Thanksgiving is nigh, and that means it’s time for me and Jonathan to settle on and announce a shortlist for our live discussion. The Oakland Mock discussion and voting will be held on Sunday, January 12th, in Oakland CA. More details to come.
Our shortlist is designed to create a good Mock discussion, with a range of genres and possible Newbery “issues,” and including titles that should be widely available in your libraries, so that all participants can actually read the entire list. We know the first responses to this post will be in regards to what’s not on it. This was a challenging shortlist to bring together, with a lot of interesting non-typical-Newbery-fare hanging out there as possibilities, along with much strong middle-grade fiction. You’ll note, in comparison to some of our previous shortlists, a lack of longer non-fiction, but that’s not for the lack of possibilities. You also won’t find some of the top vote-getters in our last set of Nominations. But each of these have been “mock nominated,” and we think they are all great. In alphabetical order by title:
CLEMENTINE AND THE SPRING TRIP by Sara Pennypacker. Amazing voice, humor, and nuance for younger readers.
ERUPTION by Elizabeth Rusch. Everything you want in a science narrative? Riveting and clear.
FAR FAR AWAY by Tom McNeal. Certainly distinguished…but maybe in different ways for different audiences.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE by Julie Fogliano. Still our favorite for picture book text, and one for the very young set.
P.S. BE ELEVEN by Rita Williams-Garcia. Haven’t talked much about this one lately, but it still stands well above others for voice and character…flaws and all.
THE THING ABOUT LUCK by Cynthia Kadohata. While the storyline fades over time, these characters are the clearest to me, of all, still.
THE TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP by Kathi Appelt. Richness in language, world-building and story.
WHAT THE HEART KNOWS by Joyce Sidman. Far more than others on this list, this book changes with its readers. What book is it for its ideal Newbery reader?
Happy Thanksgiving–and happy reading!