Wednesday, January 16, 2008

newbery winner and honors!

the newbery winners were announced on monday morning along with several other exciting youth media awards. i had the great pleasure, for the second year in a row, of attending the press conference at the ala midwinter meeting (this year in philadelphia). it's really exciting to sit in a room with so many people excited about literature for young people!

anyhow, the newbery winners were especially exciting for me this year since our mock newbery list was so closely aligned with the books the newbery committee selected.

the 2008 newbery winner is:
good masters! sweet ladies! - laura amy schlitz

honor books are:
elijah of buxton - christopher paul curtis
wednesday wars - gary d. schmidt
feathers - jaqueline woodson

congratulations to all the winners and congratulations to the committee!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Mock Newbery Award and Honors

Thank you so much to everyone who came out yesterday. It was a very enjoyable discussion and a successful day! We managed to pick our Mock Newbery winner and three honor books. They are as follows:

Elijah of Buxton - Christopher Paul Curtis

Honor Books:

(alpha by author)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
Good Master! Sweet Ladies! - Laura Amy Schlitz
Wednesday Wars - Gary D. Schmidt

Can't wait to see what the real Newbery Committee decides!

Monday, December 17, 2007

less than a month to go!

How's the reading going? I'm working hard at getting ready on this end! It's too late to add any books to our list, but have you read anything brand new that's worth some attention? Any strong feelings about any of the books on our list? Feeling good? Tired? Ready?

Happy December, all!

Oh, and just to let everyone know, I'll be in Switzerland eating cheese and drinking wine between December 23 and January 3, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from me! But I'll see you on the 6th!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

How the discussion works

For those who are wondering how the actual four hours will be spent during our discussion, here's a little bit of a breakdown:

First, we'll spend a short period of time with introductions.

Then, we'll discuss some background of the Newbery Award and an overview of how the Newbery Committee operates.

After this we'll look look at each book on our list (see the sidebar) and discuss them in terms of the award criteria. We'll each have a chance to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each book and we'll compare them to each other.

Finally we'll do our balloting. We want to reach a consensus when we pick our Mock Newbery Winner an this process might take some time. Everyone will have a chance to vote (anonymously) on their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice, and these votes will be weighted. After we see what the numbers look like after our initial vote we'll have a chance for some more brief discussion, some elimination, and another vote, if needed.

In the end we'll have chosen our Mock Newbery Winner along with Mock Newbery Honor books!

Please do read all the books if you plan to attend - the voting and discussion is way more fun (and fair) if everyone has come prepared!

The Final List - Finally!

So our last five additions to the Mock Newbery discussion list are:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale
Elijah of Buxton - Christopher Paul Curtis
Lawn Boy - Gary Paulsen
Red Moon at Sharpsburg - Rosemary Wells

See the sidebar for the complete list with links to the items at one of my favorite bookstores! Hope to see you all on 01/06/08.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Final List

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give a heads up that my intention is to send out full details, including a final list, early next week! I'm gonna read my way through some turkey and stuffing this weekend and return relaxed and ready to go...

In the meantime, everyone have a wonderful week and we'll talk soon!

PS Am finally reading "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" and am pleased that it seems to fit (just barely) into the Newbery age-range. I think it would be an interesting book to discuss. Am also trying to get through Rosemary Wells' "Red Moon at Sharpsburg" and I'll admit it's taking me a really long time, in spite of how good it is. Interesting to see Wells delve into historical fiction in the form of a chapter book. I think it's one of those books where at the end I'll either be like, "eh" or I'll be sobbing into my coffee overwhelmed with how wonderful it is. I have a plane ride this evening across the country, so I hope to find out then. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

Monday, October 29, 2007

newbery faq

the new alsc blog has an interesting new post covering some frequently asked questions about the newbery. for those of you who sometimes wonder about the choices and how much they really relate to what children are reading or who wonder why why why we can't see the short list to help us along in our mock newbery selections, this post gets to the heart of it.

i'd be curious to know how people feel about some of the conventions and rules behind the newbery... is the newbery being kept sacred or is it just being left behind the times?

otherwise, i'm working hard to pick out our last few books for the mock newbery which'll be at the golden gate branch in oakland the first sunday in january! yay! look forward to seeing everyone there....