Mock Newbery 2022 discussion

162 views
Book of the Month - 2016 > December Reads - 2016

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 560 comments Mod
These books were mentioned most on our December selection thread.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick The Marvels by Brian Selznick

George by Alex Gino George by Alex Gino

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

All three are very different books. What did you think of them?


message 2: by Czechgirl (last edited Dec 01, 2015 05:39PM) (new)

Czechgirl | 214 comments First, The Marvels:

While reading this book, I had it pegged as an easy 5 starred book. I really enjoyed it and found it creative. However, I was a bit disappointed in the end. The author took a lot of time detailing the "fiction" story of the Marvels, letting the reader learn about Joseph and him exploring his efforts in finding the truth behind his family's history/Marvels history, but then I felt that Albert's sudden love for his nephew in the end and the quick ending to wrap up the story was rushed--I know this sounds weird given that it is a pretty thick book. However, this quick ending moved the book from a 5-starred book to a 4-starred book for this. I don't think this book is a contender because the art work at the ending tells the rest of the story. The end of the story is not narrative and relies on the pictures to tell the conclusion. However, the committee might overlook this???


message 3: by Czechgirl (last edited Dec 01, 2015 04:01PM) (new)

Czechgirl | 214 comments Second, George:

Actually, I was a little disappointed in this book. I guess I am supposed to really like it because of the transgender topic it covers and I so much wanted to like this book. I did like how the author did write what was going on in the little boy's/girl's "George's) mind; however, I really didn't care for the plot/storyline, and the writing really wasn't that great. So although the topic was admirable, I thought the book was just okay. This is not a Newbery worthy to me.


message 4: by Czechgirl (new)

Czechgirl | 214 comments Third, The Hired Girl:

It has been actually several days since I have read this book, and I find myself thinking about this book. Joan/Julie cracked me up. As a 47 year old, I was getting a little irritated by the protagonist's diary entries with one day stating: "Oh, this is the most wonderful day. . ." and then the next diary entry would state the opposite, "Oh, I am so horrible and in so much trouble. The worst has happened. . ." But then I had to remember--the girl is 14 and has taken on a lot of responsibilities and yes, I was once a silly girl when I was young when I had no responsibilities and could think about boys all day long. When I was reading this book, I could not put it down. When I stopped reading, I couldn't wait to read the book again. I remember really liking Schlitz's book Splendor and Glooms, but this book beats that. Loved the book after I finished it and I still love the book several days later when thinking about it every once in a while. This is the type of book that makes it hard to go on and just pick up another book to read because your mind just keeps on lingering back on the silly Joan/Julie. Great story and great ending. To me, this is a good choice for a Newbery nod and hope it is honored with some kind of recognition.

Out of all the 2015 books I read this year, my favorite is Full Cicada Moon for Newbery. If you haven't read it, I recommend it.


message 5: by LauraW (new)

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 107 comments I just finished Full Cicada Moon and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. It isn't a complicated story, but it seems to real and, eventually, such a worthwhile conclusion - even for old people like me.


message 6: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn  | 7 comments Czechgirl wrote: "Second, George:

Actually, I was a little disappointed in this book. I guess I am supposed to really like it because of the transgender topic it covers and I so much wanted to like this book. I did..."


I couldn't agree more. It just did not resonate with me at all. It felt very contrived. I'm looking forward to reading Gracefully Grayson which deals with the same topic.


message 7: by Mary HD (new)

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 96 comments Czechgirl wrote: "Second, George:

Actually, I was a little disappointed in this book. I guess I am supposed to really like it because of the transgender topic it covers and I so much wanted to like this book. I did..."


This was my reaction as well.


message 8: by Tamsyn (new)

Tamsyn | 75 comments I definitely preferred Gracefully Grayson to George which I read a year ago and which is more appropriate for the middle school audience I serve. I am goad this title is available to younger students, however.


message 9: by Geebowie (new)

Geebowie | 10 comments I really enjoyed George. I liked how the author used female pronouns. I read Gracefully Grayson while back so i dont remember it enough to compare the two.


message 10: by Emma (new)

Emma (emmartorr) | 18 comments Of the three I've only read George, and I agree with what others have said. Noteworthy topic, but the plot and writing just falls flat. I also thought that the author employed way too many gender stereotypes in order to showcase that George doesn't fit into the male gender stereotype. All things considered, this one is just too mediocre to even be a contender in my opinion.


message 11: by Kate (new)

Kate | 173 comments I think George is a ground-breaking book. It provides a narrative about the disconnect between a mental self image and interactions with the outside world. I like the way Charlotte's Web, a widely read children's book, is integrated into the story. This provides a broader reader appeal. I am sure it is not only transgender kids who are unhappy with their bodies.

Since the characters are 10 years old, it does seems appropriate that they focus on superficial gender differences, such as wearing make-up or pretty dresses. However, I do agree with the mother that age 10 is very young to be making a life-long determination about gender identity or sexual preference.

As a librarian, I was disappointed in the author's reliance on the credibility of the Internet for research on such a complex subject. But that only reinforces the need for this and other books. I consider George a strong contender for the Newbery.


message 12: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 77 comments Of these three, I think The Hired Girl has the best chance of winning something, although I wouldn't be surprised to see it get a Printz. I really enjoyed the character development and all of the historical information about a Jewish household from this time period. It has been an easy book to recommend to several older (5th/6th grade) readers.

