Last year we had a Mock Newbery Book Club in my 6th grade Language Arts classes. We used the Mock Newbery list generated by KCLS (King County Library Service), and were shocked to hear the chosen title, Moon Over Manifest, a book that had not been on any of the Mock Newbery lists that I perused. I read the book last spring and loved it.
This Mock Newbery Club made me more aware of reading new books, and I've enjoyed following recommendations from fellow bloggers this year. Since the book awards will be announced on Monday, Jan. 23, I wanted to do a quick recap of the titles I've read and loved that were new in 2011.
Inside Out and Back Again - This is a title that I read during the 48 Hour Book Challenge. This challenge provided the impetus for me to start a blog. See blog entry on June 4, 2011 for my review. I was excited when this book won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Novels in verse are a favorite genre for me. A couple of other titles that I love in this genre are Out of the Dust and Reaching for Sun. I added novels in verse to my students' genre list this year.
small as an elephant - It's really hard for me to type that title with no caps (the old school teacher in me hates this trend by authors of deleting capital letters). That rant aside, I was quite moved by this book. I have a blog entry for it on July 5, 2011.
Okay for Now - I finished this title after school started. I kept intending to write a review, but I never got around to it. The writing is exquisite, and the characters have remained in my heart. I enjoyed listening to a speech by Gary Schmidt about the book.
Breadcrumbs - This is an interesting fantasy with many allusions to elements from other books and fairy tales. I loved the determination of the main character, as she embarks on her quest to rescue her friend Jack.
A Monster Calls - I just finished this book this afternoon and I'm still processing it. I like the emphasis on the power of story to help us deal with life's challenges.
I'm out of time. I wanted to list all the titles that I still want to read, but no time now. If I had to pick from the books I've read, I would go with small as an elephant or Okay for Now.
Soon we'll have the decision of the committees and lots of new award winning titles to explore. I find this so much more exciting than the Oscars!