Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Anchorage Mock Newbery Winners

On Saturday we held our Anchorage Public Library Mock Newbery. I mentioned it here.

Our winner was Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

Honor books (in no particular order) were The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Temple Grandin: How the girl who loved cows embraced Autism and changed the world by Sy Montgomery.

Reminder all the books under consideration were:
(we ask all participants to read a minimum of four of these before coming)

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath
Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Neversink by Barry Wolverton

It was a great deal of fun, school librarians, public youth librarians, even non-librarians. Next year I hope to use our new OWL (online with libraries) project equipment to video conference in librarians in other areas of Alaska. Then we can have the Alaska wide Mock Newbery. (Currently the video conferencing equipment is in a box in my office.)

It was a great morning, fantastic discussion, and I was scribbling notes down frantically (though I can not comment or confirm that any or all of those books are officially under consideration). Smart people talking about great books while eating homemade cookies? There's no better way to spend a Saturday morning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Final Newbery Nominations - IN

Turned in my last round of nominations for the Newbery. When I finished writing them up last night, I was no longer obligated to read basically every eligible book published. I have to go on faith that we didn't miss anything amazing. I've been following the blogs and I don't think we have. Between the 15 of us, we surely cast a fairly wide net.

I especially spent the last bit of time before the final nominations reconsidering Graphic Novels and the Newbery. Initially I blogged about it and then the amazing Chris Schweitzer (of Crogan's March which is one of my go to recommendations for middle grade graphic novels) showed up with some very insightful comments. And then I got a text, "did you know you're in The Mary Sue?" And thus began one of the most surreal weekends of my life as about 8 of my friends texted or messaged me that. (Why yes, I do have cool friends). I also read the comments by Comics Beat and Heavy Medal on this issue. Tons of good comments by everyone and I really re-read my 3 favorite youth graphic novels of the year. I can't tell what I decided regarding nominating one of them, but it was the nomination I thought hardest about all year long.

We did a Mock Newbery at the Anchorage Public Library. I'll blog that tomorrow. I'll probably be a better blogger now that I'm not reading all the books and feeling very conflicted about what exactly I can blog. And avoiding talking about work due to some complicated situations (all resolved now). However I've never been a super-reliable blogger so you probably shouldn't hold your breath.

In a couple of days when we get the final list of nominees from our committee chair, I'll start re-reading very heavily and critically. But for now I'm taking a "vacation". I watched tv and knit last night! I went to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (Right before the screening I leaned over and whispered "roads are dangerous things" and my fiance asked me to marry him again.) This weeknd I'll do some holiday baking and spend a lot of time with friends and family.

This year of being on the Newbery committee has been amazing. But I'm glad there is a 4 year waiting period before you're eligible for a new committee. Because I'm exhausted and I miss reading adult books, watching tv and movies, and knitting.