This year's winner of Newbery was Rebeca Stead for her work When You Reach Me. It has quite a surprising twist to the plot that could not have been predicted by the reader. What was really a treat for me, since the book takes place in 1979 and I was around the same age as the main character in 1979, was that it seemed as though I time traveled back to that age and time. The 20,000 Pyramid, Dick Clark, and of course, A Wrinkle in Time. I loved that Newbery award winner too! It was nostalgic for me but it didn't get to quite the way other works have done in the past. Was it a good book? Yes. Did it deserve the medal? I'm not convinced.
The Newbery Award is given by a group of adults who feel that a piece of work is the best that American authors have offered for the year. I often wondered what would happen if children were the winner for the Newbery. What would have won this year? Diary of A Wimpy Kid? The Last Olympian? Maximum Ride? There are libraries and schools that will hold a Mock Newbery Award. Some of these have produced the same titles as the actual Newbery list while others were off the beaten path. For example, Anderson Book Shop (www.andersonbookshop.com) held a mock Newbery award, which placed 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass as the winner. Neat book. However it did not even make the honors list let alone the top prize. Another mock winner was Where the Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin in Ocean county. This book did win the Newbery honors award. This got me thinking this little blog could pick the winners of the Newbery for next year. Are we up to the challenge?
Here is the first book on the list to consider for the 2011 Mrs. Nowc Librarian At Large Mock Newbery Awards. (It might be necessary to think of a shorter title!) One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia will be published January 26, 2010 and will be the first book to be reviewed as a contender for this blog's Newbery Mock Award. Grab a copy! Any comments on the book can be posted to this blog or at email@example.com.
Not to worry, teens can send their nomination for the 2011 Printz Mock Award, but that will be a discussion for next time.