|Stack of books in front of the Christmas tree!|
As the year draws to a close, many youth librarians' minds turn to the upcoming ALA Youth Media Awards. This year these awards will be announced on Monday, January 28 and the committee members have been hard at work reading and rereading and taking notes to get ready for their meetings.
Throughout the country people are wondering what titles will be chosen and some folks are even participating in their own "mock" discussions. There are many of these discussions happening all over, both in person and online. Take a look at your local libraries or bookstores to see if one is happening in your area. Or check out School Library Journal's Heavy Medal Blog, which is running a Mock Newbery discussion online.
This year, I plan to join in a Mock Newbery discussion at the Allen County Public Library in Northern Indiana. It's a bit of a trek for me, but I know it'll be a great discussion and I'm nerdily excited to take part. So while I'm gearing up for Christmas with my family and wrapping up my work year, I'm also reading and rereading the books we'll be discussing.
Participating in a Mock Newbery discussion is definitely less intense than the actual committee members preparing for their meetings, but I still want to make sure to take notes, read all the titles, and reread the ones I haven't picked up since I read them months ago. We have such a great year of books to choose from!
This is the list of titles that we'll be discussing next month:
- Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin (Scholastic)
- Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson (Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux)
- Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead (Feiwel & Friends)
- The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Greenwillow)
- Boots on the Ground: America's War on Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking)
- Can I Touch Your Hair? by Irene Latham & Charles Waters (Carolrhoda)
- Checked by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum)
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt)
- Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Scholastic)
- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown)
- Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen)
- Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (Little, Brown)
- The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic)
- Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard (HarperCollins)
- The Last by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins)
- Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
- The Night Diary by Veera Hirandanani (Dial)
- The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Arthur A. Levine)
- Rebound by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin)
- Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant (Beach Lane)
I find it so interesting that the different discussions can have such vastly different reading lists - it makes you appreciate how much work the actual committee members are putting in, since they are trying to read EVERYTHING that could possibly be considered. When I checked the ACPL's Mock Newbery list against the Heavy Medal list, only about half the titles overlapped. One reason is that mock Newbery discussions tend to limit the number of books on the list for practicality. The ones I have seen range from 10-25 titles, whereas the actual Newbery Committee could potentially be discussing 85+ titles (we'll never knoooooow).
The ALSC Blog is collecting results of Mock Youth Media Awards discussions from all over the country and I am so excited to have our discussion and add our results to the list! I wonder what will happen!
Now, I've got to go... I have reading to do!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are your front runners for the Youth Media Awards this year?