Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Slice of Life: Newbery Joy at Book Club!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Every January or February, I attend a favorite event in my pjs from the comfort of my own bed.  It begins at 8 am so when it occurs on the east coast, I'm up before 5 am to be sure that my computer is working and all is in order for me to watch the live feed of the Youth Media Awards from the ALA mid-winter conference.  

I've hosted Mock Newbery groups for more than a decade, first in my classroom and now for three years in our after school book club, Books, Brownies & Beyond.  We partner with the children's librarians at KCLS (King County Library System).  Each fall they select some titles for a Mock Newbery list and encourage classroom teachers to utilize the list with students as they examine Newbery possibilities.  This year the KCLS Mock Newbery books were Wolf Hollow, The Wild Robot, Ms. Bixby's Last Day, and The Inquisitor's Tale.  I added four additional Mock Newbery titles for the students in our after school book club:  Pax, Some Kind of Courage, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and In the Shadow of Liberty.  

We follow a balloting system that was provided to me several years ago by one of our community librarians.  Each member votes for three books, a first, second, and third choice.  The ballots are counted according to a point system:  first choice books receive four points; second choice books, three points; and third choice books, two points.  Last week, our book club voted for our top three titles in our Mock Newbery election.  Wolf Hollow and The Girl Who Drank the Moon tied for first place.  The next book was only one vote behind those two titles.  So The Inquisitor's Tale was named our Mock Newbery Honor book.  

Fast forward to book club this afternoon as we watched the Youth Media Awards.  It took quite a while to get to the Newbery announcement.  The students were thrilled to learn that The Girl Who Drank the Moon, one of our titles that tied for our Mock Newbery, won the actual Newbery Award.  And that our other two favorite titles - Wolf Hollow and The Inquisitor's Tale - both received Newbery Honor status.

And I'm excited to report that my search after Monday morning's award ceremony yielded some important information.  In 2018 the ALA mid-winter conference will be held in Denver and the following year in 2019, it will be in Seattle.  So no more 5 am alarms to watch the book awards (at least for the next two years)!


  1. Congratulations on your choices! And ALA in Denver!!!! I'm going!!!!

  2. It is the most exciting award show of the year! Seattle for 2019 - awesome. Wish it was in the summer so I could join in the fun.

  3. Wow, you picked them! That's awesome, and I'm sure the kids were thrilled! And, Denver, I'm going! Yea for Seattle too!

  4. Yay for more friendly time-zones for you in coming years. ;0) And congrats to your club for recognizing winners!
    I don't seem to have your email address, so I'm chiming in to THANK YOU for your beautiful January Swap poem postcard, and the very welcome additions, too. I'll share with my next/final postcard post this Friday. :0)

  5. What a celebration for your group! Congratulations on having such great taste in literature!

  6. Exciting and happy slice. Thrilling indeed that the choices matched.

  7. Congratulations, they must be good and fun books.