Rachael's given you her mid-year Newbery predictions, so without further ado, here are mine:
The Big Gold Medal
I was bitterly disappointed when Breadcrumbs was shut out of the 2012 YMAs, but I don't think I'll have to be disappointed again. The Real Boy hits each of the applicable Newbery criteria so hard that it will take them weeks to get back up. This was Rachael's pick, and I'm also behind it 110%.
The Fairly Large Silver Medals
Though they're very different books, I think The Water Castle may be this year's Three Times Lucky -- a middle-grade debut that wins readers (and the committee) over with its intricate plotting. The Water Castle also features strong characters and a lovely, atmospheric mood, and I think it may come away with an Honor.
I may be letting my heart rule my head here, but this is such a lovely and dexterous collection of poems, and the Newbery has seemed increasingly willing to recognize poetry over the last decade or so. I'd love to see this one take an Honor.
But what about...?
Courage Has No Color might be this year's We've Got a Job -- a very, very good book that doesn't have quite enough to make it onto the Newbery list. I do believe that it has an excellent shot at the Sibert though.
This one is my dark horse candidate for the YMAs. I've hardly seen anyone talking about it, but it's a lovely and honest look at a highly controversial figure. Again, I don't think it wins over the Newbery committee, but I'm hoping the Sibert folks warm to its considerable merits.
It's a lovely book, no question about it, but given the Newbery's long-standing aversion to easy readers, I just don't think it's going to happen. I hope this Penny wins the Geisel though.
Why I Have No Idea What I'm Talking About
Here are just some of the things I still have to read. So much is still to come before Newbery Day 2014!