In addition to the Mock Printz this January, I’m also going to a Mock Newbery workshop.  For some reason, I’m not as fired up about these titles, but it’s been a few years since I went to one (the infamous year of Criss Cross, which I couldn’t even bring myself to finish for the workshop), so I’m looking forward to it.  This is a longer, full-day workshop, so hopefully that will mean more time to discuss each title.  Here’s the list:

  • Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone. Candlewick, 2009.
  • Heart of a Shepherd by Roseanne Parry.  Random House Books for Young Readers, 2009.
  • How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
  • The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick, 2009.
  • Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman.  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009.
  • A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck.  Dial, 2009.
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  Wendy Lamb Books, 2009.
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009.

So far I’ve read When You Reach Me and A Season of Gifts, and out of the two my choice would be When You Reach Me.  I like that they’ve thrown some non-fiction and poetry into the mix, and all in all they’re fairly short books, which works in my favor when I’ve got two lists to read through.  I am disappointed that my personal favorite, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, didn’t make the list, but such is life.  I’ll update as I work through the list and add more reviews.

Also, for anyone who enjoys the whole Mock Newbery thing, the SLJ blog Heavy Medal is a must read.  They’ve discussed A Season of Gifts and When You Reach Me at length, and there are some interesting conversations going on about plot, style, nonfiction, age level, and where picture book texts fit into things.  Always thoughtful and occasionally riling – and definitely look at the comments.