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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> Nest by Esther Ehrlich. SUMMARY: On Cape Cod in 1972, eleven-year-old Naomi, known as Chirp for her love of birds, gets help from neighbor Joey as she struggles to cope with her mother's multiple sclerosis and its effect on her father and sister.

<2014 pin> Pure Grit by Mary Cronk Farrell. Subtitled "How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific

<2014 pin> 2014 longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature! Which books should we absolutely include in our Mock Newbery discussion?

<2014 pin> At Home in Her Tomb - Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui by Christine Liu-Perkins. CONTENTS: Introduction: Face-to-Face with Lady Dai -- Excavation of a Time Capsule -- The Mysterious Cadaver -- A House Underground -- All the Comforts of Home -- Lady Dai's Silk Treasures -- Library of Silk and Bamboo -- Conclusion: Time Capsule of Mawangdui -- Historical Note: Legacy of the Qin and Han Dynasties -- Time Line -- Glossary.

<2014 pin> The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer. SUMMARY: "After 12-year-old Grace's mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. Then she discovers clues in a mysterious treasure hunt--one that will help her find her true home"-- Provided by publisher.

<2014 pin> What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren. SUMMARY: When Esther's family moves to a farm during the Great Depression, she soon learns that there are things much more important than that her superstitious mother rarely shows her any affection.

<2014 pin> Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata. SUMMARY: Twelve-year-old Jaden, an emotionally damaged adopted boy fascinated by electricity, feels a connection to a small, weak toddler with special needs in Kazakhstan, where Jaden's family is trying to adopt a "normal" baby.

<2014 pin> Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. SUMMARY: "The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Katy Southern

    I enjoyed this immensely. The poems are wonderfully accessible and expressive. I think I can get readers reluctant to tackle poetry to read this book.

<2014 pin> Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord. SUMMARY: Lucy, with her mother and her photographer father, has just moved to a small rural community in New Hampshire, and with her new friend Nate she plans to spend the summer taking photos for a contest, but pictures sometimes reveal more than people are willing to see.

<2014 pin> Revolution by Deborah Wiles. SUMMARY: It's 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny's town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn't much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.--From publisher description.

<2014 pin> Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana. SUMMARY: At the end of August 2005, ten-year-old Armani is looking forward to her birthday party in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where she and her extended family live, but Hurricane Katrina is on the way, bringing destruction and tragedy in its wake.

<2014 pin> The Thickety: A Path Begins by J.A. White. SUMMARY: "When twelve-year-old Kara discovers her mother's grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she'll use it, even though such magic is forbidden"-- Provided by publisher.

<2014 pin> A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. SUMMARY: The Pickles are new to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a town which legend says was once magic--but Felicity is convinced the magic is still there, and with the help of her new friend Jonah the Beedle she hopes to bring the magic back.

<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?

  • Katy Southern

    I think it's very well suited for the upper-range for the Newbery - that 12-14 age range - and the more advanced readers who are a bit younger. I find the fairy tale sensibilities and allusions an excellent way to approach some very difficult topics.

  • Katy Southern

    I don't know that it's for all young readers, but I do think there's an audience for it among late-elementary and middle school readers. Granted, adults will see and appreciate more of the complexity than kids, but that's true of pretty much every book pinned here.

<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.

  • Mary Voors

    I hope lots of people read this title! I want to talk with readers about it!!!! And now I'm off to find a copy of Hans Christian Andersen's The Nightingale to read.

  • Kris Lill

    I read it! This was a fast read, but not an easy read. Very, very, very sad. Heartbreaking, from an adult's point of view. I had to stop reading several times, it was too painful. But there was also this beautiful magical element to the story that was such a counterpose to the crushing sadness. I can't stop thinking about it, I guess that's a sign of a great book, huh?

  • Katy Southern

    This one is lovely. Crushingly heartbreaking, but lovely. It added a new level of terror to the fairy tale's theme of the perils of mechanization replacing what, I guess, I can best describe as the soul of a living thing. Or, the mass-produced versus the individual. There's a lot going on here.

<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.

  • Dawn Stoops

    I thought this was a great book. The audio version was fun to listen to. I loved the pacing of the story and how the short chapters matched the personality of the storyteller.

<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.

  • Katy Southern

    Those who know me will not be at all surprised by my fondness for this book. The gothic tone is well-maintained throughout the novel, and Auxier isn't afraid to put his characters in real peril (supernatural and otherwise). I appreciate that.

<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.

  • Kris Lill

    This was a super-quick read! Lyrical and lovely, classic Patricia MacLachlan. I always admire how she draws her characters so well with so few words.

<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.

  • Katy Southern

    This one took me by surprise. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did and, even though I foresaw how the plot was unfolding, I did not expect to feel the emotional punch in the gut that I felt at the end of the book. It was a very good surprise.

  • Kris Lill

    I agree, Katy. This is much more than a sports story, although basketball is an important element, and will definitely draw kids in. Family and love and loss are all explored, with writing that is simply stunning.

  • Catch the Buzz!

    One of my favorite YA books I've read! Loved the rhythm and language . . . going to be such a great read-aloud! The guys in my class are going to love it . . . and so are the girls. Finally, and excellent, high-quality book to pull in the sporty guys! Such a rich, rich story.

<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