Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Newbery 2011 Recap

My students had such a great time at the presentation this week, especially learning about the frontrunners for the Newbery award.  It was fun to look back at some of the old winners and to simply talk about books!   Dr. Darigan, from West Chester University, is on the Newbery committee, which I mentioned in my first post.  My students were completely fascinated about the whole Newbery selection process and they couldn't get over how many books he has to read!

Of course during the presentation, I am feverishly writing down the titles of books that he mentions.  I thought I would share my list with you all.  And sadly, Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson wasn't mentioned! Looks like my Newbery draft is already doomed for failure!

Falling In by Frances O. Dowell 
Goodreads says, "B z z z z z z z The buzzing sound? Do you hear that? There it is again. B z z z z z z z No? Well, I really shouldn't have asked. Most people can't hear it, anyway. But, if you could, you'd think it sounds like you're teetering on the edge of the universe. That's what Isabelle Bean thinks...and she's not that far from the truth. B z z z z z z z You really don't hear that? Well, it's actually not that great to have a buzzing in your ear. It's distracting for one thing. And when Isabelle starts listening to the buzz instead of, say, her boring teacher, strange things happen. She gets sent to the principal's office (that's not so strange), but then while awaiting her punishment, she tumbles into an adventure—into another world that's a little bit different, a little bit Hansel & Gretel-y, a little bit like a fairy tale, which would be great, but...did I mention that Isabelle is an unusual dresser? When she shows up in fairy-tale land wearing her favorite high, pointy boots, the fairy-tale people start thinking that Isabelle is a witch -- and not just any witch, but the witch! From Edgar Award-winning author Frances O'Roark Dowell comes the unlikely story of Isabelle Bean—an ultimate misfit, an outsider extraordinaire, and not a witch!"

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

Goodreads says, "Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London, dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone  who walks with the help of two sticks. Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann."

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
    Goodreads says, "Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston. But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City."
The Mysterious Howling (Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place) by Maryrose Wood

Goodreads says, "Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.  Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position."

Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan
Goodreads says, "It's 1962, a year after the death of Sam's father--he was a war hero--and Sam and her mother must move, along with their very liberal views, to Jackson, Mississippi, her father's conservative hometown. Needless to say, they don't quite fit in.  People like the McLemores fear that Sam, her mother, and her mother's artist friend, Perry, are in the South to "agitate" and to shake up the dividing lines between black and white and blur it all to grey. As racial injustices ensue--sit-ins and run-ins with secret white supremacists--Sam learns to focus with her camera lens to bring forth the social injustice out of the darkness and into the light."

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Goodreads says, "The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future. Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was."

*What do you guys think of these books?  Have you read any of them? Tell me what you think!  I definitely added a few to my over flowing TBR list.  I can't wait till they decide in January....I'm sure it will be here before they know it!


  1. I do the same thing with my high school students but we work on trying to pick the Printz Award books. We call it the 2011 mock Printz Workshop and before arriving at that meeting students attempt to read the ten books I have pre-selected based on reviews.

    Here is the link to my list of books for this year, with no nice summaries like you provided:

  2. OOoooo they all look so good!
    I love the first and last cover ;)

  3. Anne- That's a great idea! I should have my own Mock Newbery awards! That would be a lot of fun! I will check out your post!

    JuJu- Thanks for stopping by! I love those covers, too!

  4. What a valuable experience for your students. My students and I had a Mock Newbery 2 years ago. We did not predict the winner but it was really successful!

    I love Cushman and Paulsen and will have to check out those books!

  5. I haven't read any of these...yet.

    Newbery selection does sound fascinating. I wouldn't mind reading all those books.

  6. I really enjoyed Alchemy and Meggy Swann! I think falling in looks really good and I'd never even heard of it before!


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