Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Four Brooklyn Schools Discuss Newbery Contenders

For the fourth consecutive year, students from four Brooklyn schools gathered on Friday, November 6, to discuss our favorite Newbery contenders of the year. With an overflowing room of almost eighty 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, we watched book trailers, recommended titles to each other, and answered trivia questions about past Newbery winners. Do you know which two Newbery medal or honor winners feature a main character named Turtle? Or which two Lois Lowry books have won Newbery medals? Our Mock Newbery Committee members do!

So, how did this gathering happen? You can read Angie's post from a couple years ago for the history. While each school -- Brooklyn Friends, Brooklyn Heights Montessori, Packer, and Saint Ann's -- has a slightly different structure and book list for our own Mock Newbery Committees, the librarians collaborate on a shared book list and generally plan two events per year, one in the fall and one after the Newbery is announced. We often have guest speakers who have served on the Newbery Committee in the past (sometimes even the current year). This time we had no guest speaker, which turned out to be for the best with such a huge group and limited time. By seating people at small tables with students from other schools and conducting pub style trivia (sans alcohol), we were able to interact across schools in a way that we haven't before, and everyone seemed to leave happy. One parent even emailed the Packer librarians a week later to ask if they'll be coming to Saint Ann's every week, since her daughter had such a great time!

Our shared list this year (in alphabetical order by title) is:

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Chasing Secrets
by Gennifer Choldenko
Circus Mirandus
by Cassie Beasley
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Fuzzy Mud
by Louis Sachar
George by Alex Gino
Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Lost in the Sun
by Lisa Graff
The Marvels
by Brian Selznick
Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson
The War That Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

If anyone's interested in our longer lists or more specifics about our individual Mock Newbery programs, email us or leave comments below -- we're friendly people!
- Hannah Mermelstein

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