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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mock Newbery Awards

December is a time for family, Christmas trees, baking and eating, right? And it's followed by (my least favorite holiday, really) New Year's Eve and those dreaded resolutions.

But to me, January will forever be the time of Newbery and Caldecott Awards. And December the time for reading lots of new books.

At the last two schools where I was the librarian, we focused much of January on these award-winning books. For the younger children, it was all about the best picture book of the year. While the 5th graders read new, potential Newbery contenders. Having spent a lot of time reading and discussing past winners and the criteria for the award, and even having guest speakers who'd been on the committee, my students voted on their favorite and listened with great interest to the announcement from the American Library Association's Mid-Winter Conference.

Once they even traveled to D.C. from our school in Baltimore, dressed in costume and wearing signs supporting their choice, to be present at the actual announcement. Now, traveling would not be necessary! I think the announcement is streamed live for schools to hear.

And now, instead of discussing our favorite choices, together with young readers, I follow blogs and email fellow writers about our favorite books. Here's the original Newbery Blog, picking its shortlist.

FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson

KEEPER by Kathi Appelt

SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

THEY CALLED THEMSELVES THE KKK by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

SIR CHARLIE by Sid Fleischman

THE KNEEBONE BOY by Ellen Potter

THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan

DARK EMPEROR by Joyce Sidman

A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS by Megan Whalen Turner

COUNTDOWN by Deborah Wiles


ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams-Garcia

Remember, that's just one blog's opinion!
Although there is no nominated list, and only the committee knows what books are truly under consideration (anything nominated must have been published in the previous year and published in the U.S.), bloggers don't let that stop them! It's fun to speculate. Let the games begin!

Any favorites of your own so far?


Pragmatic Mom said...

You have great picks! My daughter (5th grader) and I are going to work through your list but won't make it through by the real awards. Oh well. It's fun anyway. My money is on Keeper by Kathi Appelt. I did like the Dreamer and I bought One Crazy Summer and need to read it.

Augusta Scattergood said...

I can't take complete credit for those picks, but I agree strongly with many of them (they came from the Mock Newbery blog which I linked to on the post and is fun to follow). I'm pulling for One Crazy Summer, so far!