Two years ago I made my first venture into the prediction game, and as you can see here I didn’t do too bad with my results, with 2 of the actual four as my finalists. Last year I scored 3 of 5. I have yet to get the gold placed in the right spot which may not bode well for my Medal pick this year, but they might find comfort in the fact that they are assured of earning silver.
This year, in an act of bravado, I’ve decided to branch out and hit a few other awards as well.
First the winners if I were a committee of one.
- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead - I’ve been happy with many a book this year. But nothing said “Look at me, I bet you haven’t seen my ilk in quite some time.” I like this story of friendship, mystery, game shows, and redemption, I really do.
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly– Some say too long, I say I could have spent a few hundred more pages in Texas, unbearable heat or no, with Calpurnia, her brothers and her curmudgeon of a grandpa.
- Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice by Phillip Hoose– I find this account of one un-sung girl, who was a catalyst for one of the most important events in the Civil Rights movement, distinguished in every way.
- Wild Thing by Clay Carmichael – Every year I have a choice on my list just because I absolutely adored the book (Emma Jean Lazarus, Alvin Ho). This story of a precocious untamed girl connecting with her unmanageable Uncle, a feral cat and mysterious forest boy is everything I would have loved in a book at the age of 12.
My prediction of what I think the real committee will come up with:
Medal: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Honors: When You Reach Me, and Claudette Colvin
- The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney – If there can be a sure thing on Monday this would be it. I’ve been sharing it with most of my students this week and we all agree that this wordless story is worthy of all the hype. And really, can 900 kids be wrong?
- Higher, Higher by Leslie Patricelli – I have been reading this all week to my wee ones and I so wish I could have a video of the faces as we move through the pages:
- First few pages - polite amusement
- The mountain page – jaw dropping, bug-eyed incredulity
- Leaving earth behind page – utter unadulterated delight
- Spaceship page – uncontrolled giggling
- Wordless dissention pages - always accompanied by appropriate winding-down sound effects
- Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca – a perfect book in every way.
- A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis – Simple, succinct, and delightful.
Medal: The Lion & the Mouse
Honors: All the World, Moonshot, and Red Sings from the Treetops
(Confession, I haven’t read much non-fiction, but by all accounts this was a killer great year for the facts, and nothing but the facts. I have yet to read two of my picks so these are also my prediction. On my honor I will read the other two or may hellfire rain down)
- Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
- Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
- Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
- Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge
(I’m not as familiar with the field for this award so I’m going with what has gone over like a house-a-fire with my students)Medal:
- Little Mouse Gets Dressed by Jeff Smith
- Pigs Make Me Sneeze by Mo Willems
- Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
- Birthday for Bear by Bonny Becker