Mary Lee:Franki and I had many years worth of Newbery discussions before this blog was ever born.
We started by trying to pick the winner. We were never right. I think my pick was an honor book once.
Then we decided you could count it a success if you had read the winner. We came closer those years.
The next stretch was "if you own it, you can count it." That was the year Franki claimed success because she had the winner in her shopping cart at Amazon.
Due to the avalanche of Notables Nominees that are shelved in my basement, I figure there's a pretty good chance the Newbery is in my house, so I'll be contrary this year and predict that the Newbery will be a book that hasn't darkened my door: Jimmy's Stars, Highway Cats, The Graveyard Book, The Porcupine Year, After Tupac and D Foster, Seer of Shadows, or The Trouble Begins at 8.
This year, I am going to think of it more as a wish, than a prediction. There are lots of books that I would be happy to see win. I can't name them all but I had a great reading year and I think there are so many that could win. Narrowing it down to a few, here are my wishes for Newbery (in no particular order):
THE UNDERNEATH--really, nothing could compare to the writing. I reread the lead the other day and it is definitely "distinguished".
GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE by Barbara O'Conner-a book that has stayed with me all year. Love the characters, the story and the writing.
MY ONE HUNDRED ADVENTURES by Polly Horvath--Horvath at her best. She is amazing and quirky with great characters and amazing writing.
JIMMY'S STARS by Mary Ann Rodman I just finished this one. If you haven't read it, it is a must-read. I can't explain the way I felt reading it--through the whole thing. She captured the characters perfectly.
SHOOTING THE MOON by Frances O'Roark Dowell--another one that stuck with me all year. I could easily see this one winning.
I also loved Lisa Graff's, THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF BERNETTA WALLFLOWER and DIAMOND WILLOW by Helen Frost.
There were so many others that I liked a lot!
And I'm not done reading for 2008! Next on my pile: ONE THOUSAND NEVER EVERS, THE UNNAMEABLES, ITCH, and EVER.
I think WE ARE THE SHIP can win every award out there. I would love to see it win the Newbery as well as others! An amazing book.
I would LOVE for PAPER TOWNS to win the Prinz. Love John Green and the book.
Bottom line: in less than a week, we'll know who won for 2008 and we'll start reading the 2009 books!