Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Slice of Life - Mock Newbery Club Day!

I've been participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers. I love the challenge of composing a piece of writing at least once a week about life or teaching.
I'm so excited!  Today is my first Mock Newbery Club meeting after school!  This year, I decided to run a Mock Newbery Club through our school's PTO after-school club program.  It's once a week through October and November, then runs again for 8 weeks in January/February and then finally in the spring.  The kids also have the activity bus available to take them home.  I have fifteen kids signed up.  Honestly, I was hoping for a few more, but the Bigfoot Club is running simultaneously and that's tough competition!  I lost a few members to that.  Who can blame them?  But I'll take my fifteen!  We'll read as many 2013 Newbery contenders as we can in these two months and talk books, books, and more books!  My nErDcamp BC friend, Janet Frost, inspired me to also invite teachers and parents, so I'll do that today and hope some come to help us read and book talk.  Each member will get a booklet to help them keep track of the books they read.  Some of my students from last year already started with their booklets last spring.  I describe the booklets in this previous blog post. At the first meeting we'll talk about previous Newbery winners and make a chart listing characteristics we think the Newbery committee is looking for - we're scheduling a Skype visit with Mr. Schu so he can tell us a little about the committee and the process.  I'll also be showing the club Katherine Applegate's acceptance speech.  This is the full program:

  Want to know what I've pulled from my local library and classroom library to book talk and make available to my members?  Here they are!
Counting by 7s The Boy On The Porch The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library The Wig in the Window Zebra Forest
Paperboy The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett (Origami Yoda #4)  The Water Castle
Wake Up Missing Every Day After A Tangle of Knots
Hold Fast The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2) The Center of Everything
 Navigating Early Hattie Ever After (Hattie, #2) Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers
Doll Bones The Real Boy Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Duke  Beholding Bee Jinx
Destiny, Rewritten Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin The Year of Shadows
Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel Genie Wishes
Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked One Came HomeTwerp
That should keep them busy!  Now, keep in mind, I know some of these are not really Newbery favorites, but I think it's important to read a bunch of 2013 books to determine which books we love but wouldn't win the Newbery for various reasons and which ones fit the criteria.  Are there any we missed that you think we need to read? I notice there are only a couple nonfiction books on the list.  Are there any more you recommend?

Stay tuned for our favorites when we vote in late November and pictures throughout these next eight weeks!


  1. My husband may be contacting you after our next Barnes and Noble run. We have a book addiction disorder in our house -- husband, me, both boys-- and you have added to our list. :-) Can't wait to get some of these (why have I not seen them at the bookstore?) and check to see what you all think. Thanks!

  2. Ha! I understand the disorder completely - you have my sympathies and support! :-)

  3. Holly,
    Your voice is so vibrant and your passion stretches across cyberspace right into my living room. Thanks for sharing so much of YOU.

    1. Thank you, Ruth. I love the Slice of Life meme!

  4. Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes is one that belongs on this amazing list...

    1. Oooh, thank you! I haven't read that one and will look it up!

  5. I love your visual list and can't wait to share it with my sixth graders tomorrow. We're waiting for our local library to announce their six titles for Mock Newbery and then I always add two titles of my own. If I get funding again from our foundation, we'll be reading the books in lit circles between now and the end of January. I like that your readers are exposed to so many different titles.

    1. I'd like to see what they pick! I like the idea of starting lit circles with them!