Gold Medal Winner
Newbery Honor Books
Four of the five winners were in my First Round of Newbery Contenders….I absolutely loved the books on my First Round List. My favorite character of the year was Georgia Burkhardt in the book One Came Home. I adored this book and had my fingers crossed, but wasn’t sure the judges would vote for it. Had I been on the committee, I would have fought hard for One Came Home. This was an historical/murder mystery that I couldn’t put down. The most creative book of the year was a toss up for me…I couldn’t decide between Flora and Ulysses and A Tangle of Knots. The Year of Billy Miller will keep fans of last year’s book Wonder with a good read in their hands. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers, and I can see it becoming a mentor text or read aloud in many classrooms for years to come. Just like Splendors and Glooms (2012), Doll Bones was one of those books that I appreciated for the writing, and felt it was a strong contender for a Newbery, but would have probably steered away from as a child because this genre would have kept me up at night. On another note, Doll Bones is probably the most creative coming-of-age book I have ever read. I thought that the historical context Paperboy might be a reach for most elementary students; I would recommend this book to students who have some background knowledge of the summer of 1959, the beginning of the civil rights movement and the segregated south. The only book that I’m saddened to see didn’t make the final cut was A Tangle of Knots, although it didn’t receive a Newbery, I feel it is going to be a sure hit with readers who love quirky characters and have the patience to untangle a good plot.