Newbery 2020: Looking Ahead
Now that MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS has won the 2019 Newbery Medal, it’s time to start thinking about the 2020 Medal. Discussions will resume here on Heavy Medal in September, 2019. In the meantime, there are already some interesting possibilities out, with more on the way. Jen J’s Starred Reviews is an excellent resource if you want to keep track of which new books are earning praise from review journals. The Good Reads Newbery Watch List is also useful. Another way to keep up will be to read the monthly Suggestions on Heavy Medal. We’ll start this up again in early March, asking readers to share titles they’ve read that might merit Newbery consideration. Look for a post in early March with a call for Suggestions and some guidelines.
Meanwhile, here are a few titles that I’m eager to try, though I’ve only read one so far:
THE END OF THE WORLD AND BEYOND by Avi [Jan]
A sequel to THE UNEXPECTED LIFE OF OLIVER CROMWELL PITTS by a past winner of the Newbery Medal and two Honors.
THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Choksi [Jan]
First in a new fantasy series with lots of strong reviews so far.
THE ROOTS OF RAP by Carole Boston Weatherford [Jan]
Free verse history of hip-hop by a previous Newbery Honor winner.
NEW KID by Jerry Craft [Feb]
An early-in-the-year graphic novel with good reviews.
ON THE COME UP by Angie Thomas [Feb]
The second book by the author of THE HATE U GIVE, which won a Printz Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor in 2018.
PAY ATTENTION CARTER JONES by Gary Schmidt [Feb]
Schmidt has two Newbery Honors so far. This is the one I did read and liked. A lot.
WATCH US RISE by Renee Watson & Ellen Hagan [Feb]
Two authors (one with a Newbery Honor award), two points of view, timely issues.
SWEEPING UP THE HEART by Kevin Henkes [Mar]
Henkes has two Newbery Honors and a Caldecott Medal (plus two Caldecott Honors). Can he match Robert Lawson, the only person ever to Medal in both?
RETURN OF THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner [Mar]
The sixth and supposedly final book in the “Queen’s Thief” series. The first won a Newbery Honor. [Never mind: Monica notes that this one’s been rescheduled for 2020 after all]
ANGEL THIEVES by Kathi Appelt [Mar]
Another past Newbery Honor winner.
WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo [Apr]
She just won the Printz and the Belpre with THE POET X. This one’s about a high school senior, so maybe a stretch for Newbery.
ENEMY CHILD by Andrea Warren [Apr]
True story of congressman Norman Mineta’s time in an internment camp by an excellent nonfiction author.
What titles are you looking forward to?…
Filed under: Book Discussion
About Steven Engelfried
Steven Engelfried was the Library Services Manager at the Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon until he retired in 2022 after 35 years as a full-time librarian. He served on the 2010 Newbery committee, chaired the 2013 Newbery Committee, and also served on the 2002 Caldecott committee. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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