Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mid-Year Newbery Predictions: Rachael Edition

The Big Gold Medal

 About 3/4 of the way through this one, I turned to Sam and said, "So, what do you think Anne Ursu will wear to the banquet for her acceptance speech?"

I was a pretty big fan of Breadcrumbs, but I think this one is even more well-crafted, (and - crucially, at the Newbery table - less potentially divisive). I don't want to steal the thunder of Sam's upcoming review, but everything - character, setting, theme, style - fits together to make a truly distinguished novel. Ms. Ursu is at the top of her game.

I luuuuuurve it.

The Fairly Large Silver Medals

I love this one almost as much as I love The Real Boy, but I think it will go silver - partly due to its sequel status. As I believe Sam is going to point out in an upcoming post, there's actually nothing in the rules preventing sequels from winning, but they've been overlooked for the medal for the past couple of decades.

Linda Urban's about due for some Newbery recognition, isn't she? And maybe this is the book that will earn it. It was the first book I reviewed this year, and its intricate structure and emotional honesty have stayed with me for lo these many months.

Ok, this is really more of a wish than a prediction, but Henkes captures a moment in the emotional life of a child so perfectly here that I just have to add it to my Honor list.

But what about...?

This is an impressive book. It is also completely polarizing. I have a hard time imagining fifteen people agreeing on its charms.

I'm in the "good, but not Newbery good" camp on this one. I think it lags behind some of the other titles in character development and style.

Why This Post is Full of Bologna

Here's what's still sitting on my "to read" shelf:

...and many more. So I will no doubt be eating my words come November, December, and most assuredly, January.


  1. Yep. Went to put "The Real Boy" on hold. Doesn't come out til September. DARN YOU AND YOUR ARCS!

    1. Heh. We only got that ARC because Sam has been fangirling all over Anne Ursu's publisher for the past year. But yeah, we usually wait at least a little closer to the publication date to start talking about things...

  2. I was wondering the same thing. Tried to find it....not out! Looked on Net Galley - not there. Wasn't able to get Doll Bones on Net Galley either because it is from the UK (if I remember correctly that is what the email said). Oh well. Guess I'll just have to wait.

    1. NetGalley wouldn't give me Doll Bones either for some reason, but it's actually out now,

  3. The Real Boy is so good. It is on the top of my list with Doll Bones (which I like more than you do, obviously).

    P.S. Be Eleven is next on my pile right after I read Rose Under Fire (because I just can't wait any longer).

    I wasn't wowed by The Center of Everything. I thought it was good, but didn't stand out in anyway.

    I agree Hokey Pokey is too polarizing to probably gain a consensus, which makes me a happy camper since I'm in the hater camp on that book. :-)

  4. I agree that HOKEY POKEY is too polarizing to stand a chance (though I'd love to be wrong as I'm a fan) and also am right next to you as to Henke's perfect take on a young child's moral dilemma in PENNY AND HER MARBLE. And the more I think about PS BE ELEVEN the stronger it gets for me. I also really liked the new Kathi Appelt which is getting lots of stars --- I think it comes out very soon.

    I'm also hoping some nonfiction is going to bounce up before long. Mr. Hunt has given me a couple of recommendations that I want to get to soon (hard because of all the tantalizing stuff I picked up at ALA --- some of which are 2014 pubs so I should put them aside for sure).

    1. Can you share the nonfiction recommendations? All the good nonfiction I've read this year has been in picture book form. (Which is odd, given the Common Core frenzy.)

  5. These are the cream of the crop for me. The last one may have eligibility issues. We'll have to explore that more fully in the fall.

    ERUPTION! by Elizabeth Rusch
    IMPRISONED by Martin Sandler
    "THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!" by James Swanson
    THE NAZI HUNTERS by Neal Bascomb

  6. Since the last is an adaptation of an adult book I can't imagine it would be deemed eligible.

  7. Yeah, I wanted to check the adult book first to make sure that it's really an adaptation (unlike the Kurlansky example which is most definitely NOT an adaptation in any stretch of the imagination). It's a pity since NAZI HUNTERS is a great book. Hopefully, Scholastic can convince Bascomb to write an original nonfiction book for children/young adults like Swanson did with THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT.