Oakland Mock Newbery Results
What a nice day I had discussing this batch of outstanding books with this gang of outstanding people! Thanks to all who came out and thanks, especially, to those who helped to organize. Look at this awesome crew! I’m really sorry I jumped right in front of Melissa and blocked her face as my self-timer went off. Total party foul!
So, we had something unprecedented happen this year. We CLEARLY selected a winner and a single honor book with one ballot. None of us could remember a time this had happened before.
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
This is how the points panned out:
- Juana & Lucas – 0
- Full of Beans – 2
- Pax – 2
- Samurai Rising – 3
- Some Writer – 5
- When the Sea Turned to Silver – 7
- When Green Becomes Tomatoes – 8
- Ghost – 21
- Wolf Hollow – 33
And here’s the spread:
With such a clear first place winner and a large amount of secondary support for our honor book, we agreed with a quick discussion that we didn’t find the rest of the books to be distinguished enough to merit honors. None of our other books received any 1st place votes and the difference in point from Ghost to the next highest title, When Green Becomes Tomatoes, was a full 13 points.
We did have some extra time and talked a little bit about creation of the shortlist and the potential in future years to try less hard to have a diverse set of books in terms of genre and age range, instead focussing more in on age range or type of book to do a more apples to apples comparison.
Of course the real committee is comparing apples to apples to oranges to oranges to strawberries, and we have to figure out how to narrow in in a way that leads to fulfilling fruitful discussion that also gives a fun sense of how the actual committee works. Things to ponder over the next year!
Only one week until we get to see the real winner and honors! And lucky us, we had a real committee member in our discussion today, so we feel a little bit special, like our voices might have been louder than usual.
About Sharon McKellar
Sharon McKellar is the Supervising Librarian for Teen Services at the Oakland Public Library in California. She has served on the Rainbow List Committee, the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee, The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee, and the 2015 Caldecott Committee. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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