Posting this right before the big announcement this morning. SJCPL had two Mock Newbery Clubs this year, both a student club and an adult club. Here’s where you can watch the live webcast: http://alawebcast.unikron.com/
The student Mock Newbery Club chose The Cardturner by Louis Sachar as its Medal book. This was one of my favorite books of 2010–it’s got adventure, fantasy, mystery, romance…and great writing too. Love it! Shelved in our Teen section, I would recommend this book to readers 10 and older.
Our honor books were:
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper–a 1st person narrative about life with cerebral palsy. This book has a tremendous impact and the students in our club loved the way Melody came to life, even though she was unable to talk. For readers 8 and older.
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine–a 1st person narrative about life with Aspergers Syndrome, as well as a family and community trauma. The narrator’s voice is very strong in this book–it also won the 2010 National Book Award for Youth. For children ages 8 and older.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan–Riordan returns to Greek mythology and adds Roman mythology to the mix as well. Fun, fast-paced, and creative, this is a great read for fans of fantasy and mythology. Shelved in our Teen section, I would recommend this to readers 8 and older.
ADULT Mock Newbery Club:
This club discussed many of the same titles that the students did, but our outcome was different.
Medal: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia–1st person narrative set in the late 1960s–Delphine, the 11 year-old oldest sister of 3 travels with her sisters to Oakland, California to spend the summer with their mother, Black poet Cecile (also known as Nzila), who writes poetry for the Black Panthers. This is an incredible novel that introduces readers to a nuanced world of life with a mother who left her children, the world of the Black Panthers, as well as racism. Delphine’s voice is completely believable and funny, revealing her thoughts and feelings as well as the personalities of her sisters and the other characters. I’m sure the real Newbery Committee will recognize this book in some way. For readers 10 and older.
Honor Book: The Dreamer–One of the most beautifully written books (of any genre or age-range that I’ve read)–a telling for children of the lifestory of Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet. Moving, funny in places, and just pitch perfect, this is a book for a sensitive reader–if you know a smart child who loves to daydream and loves nature, this is the book for him or her. For ages 10 and older.
In just 20 short minutes the webcast of the Youth Media Awards begins (10:45 a.m.) and the Newbery Medal is the final award announced. We’re excited to see how our picks compare to the real winner(s).