Here are the numbers from our ballot! We had 61 voters. Assigning 4 points to first place, 3 points to second place, and 2 points to 3rd place votes, I’ve tried to put them into some sort of ranking.
|1st place votes||2nd place votes||3rd place votes||Total points|
|OKAY FOR NOW||24||11||7||143|
|A MONSTER CALLS||8||16||4||88|
|I BROKE MY TRUNK||5||5||8||51|
|TROUBLE W/ MAY AMELIA||4||6||7||48|
|MONEY WE’LL SAVE||1||1||6||19|
|HEART AND SOUL||0||0||4||8|
So now we discuss the results and decide how to proceed. There are some surprises in here to me, though not at the top. OKAY and AMELIA have been seeming like the frontrunners in comments here, and … trying to loosely apply the Newbery voting mechanism to a huge number of voters … while OKAY doesn’t have the 32 first place votes that would clearly make it a majority 1st place winner, it has close to it, and it does have over a 32 point spread over AMELIA. We could call it our winner and AMELIA a sole honor.
And then there is MONSTER floating there in the midfield, making a strong play to place. Should it be a second honor and call it there? But while AMELIA had votes from over half of us (35), MONSTER didn’t quite (28). This isn’t a requirement for honors, but it does just reveal how strong AMELIA is over the rest. Recall that the Newbery isn’t just about honoring the most distinguished books of the year…it’s really about setting a standard for the highest quality writing in literature for kids. The committee thinks hard about where it wants to set that bar in determining its honors. Recall our praise for “less is more”?
It’s the next group down that really surprises me. I did not hear a lot of Newbery love for WONDERSTRUCK here! I placed it under I BROKE MY TRUNK only to show you that that one has more first place votes…though both have 18 votes total. [Update: in reformatting the table, I relisted these in order by total points. 9:30 am PST 1/11 nl]. TROUBLE also surprises me here, since though it does have its appreciators, and I still think it has an oddball’s chance, you all pretty much dissuaded me from it. These each have votes from fewer than half of the voters, and are quite a drop down from AMELIA, but in a committee I might expect a clamor to reballot for honors to give some of these a chance.
The PENDERWICKS at the bottom that really surprises me….though there are a lot of detractors here, it seems like it had its defenders. Maybe they were dissuaded? Or maybe they didn’t read and vote.
MONEY is my heartbreak on this ballot, though if I were on the committee this would be my signal to rally. I was the first place voter for this. I think it did not get a lot of discussion, so If we went to a second ballot, I would ask to discuss this a little more. I’d hope of course to persuade some voters to keep it in the running, but I might be convinced to let it go and change my votes, which gives me a valuable 1st place slot to fill. (My second place went to AMELIA and third to OKAY.)
HEART and GAWAIN don’t surprise me much based on the discussion here…but I am interested to see what happens at our Mock Newbery this weekend. In online “discussion” it can be too easy to let things fizzle too quickly, which is what may have happened for HEART. I don’t necessarily see it as a medalist at this point, but I think it provides a strong counterpoint to other contenders with its strengths.
What do you all think? I’m wary of reballoting here, because we don’t have a good mechanism, unlike at a meeting, for the real focus on discussion that needs to happen here, nor any way of making sure that the same 61 voters participate in the next ballot.