Monday, July 16, 2007

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

A couple of commenters have recommended Brian Selznick's beautiful The Invention of Hugo Cabret to be considered for our mock Newbery. I haven't read the book yet, although I've seen it and can't wait to.

For those of you who've read it already - I'm wondering what your thoughts are on it, considering the following Newbery Criteria:

2. Each book is to be considered as a contribution to literature. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the text. Other aspects of a book are to be considered only if they distract from the text. Such other aspects might include illustrations, overall design of the book, etc.

Is it possible to read and consider this book without considering its illustrations and design? I'm sure it is, although I'm also sure it would be a challenge (for me, at least), since these pieces of the book are so stunning. But perhaps the more important question is this: Does this book still seem a good candidate for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature for the year 2007? Based on text alone?

I ask before I have my own opinion. So I'll be able to contribute soon, but not now, to the discussion which will hopefully take place in the comments of this entry.

What do you, readers, think?

Friday, July 13, 2007

My First Post!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my mock Newbery blog. I'm hoping this first post is a way to get things started, especially in terms of book ideas.

Suggestions, please! I'd love to have any and all suggestions for books that would both qualify and have the quality we're looking for, so we can all get started reading! So, any books published this year so far (for children up to the age of 14) that you'd like to suggest might make fine candidates for a Mock Newbery?

Oh! Are you wondering what a Mock Newbery is? Well, it's a chance for a group of people (in this case, it'll take place somewhere in Oakland) to get together and discuss a pre-determined list of books (perhaps 8-10 of them). In this special book discussion the group will be pretending to be the real Newbery committee and will use the same criteria that the real committee uses (although with WAY fewer books) to discuss the books and choose a Newbery winner and honor book(s). It's always fun to have this discussion just before the REAL Newbery winner is announced and see how close our choices lined up with the actual Newbery committee's selections.

You can learn more about how the Newbery is selected here and you can see the winners from the past real Newbery here.

So, please start suggesting books that are worth looking into as potential candidates for our Mock Newbery!