2014 Eva Perry Mock Newbery Results!

Friday, January 17, 2014, 20 kids gathered and finalized their year of reading.  I am so very proud of their efforts.  Unless you have discussed over 200 titles in 10 months, you really have no idea what an accomplishment this is for them!  Our decision is:

2014 Eva Perry Mock Newbery Winner:

Counting by 7s by Holly Sloan

2014 Honor books:

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

First Top 3 Nominations

We had a wonderful meeting October 18!  Lots of discussion, Ms. Valerie visiting, pizza, “musical chairs lobbying” for favorite titles, playing freeze tag, and above all – our first official nomination list for this year!

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens, by Gloria Whelan
- …It was very emotional as she had a self conflict with fear of standing up for injustice. – Shreya
All That’s Missing, by Sarah Sullivan
- I like the journey he took with one piece of information, and it was suspenseful. – Yazhini
Anna Was Here, by Jane Kurtz
- The plot is full of conflicts that have solutions. – Sadhana
Boy on the Porch, by Sharon Creech
- Since the boy doesn’t talk, people will think differently based on the characters’ actions. – Sadhana
Brotherhood, by A. B. Westrick
- I liked the mood that it gave me… gave a colorful and vivid scene to the text… mixed connotations which I found intriguing. – Surya
Counting by 7s, by Holly Sloan
- The setting is amazing.  It brings the characters together… – Chris
- …personalities so in-depth I could relate to them and sort of talk to them. – Surya
Flowers in the Sky, by Lynn Joseph
- …I knew the characters personally and felt attached to them. – Ponni
Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett
- …the characters got along like friends more than like a family. – Ramkishore
Lara’s Gift, by Annmarie O’Brien
- …you felt like you were right next to them… – Zoe
Lightning Dreamer, Margarita Engle
- Writing in verse allowed you to connect with the characters easily. – Gokul
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, by Steve Sheinkin
- It took real life events and made them into an interesting story, as a TV series would.  I could vividly imagine them happening in my mind as I read this. – Surya
Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur
- I love this book! The characters are great and the plot is quite interesting. – Mikala
Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby
- …the book almost came alive. – Ethan
Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool
- Characters were very well described and developed. – Toby
Pet War, by Allan Woodrow
- …seeing different perspectives and how they persuade people… – Sadhana
Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
- …plot paced perfectly…well described fantasy world better than any other I have read this year. – Cassidy
Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff
- The title of the book is the theme that gave reason for all the different characters to be in the book. – Olivia
- I liked that all the stories came together and the theme made it interesting. – Ben H.
True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt
- I could almost feel how the swamp felt and see how the swamp looked. – Elizabeth
Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes
- …the author put lots of description into the book. – Ethan
Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi
- I liked how it was deeper than you would expect. – Ethan

Please stay tuned for our other nominations the first Friday  of December!

Favorites (so far) for 2013-2014

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Our end-of-the-summer meeting resulted in a lot of book discussion, paring down our reading list, pizza, cake (in honor of Tangle of Knots by Graff), freeze tag, and the first favorites list of the year!


All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens
Counting by 7s
Cruisers: Oh Snap!
Dragon Run
Flowers in the Sky
If I Ever Get Out of Here
Lara’s Gift
Lightning Dreamer
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers
Navigating Early
One Came Home
P.S. Be Eleven
Prisoner B-3087
Tangle of Knots
True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World
Zombie Baseball Beatdown

I know that is a LOT of variety, but this list represents our group well.  Stay tuned as we read further and narrow our choices in time for January!

newbery 08302013 003

A Look Back

This Mock Newbery book club has been meeting since the 1998-1999 year.  Our old video that was made back in 2001 about this book club was recently posted on UTube.  Some changes have been made through the years, but our focus is still the same.  The faces of kids have changed, but the type of comments and discussions are the same.  I have been proud of each year’s group and the commitment and love for reading they show.  Take a look!

Presentation of Information Meeting – oh my!

Friday’s meeting was very productive.  Not only did we talk about the Newbery criteria of Presentation of Information, but we also updated our reading list, going over titles that we have had since March and April (usually in advanced reader copy format).  We crossed off 39 titles in one meeting!

Even though we have had 194 titles so far this year, we are determined to come up with the best book of the year.  I’m so proud of their dedication.  What titles have we missed?  We are always looking for new books.

Wonderful “Theme” Discussion!

This past Friday night we discussed the Newbery criteria of Theme.  Tangle of Knots was mentioned, as well as Counting by 7s.  That jump-started our “around the table” discussion of everything else we had been reading, sharing with each other and both agreeing and disagreeing about our opinions of what we had read.  At the end of our time together, we ended up taking a lot more books home – because of course we need more of us to read those we have mixed reviews about!  What titles are we missing so far this year?

Style of Writing…

This past meeting was again great.  I enjoy these kids so much.  We compared several different types of styles in writing, as well as characters, setting, and the rest of the Newbery criteria.  I’ve never been a fly on the wall in the “real” committee discussions, but they can’t top these.  We are continuing to read through the summer with the goal to come up with the most distinguished writing this year.  Please feel free to let us know which titles we have missed so far.

A Super Meeting!

This past Friday’s meeting was super!  We had so many books presented, a LOT of applications to criteria, and FUN!  Everyone was tuned into the discussion so we finished quite a lot in a short period of time. In fact, we had time for a little freeze tag and sardines!  I cannot praise this group of kids highly enough – reading and sharing is what they are all about.

Characters Galore!

Last night’s meeting focused on “delineation of characters” – and oh, what a variety we have this year!  What are your favorite characters in this year’s books so far?

