Friday, January 6, 2017

The 2017 Mock Newbery Discussion

On Thursday, January 5, 16 librarians gathered at SCLS for the 2017 Mock Newbery Discussion group - and there was more excitement than you might expect! More on that later. First, meet the candidates:

Our ten chosen titles were The Best Man by Richard Peck, Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz, Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee, Moo by Sharon Creech, Pax by Sara Pennypacker, Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, and Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Quite a lineup!

After coffee and snacks, we kicked off the day with introductions and defenses of each title from our bold volunteer Newbery Champions. Our group then made a circle to discuss the merits of each title, one at a time, for about seven minutes per title. About half-way through, chaos struck - the fire alarm went off! Everyone grabbed their things and we filed out on to the front lawn. I was making contingency plans in my head for whether or not we would be able to pick a winner - maybe an online poll? - when I turn around to see this:

 That's right. This intrepid group of librarians would not be stopped by evacuation, wind and weather! They made a circle in the parking lot and kept going. They even kept to the time schedule! I've never been so impressed. They got through a few more books in the parking lot before we got the OK to go into the other half of the building while the fire department checked out the half where the alarm had gone off. So we shuffled off into yet another room where, you guessed it, they kept going!

The group finished up the last few books and voted on makeshift ballots. While we were tallying, the OK was given to move back into the auditorium, so we completed our circular journey back where we started, and finished counting up the votes. In the end we had a runaway winner and two honor books. Drumroll please...

Our winner is the timeless and touching Pax by Sara Pennypacker! Pax dominated with 41 overall points as well as the majority of first-place votes. Our two honor books were The Wild Robot by Peter Brown and Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk, with 36 and 32 points respectively. Congrats to our winners and our mock committee, and thank you all for dedicating your time and effort to this year's discussion! See you again in 2018!

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