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ACPL Mock Newbery

The Newbery Medal was named for 18th-century British bookseller, John Newbery. It is awarded annually by ALA's Association for Library Service to Children to the author of the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." This is a board where ACPL staff and patrons may comment about new children's books and vote on what they think should win! To register for our "in-person" discussion on January 24, 2015, call Children's Services at 260.421.1220

<2014 pin> Boys of Blur by N.D.Wilson. SUMMARY: "When Charlie moves to Taper, Florida he discovers a secret world hidden within the sugar cane fields"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Allen County Public Library

    This is a title which was suggested via a FaceBook post. Have you read it? What do you think of it?

  • Erin Warzala

    N.D. Wilson took the legend of Beowulf and turned it into a novel for tweens. He then added strong themes of family, overcoming abuse, and diversity as well as small town football, sugar cane harvesting, rabbit runs, and, oh yeah, zombies. It shouldn't work. It really shouldn't. But it does!! And I think the reason why it works is due entirely to his abilities as a writer. I would definitely recommend this!

<2014 pin> West of the Moon by Margi Preus. SUMMARY: In nineteenth-century Norway, fourteen-year-old Astri, whose aunt has sold her to a mean goatherder, dreams of joining her father in America.

  • Allen County Public Library

    This title was suggested by one of our ACPL Kid Blog readers.

  • Kris Lill

    This book has received some glowing reviews, but I'm having a hard time coming to terms with its intended audience. I think adults will love and appreciate it more than kids. Can anyone convince me otherwise?

<2014 pin> Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin. SUMMARY: In this twist on "The Nightingale," Little John, despite his own poverty and grief, reaches out to Gayle, an unhappy foster child living next-door who sings beautifully and hides a great secret.

<2014 pin> Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. SUMMARY: Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.

<2014 pin> Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell. SUMMARY: In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world.

<2014 pin> The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier. SUMMARY: Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.

<2014 pin> The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern. SUMMARY: Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems--like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.

<2014 pin> Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan. SUMMARY: While in North Dakota helping her Aunt Frankie prepare for a possible flood, Lucy finds her voice as a poet with the help of her two-year-old brother Teddy, the rest of their family, and a few cows.

<2014 pin> The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. SUMMARY: Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

<2014 pin> Lord and Lady Bunny -- Almost Royalty! by Polly Horvath. SUMMARY: "Madeleine and her hippie parents travel to England to run a candy shop. Meanwhile Mr. and Mrs. Bunny also travel to England, where Mrs. Bunny tries to weasel her way into the ranks of royalty"-- Provided by publisher.

<2014 pin> The Port Chicago 50 - Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. SUMMRY: Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.

<2014 pin> Winter Sky by Patricia Reilly Giff. SUMMARY: Almost twelve-year-old Siria, who chases firetrucks in the middle of the night to ensure her fire fighter dad's safety, learns about bravery one winter as she tries to mend a broken friendship

<2014 pin> Free to Fall by Lauren Miller. SUMMARY: "In a near-future world where everyone is controlled by their smartphones, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn suddenly begins listening to the voice within--which kids are taught to ignore--and discovers a terrible plot at the heart of the corporation that makes the devices"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Mary Voors

    This is a thought-provoking book which I'd absolutely recommend it to all those people who enjoyed Feed. I really liked this title. Character development is strong, but the ending seems a bit too perfect.

<2014 pin> Caminar by Skila Brown. SUMMARY: Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.

<2013 pin> On January 11th, after a great discussion of many of the year's books, we arrived at our Mock winners. The 2014 ACPL Mock Newbery Winner is Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz. We selected three Honor books in our Mock Election: The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt, and Far Far Away by Tom McNeal.

  • Mary Voors

    It was a fun afternoon discussing books! Can't wait to hear what wins the REAL Newbery Award!

  • Teresa Walls

    A great time! I am still unconvinced that Far Far Away is distinguished. :) I'm excited to see what the actual committee selects.

  • Katy Southern

    Thanks for hosting the discussion!

<2013 pin> Here's information from the ACPL Kids Blog with our FINAL Discussion List for Saturday, January 11th.

<2013 pin> What a great infograph! Have you read the "top five"?

<2013 pin> The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. SUMMARY: "A shy boy named Oscar who works as the hand to a powerful magic worker becomes the only person who can save his village from an evil monster"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Teresa Walls

    Darn it. I didn't get this one in time for the discussion. I look forward to what others have to say about it.

<2013 pin> The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore. SUMMARY: Moving into an inherited mansion in Maine with their mother and stroke-afflicted father, three siblings uncover a mystery involving hidden passageways, family rivalries, and healing waters.

  • Rebecca Wolfe

    There are some fun things about this one - the mixture of present-day and historical plot-lines, the mystery, the castle itself. I did NOT like that the ending is not wrapped up. I don't need a summary and "those crazy kids" speech a la Scooby Doo, but I would've liked some more concrete answers. I felt like too many things were left undone.

  • Rebecca Wolfe

    Also, I was distracted by grammatical errors like this: "He extended his hand to Ephraim, which Ephraim took and squeezed." (38) You shouldn't win a Newbery if the book has multiple errors like that.

<2013 pin> Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. SUMMARY: While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.

  • Allen County Public Library

    This title was suggested as an addition to our Mock Newbery board by a colleague. Do YOU have suggestions of additional 2013 titles to add? Let me know by emailing (Please put Newbery Pinterest Board suggestion in the subject line.)

  • Rebecca Wolfe

    I thought this one was magical. Like Hitchhiker's Guide magical. Wonderful, crazy plot enhanced by the repetition involving the milk and the illustrations. I love this one. It's one of my strongest contenders.

  • Rebecca Wolfe

    I noticed this one is not on a lot of the mock lists online. It *is* eligible, right? Is it because it's silly? Am I alone in thinking it's a contender?

  • Teresa Walls

    I didn't care for it, but that doesn't mean it's not a contender. :)

  • Mary Voors

    This book would be a great read-aloud! I loved some of the phrases and descriptive sentences. For example, on page 78: "The particularly drippy alien pressed the black button on the metal wall with something that might have been a finger and might just have been a long strand of snot." Doesn't THAT paint a picture???

<2013 pin> Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes. SUMMARY: Gabby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble.This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.

SmartCat - Allen County Public Library
  • Mary Voors

    This is a title that has stuck with me. I love the poems and I love the support offered to daydreamers. I re-read Words with Wings again last night and was again struck by its power. It's simple without being simplistic.

  • Teresa Walls

    A lot is conveyed in few words. I think I pictured Gabby older than what she is, but that is part of the book's beauty, reaching out to day dreamers of all ages.

<2013 pin> Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's library by Chris Grabenstein. SUMMARY: "Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Rebecca Wolfe

    This is kinda fun, but I don't see it as an award winner. Just too .... ordinary, I guess.

<2013 pin> Paperboy by Vince Vawter. SUMMARY: When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

<2013 pin> A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff. SUMMARY: "Destiny leads 11-year-old Cady to a peanut butter factory, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever"--Provided by publisher. Includes cake recipes.

  • Teresa Walls

    I enjoyed this book. The point was to tie everything together, and the author does a fun job doing just that. The knot character ( role of fate) was intriguing. It isn't as strong as the True Blue Scouts or The Thing about Luck or a few others, though.

  • Rebecca Wolfe

    I felt like the man in the gray suit wasn't really explained. Is it just that I missed the point?

  • Teresa Walls

    I thought the man in the gray suit was Fate with the talent of tying knots.