May 17 Meeting

“Setting” was the criteria of the day.  Time and place were discussed, examples given, applications made.  We all agreed that Prisoner B-3087 was a perfect book showing setting as essential.
We also had Ms. Valerie as a guest, which was very fun.  We enjoyed explaining our books to her, and another 100 titles were taken home for more reading.
We are searching for the best, most distinguished literature for kids published this year by an American author.  What title would you suggest?

Meetings in Full Swing!

After our first 2013-14 meeting, which was packed full of information, we divided up about 100 books among 27 kids – who immediately started reading to find the best book of the year!  Yes!
At our second meeting we discussed one of the Newbery criteria – plot.  We each shared one or two books that we have read so far, especially the plot characteristics.  There are a LOT of books this year that we are looking forward to.  You can see some of our comments from the left column here (“Recent Comments”), and you are welcome to comment on titles that you are reading as well.  Which new title looks especially great to you so far?

Try this!

Friday’s meeting was challenging, but amazing.  In preparation for further nominations NEXT meeting, we were challenged to talk about our books WITHOUT referring to plot.  That’s right.  And these kids did an incredible job – writing style, characters, setting, organization of information – and only referred to the plot a few times when these things were necessarily influenced by the plot.  Not the other way around.  Great job, kids!

Now I challenge YOU – which books actually stand out before considering plot??

First Top 3 Nominations

We had a great meeting Friday!  Pizza, new books, criteria discussion, freeze tag in the library, nominations, and taking home another stack of books to read – how could it NOT be a great meeting?!

This is a list of our nominations at this time (with partial reasons).  Another Top 4 titles from each person will be added to these the end of November.

Bomb, by Steve Shenkin; Roaring Brook Press
- “It read more like a story than it did a non-fiction book.” – Bonnie
Broken Lands, by Kate Milford; Clarion Books
- “I really like the relationship between Sam and Jin.” – Cassidy
Crow, by Barbara Wright; Random House
- “This book was very deep and it was sad, making the characters strong.” – Ben
A Diamond in the Desert, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice; Viking
- “The setting was good and it takes place in our nation’s history.” – Ajay
Dreamsleeves, by Coleen Paratore; Scholastic
- “The concept and the plot are distinguished, and I like how the story seemed very realistic.” – Varunya
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson; Nancy Paulsen Books
- “It made you feel the regret that the character was feeling.” – Ajay
The Exceptionals, by Erin Cashman; Holiday House
- “The main character had a believable life even though it was extraordinary.” – Cassidy
- “I think the plot was the best thing about this book.” – Yazeed
The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielsen; Scholastic
- “I thought a plot like this was only in the movies!” – Surya
If Only, by Carole Geithner; Scholastic
- “The plot is relateable, heartfelt and touching.” – Ponni
In a Glass Grimmly, by Adam Gidwitz; Dutton
- “This style of writing and humor distinguishes this book.” – Andrew
The Last Princess, by Galaxy Craze; Little, Brown & Company
- “The writing style draws a person in and never lets go until the story is at an end.” – Rebekah
Laugh With the Moon, by Shana Burg; Delacourte
- “The story is a page turner as well as touching.” – Ponni
The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine; Putnam
- “I was drawn into this book and I was lost in it quickly.” – Mukil
May B., by Caroline Starr Rose; Schwartz & Wade
- “I felt that the main character had excellent character development.” – Jessica
Merits of Mischief The Bad Apple, by T. R. burns; Aladdin
- “I really liked the originality of this book.” – Shreya
The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Random House
- “These characters were well described and changed a lot.” – Gokul
One for the Murphys, by Lynda Hunt; Penguin
- “It captures the emotion very, very, very well.” – Varunya
Son, by Lois Lowry; Houghton Mifflin
- “When Clair has finally finished her journey you think that the book’s just going to be done, but when you find that’s not true you feel surprised and helpless, which makes you want to keep reading.” – Krista
Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz; Candlewick
- “The characters were excellent, the presentation of information was well done, the setting was good, and the writing style was just right for this book.” – Claire
Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage; Dial Books
- “The characters were all interesting and I liked how there was not just one story going on.” – Ethan
Ungifted, by Gordon Korman; Balzer+Bray
- “This author has set up a situation that 13 year old boys can relate to, laugh at, and still have a deeper meaning or concept.” – Benjamin
The Unfortunate Son, by Constance Leeds; Viking
- “The plot is the best part.  I still love this book.” – Surya
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio; Knopf
- “The author still manages to make the reader feel a compelling desire to not stop reading.” – Benjamin

I am SO proud of these kids and their dedication.  We will continue to read, as well as compare criteria between books.  What are we still missing?

Very Productive Meeting!

Friday, October 5, 2012, we discussed the criteria of Interpretation of Theme or Concept, as well as Presentation of Information.  These were the last two criteria to cover, and just in time!  The rest of our discussion this time seemed to apply these two especially, including non-fiction as well as fiction.

By the end of the night we had eliminated 14 more titles, signed out stacks more to read the next two weeks, and we are looking forward to our first nominations next meeting!

I am so proud of these kids!

July 27, 2012 – Great Meeting!

Though summer played havoc with our attendance this meeting, we did get a lot discussed.  Thanks to all of you who shared opinions with us.  We took 8 titles off our reading list.  (Which is a good thing, considering we have had 147 titles so far this year and the fall season isn’t even here yet!)

We had mixed reviews of Tracks by Diane Wilson, and good reviews for Son by Lois Lowry, Child of the Mountains by Shank, Giant by Jim Murphy, Laugh with the Moon by Burg, Mighty Miss Malone by Curtis, Splendors and Glooms by Schlitz, and Three Times Lucky by Turnage.

I am so pleased with this group’s dedication to reading, as well as their skills in comparing and explaining how they feel about what they are reading!


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