Mock Newbery 2022 discussion

Half a Chance
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Book of the Month - 2015 > May Read - Half a Chance

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message 1: by Kristen (last edited May 02, 2014 03:29AM) (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 557 comments Mod
Cynthia Lord won a Newbery Honor in 2007 with the title Rules. Half a Chance is shaping up to be a strong Newbery contender in 2015. What did you think of it?

Martha I like it. But I'm still "waiting"...

Carol Royce Owen (cowen) | 20 comments I read this book in March, so here's a link to my review of it. LOVED!

Jenni | 77 comments I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to others. The author's presentation and treatment of dementia in a loved one seemed spot on to me. I spent the summer after my first year teaching caring for a great-grandmother in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Grandma Lilah's swings, as well as, her awareness of her own swings was very familiar.
My only complaint was that the book had a bit of a slow start. I wanted to feel more connected to Lucy right from the beginning. That being said, I felt very connected by the end. I just worry students might not stick with it all the way through.
I would put this in the "possibly an Honor" category, but definitely not "The One."

Jenna Friebel (jenna_friebel) | 17 comments Not that this means anything in terms of Newbery, but I totally cried near the end of this book. And that doesn't happen often. I loved it.

Lisa Nagel | 84 comments I absolutely loved this book. One of the best I have read so far this year. The students that have read it have loved it too. I agree that it deals with the issue of dementia in a very sensitive and caring way. I would love to see it win an award.

message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim McGee (kimsbookstack) | 76 comments It was a sweet story and it has a good shot at the newbery so far. The subject of dementia has not been addressed up til now and many kids will be affected by it.

Melodee Grefe | 1 comments I loved it! Cynthia Lord's books deal with sensitive topics in a wonderful way!

Kathryn (mrskathryn) | 4 comments I enjoyed this book and have had several of my students read it -- it addresses some tough real-life topics in a way that is accessible to all of my 5th graders, even those who have been struggling.

message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 30 comments This one is a contender...I hated to put it down.

Czechgirl | 214 comments My library just got this book in last week, so I am just now getting to my review. Here are my thoughts...I really liked this story. It reminded me that visiting On Golden Pond's Lake was on my bucket list. My grandfather had dementia, so I can appreciate the experiences Grandma Lilah was experiencing along with what her family was experiencing also. I loved how the author took the list of contest "topics" and placed those topics as the chapter titles and how those topics flowed with the story.--very creative. I don't believe I have seen that done yet. I also liked that it was a summer story and a coming-of-age story--those tend to be one of my favorite kind of stories. I feel it is a contender for the Newbery.

Josephine Sorrell (jothebookgirl) | 251 comments Half a Chance is a contendor. there is so much emotion in this book.

Virginia (virginiap) | 32 comments I totally enjoyed Half a Chance. I feel, as many others have said, that it is a well-written story that addresses issues that middle-grade students may be navigating-- friendship, change, aging/dementia in family members or friends, and environmental issues. I love that the book is organized by chapters titled by the required photos in Lucy's photo-scavenger hunt, and the "lens" of looking at things as a photographer would. More and more of my students are getting into photography and would likely relate. Most of all, I felt a strong emotional connection to this book and its characters--particularly in the last several chapters. The characters are well-developed, and the relationships between them feel real. I think this is a strong Newbery contender--probably the strongest I've read... yet!

Marcie (marcieloveskidslit) | 65 comments I keep thinking of a favorite Pictures of Hollis Woods. Not sure why, except the tie in to art. Definitely my #1 Newbery possible so far, but i'm in tge middle of Revolution and I love Deborah Wiles also. A perfect mix of beautiful language and emotional tie-in to the characters. The use of photography and art and love for nature makes this a unique book. I love the chapter titles.

Christina Karvounis | 3 comments I enjoyed HALF A CHANCE. The realistic, current nature of the dialogue and character traits will link in a wide range of readers. The book also addresses new friendships and changes with aging (dementia and family relationships) well.

But I did find the story a bit hollow; I kept waiting for the story to dig deeper. I believe the book tries to address too much, and as a result offers shallow treatment.

Overall, this book will appeal to (and be readily comprehended) by a range of readers.

message 16: by Donna (new)

Donna Preece | 21 comments I think Half A Chance is a contender for the Newbery. I would recommend it to other professionals. It deals with realistic problems in a tender and factual way. Lucy's relocation, her absent parent, Grandma Lilah's dementia, and creating friendship are all issues that young readers would easily relate to. Add to that the Loon Patrol and the information about nature/the loons, and the chance to look at the world through the eye of a photographer and this for me is a possible winner. I love the way the author titled the chapters to connect with the contest requirements. It made me want to grab my camera, run outside and lok at the world around me in a new way! Love this book.

message 17: by Kate (new)

Kate (ktlms) | 5 comments I really enjoyed reading Half a Chance! It reminded me of Junonia by Kevin Henkes. Kids would relate well to this story because the friends come together to protect the loons, and for the aforementioned reasons. Yes,I think this one is a contender.

message 18: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy Desetti (jdesetti) | 10 comments Just finished Half a Chance FABULOUS! Just had to add my two cents to this title. I really think kids will love this. I added it to my library and can't wait to book talk this one in the fall.

So glad I read the updates and get great recommendations. I sent this one along to our state wide book committee for review for next year's list. Hope it is on there. And think this one is worthy of Newbery Award.

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 96 comments I enjoyed Half A Chance. The author succeeded at creating distinctive but credible characters, constructing a plot that dealt with serious issues realistically and dramatically (not melodramatically), and as an added bonus, provided the reader with a substantive introduction to the practice of photography. I am not sure whether this rises to the level of a Newbery, but it was nicely done.

Sarah Wilsman | 35 comments Definitely a would be great in a classroom because of it's many talking points and extension possibilities. I also think students would read it for pleasure, and I really enjoyed it.

Reving | 106 comments This is a great group! I am trying to read all of your suggestions! I loved Nightingale's Nest, West of the Moon, Revolution, and the just-finished Half a Chance. Snicker of Magic was not for me. But the best book I've read so far this year has been Brown Girl Dreaming by Woodson. Any thoughts on this one for Newbery potential?

Carol M | 46 comments I did not expect to like this book but it's my favorite of the ones we've read so far (up to June). I liked that the author wasn't heavy handed with the dementia issue. I loved the photography challenge and the way she described both making a good picture and the different ways one can illustrate an idea. This is a book I can easily recommend.

Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer | 31 comments I thought this was a quiet and charming book, but not quite Newbery material.

Reving | 106 comments I liked this! My thoughts here :

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