The John Newbery medal will be awarded on Monday, January 27, 2014 at the American Library Association’s mid-winter meeting in Philadelphia. The Newbery medal “is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year.” The book can be fiction or non-fiction. The award was established in 1922 and was the first children’s book award in the world. To find out more about the award and to see a list of the books that have won visit: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal. Libraries and schools around the country enjoy trying to guess which book might win the award and often have “Mock Newbery” groups that vote on their favorite. The titles listed below are some possibilities for this year’s prize. It could be one on this list or a surprise winner. As you can see, I’ve got a two-way tie for the book I would vote for!
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn, ancient Sugar Man, and his raccoon-brother Swamp Scouts Bingo and J’miah try to save Bayou Tourterelle from feral pigs Clydine and Buzzie, greedy Sunny Boy Beaucoup, and world-class alligator wrestler and would-be land developer Jaeger Stitch. Disclaimer: If I could vote, this is one of the books I would choose.
Flora & Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.
P. S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia The Gaither sisters are back in Brooklyn, where changes large and small come to their household as they grow up during the turbulent 1960s. Disclaimer: If I could vote, this is the other book I would choose.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool Odyssey-like adventure of two boys’ incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters.
Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker Third-grader Clementine’s school field trip to Plimoth Plantation leads to all kind of discoveries, from fourth grade eating rules to the source of the stink on the bus.
Doll Bones by Holly Black Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives by Elizabeth Rusch An account of the work of volcanologists Andy Lockhart, John Pallister, and their team describes their life-risking efforts to investigate dangerous volcanoes that pose threats to more than one billion people worldwide.
The Center of Everything by Linda Urban For Ruby Pepperdine, the center of everything is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug. That’s how everything is supposed to be–until it goes spinning out of control.
For a look at all the children’s awards presented by the American Library Association please visit: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia.
Ginny W., Youth Services