|Emerson 2014 Mock Newbery notes|
"The President Has Been Shot!" Ben said,
"I think Swanson really changed perspectives and you could feel like you were Lee Harvey Oswald, having a tough life and then switching to JFK and being the president."Bella held firm to her opinion that it was difficult to connect to the characters in this nonfiction book, instead putting forth the example of Serafina:
"The author helped us go inside of Serafina and understand her feelings and emotions."Natalie agreed, especially noting that she could empathize with Serafina "because she had to go through a rough life, but she still tried to see the happy things in it, not just the miserable."
Julia felt that Kirby Larson kept the plot moving perfectly in Duke:
"I thought Duke was really well paced because it didn’t really drag on about anything, but kept your interest."One Came Home: "It really laid out the plot so you got to understand the character and why she had to figure out this mystery, and then her personality made the things she did more realistic." Naomi liked the plot twists that kept readers engaged, especially the fiasco involving the counterfeit money.
Our discussion went on to cover setting, language and themes as well. We focused on positive examples, but also brought up examples where we felt the books were weak. This structure helped us talk about the literary qualities in each book, and not just our individual emotional reactions.
Drum roll please -- we all were eager to see how the votes came in --
Emerson School Mock Newbery Medal:Six of our ten members voted for Serafina's Promise as one of their top three books of the year. This title has certainly been recognized by library journals (it's one of Kirkus Review's best of the year), but hasn't made it to other Mock Newbery ballots. For a great round-up, check out Betsy Bird's post at Fuse #8.
- Serafina’s Promise, by Ann E. Burg
Emerson School Mock Newbery Honors:
- Flora & Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo
- One Came Home, by Amy Timberlake
- Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
- "The President Has Been Shot!", by James L. Swanson
So we're all now all-a-twitter over which books will be honored by the Newbery Committee. I'll certainly be watching the ALA Youth Media Awards live broadcast here:
ALA YOUTH MEDIA AWARDSMany thanks to my terrific book club at Emerson, my intrepid partner Armin Arethna, and all the publishers who supported our endeavor. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.
DATE: January 27, 2014
TIME: 8 A.M. (EST)
WEBCAST: Click here
©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books