Sunday, November 21, 2010

When Mocking Reading is a Good Thing

The 2011 Newbery Award winner will be announced on January 10, 2011. For the first time, Queens is joining libraries and schools across the country in speculating which book will be awarded this medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The Mock Newbery titles selected by Queens Library include:

Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper

The War to End All Wars
by Russell Freedman

The Waterseeker
by Kimberly Willis Holt

The Boneshaker
by Kate Milford

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth
by Lynne Rae Perkins

One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia

This is an enjoyable professional development opportunity to offer librarians serving youth. The process began early this year when the Children's Materials Specialist formed a small committee of interested children's librarians. Suggestions were gathered each month through email with two in-person meetings necessary to narrow and vote out titles.

We are holding our debut Mock Newbery event on a morning a few days before the official award winners are announced. As it does require much reading, participation is optional. There will be time to discuss each book, followed by a vote (as detailed in the Newbery Selection Manual)and finally the announcement of the winner and honor books.

All children's librarians participate in the Mock Caldecott as part of our regularly scheduled youth services meetings. These titles will be announced shortly!

Mock Newbery Resources:

Newbery Award terms & criteria
Don't be fooled by authors without American citizenship!

Lisa Van Drasek, librarian at Bank Street College of Education, holds a Mock Newbery each year with her students. She posted her selections back in September, along with more behind the mock process.

Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog featured on School Library Journal

Allen County Public Library chose an impressive reading list of twenty two titles for librarians to discuss, and also offers a more concise list for children in grades 3 -6 who are interested in participating.

Kings County Library System narrowed the field down to eight choices, and invites parents and children to join the discussion and voting.

Elizabeth Bird, children's librarian at New York Public Library, previous Newbery committee member, and blogger extraordinaire, speculates from time to time on what will be chosen for this award as well as the Caldecott.


  1. Hi Sarah,

    I found your blog by way of Elizabeth Bird...and I wish I'd found it sooner :) I'm a children's librarian in the Chicago area and enjoyed spending some time here and getting new ideas. Off to subscribe, so I look forward to hearing more!


  2. Hello from Ohio!

    Spoke with your mom and she let me know about your new position in Queens and your blog. What a great resource you've created here. And huge congratulations on your fantastic new job! Here's how you can keep up with me:

    Hope to see you at another bookish conference SOON ;-)
    Mary Burkey

  3. Hello Parry... thanks for your comment! Hope you will chime in with your experience working in a large urban library system. Take care!

    And hi Ms. Burkey! Too bad I wasn't at the grocery store with my mom, but I'm sure our paths will cross again soon (sadly not this weekend at Midwinter). Thanks for your kind words and your impressive blog has bookmarked.. woah! All the best!