How to Use This Blog

Making a Comment

Members of our club and others interested in reading along with us are invited to make comments. Here’s how:

  1. Find a book you read by entering the title into the Search box.
  2. Click on the title or on the Leave a Comment link under the post for the book.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for that book. Read the other comments as you go!
  4. Enter your name, your email address, and your comment. Use your first name, nickname, or first name and last name initial. Say something specific, not just “great book.” See below for a list of things you might want to mention if you need some ideas.
  5. Click the Submit Comment button.
  6. Click on the Home tab to get back to the main blog page.

Things to Comment On

  1. Plot – flashbacks? conflict? suspense? pace? predictable?
  2. Ending – satisfying? open ended?
  3. Characters – likable? stereotyped? well-rounded or flat? realistic? internal motivations?
  4. Style – imagery? poetic language (alliteration, etc.)?, voice? tone?
  5. Setting – interesting? realistic? inventive?
  6. Theme – deeper meaning?
  7. Audience – who would like this best?
  8. Newbery worthiness – “distinguished” enough for the award?

What is the ‘Not Mock Newbery’ category for?

The Not Mock Newbery category is for books that we’ve eliminated from consideration for our mock Newbery awards. Books can be eliminated for lots of different reasons. We may find that they don’t meet the basic Newbery requirements, for instance if the author is not American or they were not first published in the U.S.  Books from a series that cannot stand on their own are also NMN. But the most common reason for becoming NMN is that three of our club members have read the book and decided it was not “distinguished” enough to earn our mock Newbery award. Getting voted off the island like this does not mean the book is not a great read, just that we’re no longer considering it for our award.

What does “distinguished” mean here?

The ALA defines distinguished as: “marked by eminence and distinction: noted for significant achievement, marked by excellence in quality, marked by conspicuous excellence or eminence, individually distinct.” We look for character development, style, an engaging plot, and appropriateness for a child audience, among other things to determine whether the books we read are distinguished.


One thought on “How to Use This Blog

  1. So excited to stumble upon your blog (through Deborah Lytton’s website). Would love to use your site with my middle school students. Looks like you guys have the right idea about some of the best new ya books!

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