2010 Newbery Award Winners


2010 Newbery Honors:

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

And the 2010 Newbery Medal goes to………… Rebecca Stead for When You Reach Me!!!!!!!!!

This year I read 3 of the 5 award winners, including the medal winner.  My kids chose When You Reach Me as their mock Newbery winner.  I am so excited for Rebecca Stead, who is such a sweetheart.

The awards were interesting this year, because @randomhousekids tweeted a congratulations to to When You Reach Me before the award was announced, breaking the embargo.  Imagine if a dark horse won and the book was exposed early?!  I have a feeling this won’t bode well for Random House at next year’s awards….

Some other winners that I read this year…..

A complete list of the winners can be found at the ALA website.


My ALA Awards Hopes and Dreams!

Right now, there are authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and other book people getting ready to go to bed (or already sleeping) and completely unaware that they will receive a life-changing phone call in just a few hours.  The Newbery Committee has made its selections, the press release has been drafted, and at 7:45am the awards will be announced.

Yesterday I posted the books that my four Language Arts classes chose as their Newbery Medal and Honor books.  Tonight I am posting my own hopes for the 2010 Newbery Medal and Honor books.  I’m not going specify which books should win which awards….I am just hoping that many of these books garner a shiny medal tomorrow morning!



When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

All The Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Love, Aubrey Suzanne LaFleur

The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz

When the Whistle Blows by Fran Slayton



I’ve never made a guess about the Printz Award before, but I read a lot of YA this year, so I figured I’d take a stab.  I would love to hear one of these announced as a winner tomorrow:

Fire (Graceling) by Kristin Cashore

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor




And I read so few picture books, but why not make some wild guesses for the Caldecott?  Once, I was able to say I read both the Newbery and Caldecott before they were chosen.  That was only because The Invention of Hugo Cabret won and it was not a traditional picture book! But here are some of my absolute favorites from this year:

Bella & Bean by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Love Story (Amiri And Odette) by Walter Dean Myers

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy



And here is one of my favorites for the Sibert Award:

Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491 by Charles C. Mann



Don’t forget to watch the live webcast from ALA at 7:45am tomorrow morning! I won’t be with my students, as we are off for MLK, Jr. Day so I will be tweeting with other kidlit bloggers, bright and early!

Our Mock Newbery Results!

On Friday my four Language Arts classes voted for their mock Newbery awards.  Each class voted for the book (chosen from our 4 read alouds this year) that they think most deserves the Newbery Medal.  I added up each classes votes and determined the Medal winner and one Honor book for each class (the top two vote-getters).  Then, I added up each book’s total votes from the day and determined a team winner and honor book (from my four classes).  Without further ado……

Mock Newbery Results


Overall Newbery Medal- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Honor- All The Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Period 1:

Newbery Medal–  All The Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Honor- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Period 3:

Newbery Medal–  When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Honor- All The Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Period 7:

Newbery Medal–  Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Honor- All The Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Period 8:

Newbery Medal- Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

HonorWhen You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Some comments from my students as they cast their vote….

“I think When You Reach Me should win because it was a great book….it shows what it feels like to have a best friend and have them leave you.  This book is showing that you might feel bad about someone and in the end you might not know exactly what they put on you and how you changed.”

“I think When You Reach Me should win because it’s an amazing, mind-boggling book that you need to listen carefully to and it’s just an enjoyable book.  I could even see what was going on in my head as it was being read to me.”

Anything But Typical– I think this should win because it gives life lessons and explains what kids with autism are going though.”

All The Broken Pieces should win the Newbery Medal because it was very descriptive and it made me want to keep reading.”

All The Broken Pieces should win because I felt like I was there with the characters and experiencing the events with them.”

There were also write-in votes for Being Nikki (Airhead, Book 2) by Meg Cabot, Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino, Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins, Also Known As Harper by Ann Haywood Leal.

Eighth Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

On the first day of  eighth grade, Reggie lived every student’s worst nightmare- he puked.  On stage.  Practically on the principal.  In front of everyone.  Now, his classmates only refer to him as Pukey.  Along with his out-of-work father, his annoying older sister (and her drama), and his issues at school, Reggie has a lot on his plate.  In other words, he is your typical young teen.  His greatest escape is his greatest creation- Nightman.  With his best friend, Joe C., drawing the illustrations and Reggie writing the story, his comic allows him to be the superhero he wishes he really was.

When his youth group gets involved at the local homeless shelter, Reggie’s eyes are opened to some of the problems in his own neighborhood.  His best friend, Ruthie, always looking globally and acting locally, is thrilled at the prospect of him taking on more of the world’s issues.  His other best friend, Joe C., is a little more uncomfortable with the whole thing.  Then Reggies learns that his “Little Buddy”, kindergartner Charlie, is a resident at the shelter.  But no one is more surprised than Reggie when he suddenly leaps on a table during lunch and declares his candidacy for 8th grade class president.

Really?  Can a kid everyone calls “Pukey” really become president?  And can anyone win a middle school election by talking about real issues, instead of running on a platform of popularity?

I was thrilled with this debut novel.  Longer than a typical middle grade novel, it fits that older-middle-grade niche perfectly.  I have a lot of 6th graders who are too old for many middle grade books but not really ready for YA.  Reggie is an eighth grader dealing with the day-to-day problems of being in middle school.  There are girl issues, family issues, popularity issues, faith issues,  and even global issues.  While it may sound like a kid volunteering at a homeless shelter is a little preachy (or unrealistic), Rhuday-Perkovich writes it perfectly.  Reggie is uncomfortable and unsure of himself for the first few visits, but he grows and develops as a person with each subsequent visit to the shelter.

