Grandfather has some wise words for him: "You are too anxious. And a too anxious person bites his own ...more
I enjoyed this sweet story of Dobry's life in Bulgaria. I am not certain it would hold many children's attention... Nothing very momentous happens...he has a nice life with some small problems and some interesting events. It reminded me a bit of Little House on the Prairie and I can imagine that those who like Little House books might really enjoy this.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Why is this book a forgotten Newbery? I had so much trouble finding a used or new copy that I ended up having to get a copy from my library.

Dobry is the story of a boy in Bulgaria who wants to become an artist during a time when most people are farmers. The story is full of details about Bulgarian life during the time, the arrival of storks, a massaging gypsy bear, diving through ice to locate a golden crucifix. Why, then, is this book forgotten? The illustrations were initially not compelling,
Rated G.

This is a delightful story of a Bulgarian boy named Dobry. It is a good addition to the Newbery collection.
Scott Williams
I found the story of Dobry, a Bulgarian farm boy who wishes to be a sculptor, to be oddly disjointed, and was put off by its "noble savage" depiction of the peasants of Bulgaria. I felt too that I was reading a promotional brochure -- grandfather sang [insert traditional Bulgarian song here:] after eating [insert traditional dish:], etc. The earnest librarians of bygone days chose it as the Newbery Winner for 1935 but I can only grant it a single star.
i dont know how this is a kid's book. its pretty dull. i did like how hes a peasant farmer and he wanted to become an artist though haha that was cool. support is really big to me so i connected ont hat level. also neda was pretty neat. i did like the family structure and how they enjoyed life, but it really didnt have too much of a pushing plot.
i also learned that in bulgaria, you nod your head for no and shake it for yes. so crazy! haha
I honestly don't know why this book won the Newbery Award. It really has no plot. I guess the descriptions in the book were very visual, but the book didn't go anywhere. It is about a boy who lives in Bulgaria, and it basically tells of his day-to-day life. I really don't have a lot to say about the book--the inclusion of the stories he and his grandfather tell seemed long and drawn out. I wasn't very impressed with this book.
Barb Keister
A slow-moving story of a Bulgarian peasant boy who dreams of being an artist rather than follow tradition. I did find the seasonal and holiday traditions odd, yet interesting. What made this book distinguished enough to earn the Newbery? It seems that many of the early winners took place in distant countries so maybe a glimpse of everyday life in a foreign village is what made this book unique.
Mary Rank
This was the 1935 Newbery Award winner. If you want to know how a Bulgarina farm boy lived "back in the day", this book is for you. It's not terribly (at all) action packed. But Dobry does have to decide whether to stay on the family farm or move to the big city to learn to sculpt. This nicely written book does paint a nice picture of life in Bulgaria maybe in the early 1900's.
Charles Streams
Neleh! This was a very good book about the coming of age of a young man in Bulgaria. It wasn't the most developed book, but very fun and one of the better Newberrys. My favorite part was when Dobry's grandfather competes in the snow-melting competition. Overall it's a very good story about a young man's commitment to his family even when he has to live his own life.
Medal Winner 1935
After reading the reviews, I expected to hate this book because I'm usually such a plot driven reade. This is a beautifully written book, though, and gives a wonderful picture of life in a Bulgarian village. It is slow, though, and after the random for year jump, I found myself just ready to be done.
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