The Northview Mock Newbery Medal is based on the actual Newbery Medal. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Named for 18th-century publisher John Newbery and proposed in 1921, it is the first children's book award in the world, and is still considered one of the most prestigious children's book awards.
The 35 readers participating in the Northview Mock Newbery Comittee had been meeting in Mock Newbery Clubs at each of the 3 elementary schools since early October. Students were given a list of 12 books that could potentially win the Newbery Medal this year, and needed to read at least 5 of those books to be invited to the final committee meeting. This group of readers was most definitely up to the task, as they read a combined total of 270 books!
Committee members were very busy the day of their committee meeting! They were greeted by Superintendent Dr. Korpak at the front door of Central Office, and ushered into the Board Room. There, they found their nameplate and goody bag waiting for them. Each goody bag contained a personalized schedule with their subcommittee meetings for the day, a notebook to keep track of all of their thoughts and ideas, a past Newbery-medal winning book and a bookmark from one of this year's potential winners.
Additionally, committee members met in 3 different "sub-committees" to discuss a book they had all read. As the day drew to a close, each committee member became a "champion" for the book they felt was most deserving of the Mock Newbery medal, and shared their reasons why with yet another group. After three months of reading and nearly three hours of discussion and deliberation, committee members were given quiet reflection time. They could write, draw, list, sketch or do anything else that helped them to reflect and come to a final decision on their vote. Finally, each committee member was able to cast one vote for the book they felt most deserved the inaugural Northview Mock Newbery Medal!
Once the results were tallied, the winners were revealed! Receiving Northview Mock Newbery Honor medals were Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, and The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. The 2016 Northview Mock Newbery Medal was awarded to The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart.
As one committee member exited the bus back at her school, she remarked "We got to share great book with new friends!" We couldn't have said it better ourselves.