Make no assumptions- Reggie isn’t perfect.  He isn’t a goody-two-shoes or unbelievable as a teen.  He struggles with making decisions and he doesn’t always make the right ones.  In fact, he makes the wrong decisions an awful lot.  Just like a real kid.

This is a don’t midd debut from an author I expect to hear great things from.  It wouldn’t surprise me to hear about Eighth-Grade Superzero come next year’s award season. This is a superbly written book about growing up in today’s world.

It’s Almost Newbery Time!

You can look forward to my Newbery predictions next week, but first a quick reminder:  you can watch the announcement live on the web!  I’m disappointed that we won’t be in school for the announcement (it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), but I know I will be up bright and early to watch!  It will be a little lonely, seeing as I won’t be surrounded by 40 students shouting, hooting, hollering, clapping, and generally being on the edge of their seat.

If you are like me and you are not attending ALA Midwinter next week but you still want to watch the winners announced live you can go to the live webcast of the Newbery and other awards on 1/18 at 7:45 a.m. EST (the link can be found in the press release) .  I’ll be tweeting my reactions live, barring an unforeseen exhaustion, aka oversleeping.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

I absolutely adored The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  I put off reading this for way too long and wish I had read it back in May, so I could have recommended it to my students!  

Calpurnia Virginia Tate, or Callie Vee for short, is the lone girl amongst six brothers.  The year is 1899, and girls aren’t expected to have careers when they grow up.  But Callie loves exploring, learning about nature, and spending time with her grandfather.  What she doesn’t love is knitting, cooking, and all other “household” activities.  She wants to be a scientist when she grows up, and Grandfather encourages her.  Together, they explore the countryside  as Callie learns about the scientific method and growing up.

There is so much to love about this book.  It’s historical fiction that kids will actually enjoy!  There are great little tidbits about the turn of the century- kids will love the idea that Coke was invented and wasn’t always around.  It’s also the time when automobiles were invented, science was on the brink of so many discoveries, and it was the turn of the century.  The setting is ridiculously real- you can almost feel the suffocating heat in a time before air-conditioning.  But it’s the character’s that really drive the story.

Callie reminded me a bit of Anne Shirley, of Anne of Green Gables . She’s spunky in a believable sort of way, intelligent, and self-deprecating. Her family is also well-developed, with six brothers, a mother, father, and Grandfather. One of my favorite chapters involves Callie’s utter horror when she learns that three of her brothers have developed crushes on her best friend. As the oldest of six kids, I felt Callie’s pain. Especially when she finally can’t take it anymore and divides up the days of the week, allowing each boy one day to walk her and Lula home. When they ask about the other two days of the week she tells them she needs her space! I was laughing out loud.

Pick this one up for your classroom library, but be sure to read it first. You’ll love it! This is a great pick for strong intermediate readers or middle schoolers. But I loved it even more than my students, I think! I especially can’t wait to share it with my new classes when we begin our monarch butterfly unit. I think Callie’s love of nature and science will really spark something in them, too!

This one is getting a lot of Newbery buzz, so read it now!



Purchased by me.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead’s First Light was the second book I reviewed when I started blogging. When her newest novel, When You Reach Me, started getting buzz on various blogs that I read I knew I wanted to read it when it was published in July.  

When You Reach Me is historical fiction, though I don’t think a lot of kids will even realize it.  Set in 1978, I felt subtly pulled into a different era, yet much of it was familiar. Miranda is in 6th grade, an age I know well.  Anyone who has ever been on the cusp of middle school knows what a strange world it is- one where friendships change overnight, crushes are born, and parents seem to aim only to embarrass you.  Miranda already has enough to deal with as a 6th grader so when a mystery falls into her lap she does her best to ignore it.  After all, she has a lot on her mind!  Her best friend, Sal, stopped hanging out with her.  Her mom is about to be a contestant on the $20,000 Pyramid, and she might be developing a crush on a boy in her class.  

But when Miranda receives a series of strangely prophetic letters over the course of a few months, she doesn’t know what to do.  It all begins when she finds a small, stiff piece of paper bearing the following message:


This is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well. I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, that you write me a letter. Second, that you remember to mention the location of your house key in the letter. The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you.

Each letter is odd and they seem to get stranger as the book goes on.  But when Miranda reaches the conclusion of the notes as a tragedy is sort-of-averted, you will be astonished.  I certainly was!

This is a book that is different from any other book I have read.  As a huge fan of Madeline L’Engle’s books, especially A Wrinkle in Time, Miranda’s love of the same book was a familiar one for me.  I have a feeling Rebecca Stead was also a huge fan of A Wrinkle in Time.  But this is a hard book to describe without giving away spoilers.  All I can say is go out and pre-order this one!  It ships in just a couple of weeks.

I can’t wait to read this to my class next fall.  Each chapter is short and ends on a paragraph that will have kids begging you to read more.  It’s also a fairly quick read, which I will need with my new schedule.  And I think it will garner quite a few shiny stickers come award season!

I can also imagine booktalking this one.  In 6th grade I have a lot students who enjoy the tv show LOST (as do I).  I would call When You Reach Me LOST for the middle school set.  The strands of the story all start weaving themselves together, leaving you breathless at the end, much as I imagine I will be at the end of the final season of LOST.  There’s mystery woven throughout the book yet it also feels entirely realistic.  All in all, a perfect read.