Of course, I loved The Marvels, but I just don't know what the committee will do with it. I felt the same way about Hugo, and although I was happy to see it get some recognition, I was really crossing my fingers for a Newbery that year. Perhaps El Deafo paved the way to let a book like this win a Newbery instead.

As for George, I feel the same as many others, in that I had high hopes for the book, appreciated the attempt to tackle a difficult subject, but was ultimately disappointed in the writing. Mostly, the book felt rushed to me, as if some agents and editors just pushed it through to get it out there. It's too bad, because it is a missed opportunity. Hopefully someone will be able to create a really beautiful book incorporating this issue.


message 13: by Monica (last edited Dec 11, 2015 02:32AM) (new)

Monica Edinger | 64 comments "Perhaps El Deafo paved the way to let a book like this win a Newbery instead."

Just to say as someone who was on the Newbery Committee the year of HUGO, I don't think it is about paving the way as much as the book itself. With HUGO the images were critical to an appreciation of the story, it seemed to me. I couldn't get my mind around the criteria in thinking about "text" as not being just words.

That was't so much the case with EL DEAFO (I wrote the following blog post to prove that and like to think it may have helped last year's Committee: https://medinger.wordpress.com/2015/0...)

The struggle for me with THE MARVELS is that the images are key it seems to me to the story. I still have an old-fashioned sense of text as words and am, I guess, a bit rule-bound in terms of the criteria. However, someone over at the Heavy Medal Blog has a Mock Newbery group of kids who seem to feel that it has a shot. (http://blogs.slj.com/heavymedal/2015/...)

I definitely have MARVELS on my Newbery goodreads list and would love to be proved wrong:)


message 14: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 77 comments Monica-Thanks for the input. I think there was a time when a heavily illustrated book wouldn't have been even considered for the Newbery regardless of the quality of the text. El Deafo might have broken that barrier a little. I also admit I'd like to see more flexibility in the rules.


message 15: by Martha (new)

Martha Out of these three titles, I believe The Hired Girl is the best in terms of Newbery criteria, as well as being the most enjoyable to me personally. I was totally 'into it' and it stayed with me as a reminder of what that age is like, even in a setting that was not my own.


message 16: by Mary HD (new)

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 96 comments Loved THE HIRED GIRL, but I think this is a YA novel with YA themes and a difficult fit for the Newbery.

With Joan, Schlitz presents the impetuousness of an adolescent, reaching out for one new experience after another, confident that she knows what she's about. Each experience extends Joan’s understanding of her expanding world, up to and including offering herself to the young man of her dreams. (Sorry, this ain’t a typical Newbery literary focus.) Fortunately, Joan possesses a resilient temperament, so when she has clearly misunderstood a situation, she adapts and immediately heads off on another tangent. Joan’s exuberance (and volatility) makes for entertaining reading.

Almost as important to the novel as Schlitz’s vibrant delineation of character is her attention to the details of the book’s setting in early-20th-century Baltimore. Her decision to ground the story in the ins-and-outs of Jewish and Catholic culture was unusual and compelling. (Very few books for young readers these days treat religion as a significant but normal aspect of everyday life.)

I hope this memorable book gets some award recognition, but I would expect it to be a Printz not a Newbery.


message 17: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristine_a) | 71 comments According to the rules it is newbery range if it appeals up to a 14 year old. I wish they'd change the rule to make a clearer split between middle grade and YA awards. But until they do we consider a book like clementine and the hired girl in the same category.


message 18: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 5 comments Hello! Our 5th grade class is trying to pick the Newbery Award winner. Many of us loved Marvels but we're wondering if it can actually win the Newbery because of how much of the story is told by the pictures. Brian Selznick's Invention of Hugo Cabret was also fantastic and it won the Caldecot.

What are your thoughts on Marvels being considered by the actual Newbery committee?


message 19: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 161 comments Lindsey wrote: "Hello! Our 5th grade class is trying to pick the Newbery Award winner. Many of us loved Marvels but we're wondering if it can actually win the Newbery because of how much of the story is told by th..."

I think that if Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures can win, then so can Marvels. It seems to me that the "language" stipulation of the Newbery criteria has been bent to include visual language.

That being said, I felt that the prose portion of Marvels didn't live up to the visual portions. It gave the book an uneven feel.


message 20: by Tck (new)

Tck Reads | 1 comments I hear what everyone is saying about the writing in George, but I think the simplicity and approachability on the potentially sensitive issue of transgender kids, is appropriate for middle readers. I agree that there were stereotypes, but this also fits the audience. That said, I think this is a very timely and very important topic, and Alex Gino hit it out of the park. Is it worthy of a Newberry because of that? Maybe. Is it the best written novel of the year? No. Does that matter as much given what this book could achieve? Depends on the committee, I guess.


message 21: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Ford-Salyer (deborahford) | 7 comments I just finished Full Cicada Moon. Wow. Reviews call it a "blend of Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right." I love the characters, both adult and kid. It's an interesting time period. 1969. Main character Mimi is half Japanese, half black, "but all her." You'll need tissues too.

It's a late release (Sept). Read it. You and your kids will love it.


message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen Ferry (librarygarden) | 86 comments Deborah wrote: "I just finished Full Cicada Moon. Wow. Reviews call it a "blend of Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up f..."

Deborah,
I loved FCM as well. I agree the time period was very interesting for a mixed race family in small town Vermont. Yes, each of the characters stood out in a different ways and went through great character development. FCM will be wonderful for upper grade lit study groups. It needs to be added to my "gotta get it" list...always so long!


back to top