For the 10th year in a row, students in 4th-8th grades read some of the most acclaimed children's and young adult books of 2018 as part of the Berkeley Carroll Mock Newbery Club.
The John Newbery Medal is an annual award given to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." The club was founded by BC Librarians in 2009 and is currently advised by Middle School Librarians Kristine Hartley-Maneri and Manuela Aronofsky, Lower School Librarians Briar Sauro and Mimi Stauber, and Materials Librarian Camille Harrison.
In early October, students met during elective time and at lunch to discuss and debate their favorite books with other passionate readers. After Thanksgiving break, the club narrowed their nominations to seven titles to vote on in time for when the real award winners are announced in late January.
This year, students in the club had a special opportunity to meet with a voting member of last year's Newbery Committee. Laura Lutz, a librarian who has worked in children's publishing and has written reviews for the New York Times Book Review, spoke to the club about what it's like to be in the room that gets to decide the winner of what she called the "Oscars of children's literature."
It's a fun job, but Lutz also described the hard work of reading over 300 books during the year while also keeping the entire process a secret from friends and family!
Learn more about the Mock Newbery Club, including this year's seven finalists, here.