San Diego Mock Winners!
We had a small turnout–just five people–but nevertheless managed a spirited and engaging discussion of our nine shortlisted titles. We also accomplished something I’ve never encountered in all my years of mock Newberys: We had a unanimous winner. All five people voted for ECHO with their 1st place vote.
But it gets better! We were also unanimous on our 2nd place vote: MOST DANGEROUS. Could we also be unanimous on our third place vote? No, but we were close with a 4-1 split. One person voted for GOODBYE STRANGER; the other four (including myself) voted for THE HIRED GIRL.
Thus, you’ll notice we called our winners without even counting the points. ECHO is our Newbery Medal, while MOST DANGEROUS and THE HIRED GIRL are Newbery Honors. It kind of reminds me of 2013 when another juvenile title–THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN–bested Schlitz (SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS) and Sheinkin (BOMB).
Our discussion focused largely on the positive qualities of each book. The only two that I thought were out of the running based on the discussion were ROLLER GIRL and RHYTHM RIDE which, wonderful though they were, suffered in comparison to DROWNED CITY and MOST DANGEROUS, respectively.
We look forward to seeing what Oakland picks in a couple of weeks . . .
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About Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the Coordinator of Library Media Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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