Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos - 2014

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos
Farrar, Straus and Giroux


After an explosion, a new crime by an old murderer, and the sad passing of the founder of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack accompanies his slightly mental elderly mentor, Miss Volker, on a cross-country run as she pursues the oddest of outlaws.

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff - 2014

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
Philomel Books

"Destiny leads 11-year-old Cady to a peanut butter factory, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever"--Provided by publisher.

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli - 2014

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli
Knopf Books for Young Reader


Ever since they were Snotsippers, Jack and the girl have fought, until one day she steals his bike and as he and the Amigos try to recover it, Jack realizes that he is growing up and must eventually leave the "goodlands and badlands of Hokey Pokey."

Zebra Forest by Adina Gerwitz - 2014

Zebra Forest by Adina Gerwitz
Candlewick Press

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. She told Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest -- stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same. Driven by suspense and psychological intrigue, this novel deftly portrays an unfolding standoff of truth against family secrets, and offers an affecting look at two resourceful, imaginative kids as they react and adapt to the hand they've been dealt.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013







Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett - 2014

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
Scholastic Press

Summary: On a cold winter day in Chicago, Early's father disappeared, and now she, her mother and her brother have been forced to flee their apartment and join the ranks of the homeless--and it is up to Early to hold her family together and solve the mystery surrounding her father.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncellos Library by Chris Grabenstein - 2014

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
Random House

Summary: "Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"-- Provided by publisher.

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington - 2014

Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Little, Brown and Company

Twelve-year-old Sarah writes letters to her hero, To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch, for help understanding her mentally ill mother, her first real crush, and life in her small Texas town, all in the course of one momentous summer.

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper - 2014

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper
Margaret K. McElderry

Summary:On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man. John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger. - from the publisher

Al Capone Does my Homework by Gennifer Choldenko - 2014

Al Capone Does my Homework by Gennifer Choldenko
Dial Books for Young Readers

Summary: "Moose Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family and the families of the other prison guards, faces new challenges when his father is promoted to Associate Warden"-- Provided by publisher.

Salt by Helen Frost - 2014

Salt by Helen Frost
Frances Foster Books

Summary: Twelve-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata - 2014

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Summary: Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.

True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt - 2014

True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Summary: Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn, ancient Sugar Man, and his raccoon-brother Swamp Scouts Bingo and J'miah try to save Bayou Tourterelle from feral pigs Clydine and Buzzie, greedy Sunny Boy Beaucoup, and world-class alligator wrestler and would-be land developer Jaeger Stitch.

Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck - 2014

Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck
Dial Books for Young Readers

Summary: A very small mouse of unknown origins runs away from school in the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace shortly before the celebration of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, celebrating her sixty years on the British throne.

Doll Bones by Holly Black - 2014

Doll Bones by Holly Black
Margaret K. McElderry

Summary: Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.

Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone - 2014

Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickels: America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone

Paperboy by Vince Vawter - 2014

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Summary: When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

Center of Everything, The by Linda Urban - 2014

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

 Summary:  For Ruby Pepperdine, the center of everything is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi's hug. That's how everything is supposed to be--until it goes spinning out of control. Now Ruby's best friend, Lucy, is mad at her. Her new friendship with Nero is pretty bumpy too. Worst of all, Ruby regrets what happened with Gigi. How Ruby didn't listen. And now it's too late to make things right. But Ruby has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear her read her winning essay. And it all depends on her twelfth birthday wish-- unless she messes that up too.

PS Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia - 2014

P.S. Be Eleven
Rita Williams-Garcia

Summary: "Eleven-year-old Brooklyn girl Delphine feels overwhelmed with worries and responsibilities. She's just started sixth grade and is self-conscious about being the tallest girl in the class, and nervous about her first school dance. She's supposed to be watching her sisters, but Fern and Vonetta are hard to control. Her uncle Darnell is home from Vietnam and seems different. And her pa has a girlfriend. At least Delphine can write to her mother in Oakland, California, for advice. But why does her mother tell her to 'be eleven' when Delphine is now twelve?" -- from publisher's web site.

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake - 2014

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Alfred Knopf

Summary:  In 1871 Wisconsin, thirteen-year-old Georgia sets out to find her sister Agatha, presumed dead when remains are found wearing the dress she was last seen in, and before the end of the year gains fame as a sharpshooter and foiler of counterfeiters.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool - 2014

Navigating Early
Clare Vanderpool
Delacorte Press

Summary "Odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters"-- Provided by publisher.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

We picked our winners today!

So proud of our 15 Adult Mock Newbery Club members.  After discussing 15 titles, we narrowed it down to 1 Mock Newbery Medal winner:  Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz.

2 Honor Books were chosen:

No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Nelson

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

There were so many terrific titles we read this year--we should thank the authors and publishers for sharing their talents with the readers, young and old.  Here's to the search for Newbery next year!

And if you'd like to see which title actually wins, watch the live podcast at

It begins at 8:00 a.m. PACIFIC TIME, so if you're in South Bend, the podcast begins at 11:00 a.m. (you might want to log on early to be sure you can watch--ALA limits the # of computers that can connect)--and then the Newbery will be announced last, around 11:30 a.m. (maybe later).