Today's Newbery predictions come from Sally Oddi, owner of our VERY FAVORITE children's bookstore in the world--Cover to Cover. (You may want to subscribe to their newsletter on the site!) Sally is a genius when it comes to children's books and if you live anywhere near Columbus, Ohio, you already know that. So, here is her Newbery thinking:
Edward's Eyes. Patricia MacLachlan. Atheneum, 2007.
This short novel is a gem. The author introduces the reader to a rambling
family and their extended family of friends that live on the Cape (Cod) and
love baseball. As we follow the family through a year, they experience love
and heartbreaking loss, but show us the resiliency that comes with hope.
Fire From the Rock. Sharon M. Draper. Dutton, 2007.
The integration of schools in Little Rock is the setting for this novel and
Sharon Draper illustrates the many points of view of families, both black
and white, with understanding and care. One of the pivotal events of the
civil rights movement, school integration affected young and old alike. The
complexities of institutional racism and efforts to end it, as experienced
by Sylvia Patterson and her family, brings the civil rights movement to
life for another generation.
Iron Thunder. Avi. Hyperion, 2007.
The building of the ironclad the Monitor was an endeavor filled with physical, financial, scientific and political challenges and 13-year-old Tom Carroll is in thick of it. Because of his small size he is recruited to work on welding particularly small spaces in the interior of the ship and becomes a witness to historic events that changed the course of the Civil War. Adventure and excitement are found on every page as Tom is pursued by spies, thugs, and eventually the Merrimac!
Book of a Thousand Days. Shannon Hale.Bloomsbury, 2007.
Lady Saren and her maid Dashti are imprisoned in the tower because Lady
Saren has refused to marry the man her father has chosen. In this little
known Grimm tale adapted by Hale, Dashti keeps a journal of their days, both
hopeful; and frightening. This is a romantic retelling with a satisfying
Uprising. Maragaret Peterson Haddix. Simon & Schuster, 2007.
Haddix weaves a compelling tale of three young woman, one wealthy and two
working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, with the history of labor
unionization, the plight of young immigrant workers, and the birth of the
women rights movement. It is both believable and possible that these young
women could have met and become friends, had they been real historical
figures. The tragedy of the fire that is a part of our early industrial
history is handled with precision and care, and the historical details are
well-researched but not overwhelming.
Wednesday Wars. Gary D. Schmidt. Clarion, 2007.
Holling HoodHood spends his Wednesday afternoons in 1967 reading Shakespeare with his 7th grade teacher, because he is the lone Protestant, not Jewish or Catholic and therefore not excused for an afternoon of religious education. The Vietnam War is raging, many families and friends are affected, and Holling is just trying to find his way through the middle school in what is a crazy world. Lots of funny classroom incidents and characteristically uncomfortable adolescent moments will be all-too-familiar to Schmidt's audience.