Here we are folks. Jonathan and I have chosen 10 books for our official discussion/voting, to take place online, and ultimately at our live event in Oakland CA on Monday, January 16th, 2011, a week before the actual annoucements. Further details on that event pending, but if you’d like to sign up, email me.
The number of books on the shortlist, and one of our own criteria in selecting titles, has to do with making sure that everyone who wants to participate in the voting can actually obtain and read every title on our shortlist. We’re looking for books that we believe are true contenders, and that also complement each other in discussion and give us a broad base for discussion against the Newbery criteria. Are all of our favorites on here? No. Are all of your favorites? No. We will also have room to discuss other titles here before the actual award announcements on January 23rd. But the ten titles that follow represent to us some of the very best of the year, all possibilities for the Newbery, and they are, alphabetically by title:
THE ADVENTURES OF SIR GAWAIN THE TRUE by Gerald Morris. Humor, action, a keen sense of audience…and a for the youngest of chapter book readers.
AMELIA LOST by Candice Fleming. There’s a lot of strong nonfiction out there this year…but this one still stands out for its lucid craft…
HEART & SOUL by Kadir Nelson. …And this one for it’s distinctive voice, and sense of scope.
I BROKE MY TRUNK by Mo Willems. It will be long, crazy discussion.
THE MONEY WE’LL SAVE by Brock Cole. Hey, bet you didn’t expect this one! Go get it: it’s a quick read, and a long linger.
A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness. Even with triple eligibility threat and the audience question, Ness’ writing simply demands to be at the table…
OKAY FOR NOW by Gary Schmidt. … And I think Doug Swieteck has been sitting at everyone’s, very patiently, since he came on the scene.
PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE by Jeanne Birdsall. Is “classic Newbery” written all over this one?….
THE TROUBLE WITH MAY AMELIA by Jennifer Holm. …or this one? Both have extremely memorable female protagonists who demand consideration.
WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick. You know we had to! Just remember: the text does not have to stand alone; but we discuss and evaluate only the text.