Five Newbery Predictions

In my post-holiday fog, I forgot to write an introduction to yesterday’s post.  I’m sure most readers figured out that I’m doing my annual end-of-they year wrap-up, and will spend the next several days posting lists of my favorite 2019 books.

In case anyone is keeping track, the last time I predicted anything correctly for the Newbery was 2016.  That year and in 2015, I predicted two books that won honors, so I’ve never hit it right for the actual medal.  So proceed with caution as you peruse this year’s list below.  This year, I’m predicting choices if Newbery committees reflect the tastes of various groups from the past.


The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Dutton Books for Young Readers

Image result for line tender allen

Amazing characters, evocative writing, emotionally heart-wrenching–if the Newbery committee is anything like the one that picked Bridge to Terabithia (full disclosure: neither book is a personal favorite), this is a shoo-in for the gold.


New Kid by Jerry Craft

Published by HarperCollins

Image result for new kid craft

I know that graphic novels don’t often get Newbery recognition, but I’ve seen this on enough lists to indulge myself on this one.  (If I were really following my heart and not my head, Queen of the Sea would be on this list as well).  Jerry Craft definitely has a message to deliver, but his touch is so light that he makes it  fun from start to finish.  We’ll need a committee like the one that made Roller Girl a Newbery honor book.


A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

Published by Atheneum

Image result for place to belong kadohata amazon

Whoever came up with this title and cover design, in my opinion, did this book a serious disservice.  While the cover didn’t draw me in, this book grabbed me right from the beginning, and taught me about an aspect of World War II and its aftermath that I wasn’t familiar with.  Looking for a committee like the one that picked Number the Stars or The War That Saved My Life.


Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Published by Greenwillow Books

Image result for lalani of the distant sea

Okay, I didn’t say these were my favorite books.  But I do admire the storytelling and writing of this fantasy woven from Filipino folklore.  A committee thinking along the lines of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon or The Girl Who Drank the Moon may pick this one.


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Published by Atheneum

Image result for look both ways reynolds amazon

Honestly, I was (again) pretty lukewarm about this book, but with six starred reviews and a National Book Award finalist designation, I feel I’d be remiss not to include it.  Not sure what kind of committee we’d be looking for here: Maniac Magee? or Jason Reynolds’s Newbery honor book A Long Way Down?

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