|Courtesy of Kraft: A Mock Apple Pie|
containing Ritz Crackers, lemon, and spices
What’s a Mock Newbery? Although similarly named, it’s not really analogous to mock apple pie, in which ersatz ingredients like crackers are thrown together to give one the impression of tasty apples.
Instead a Mock Newbery discussion group, list, or blog is devoted to talking over and reviewing newly published books that may, or may not, be on the radar of the actual Newbery Committee—the chosen group of librarians who hand out the real Newbery Medals.
The ingredients of both Mock and Real Newberys are the same: good books. It’s just that only the real winners end up with the gold and silver medals on their covers.
Reading and discussing books from Mock Newbery lists can be fun, giving you the feel of having the inside track on a major award. If you’ve got time to browse, here are a few good Mock Newbery discussions/blogs:
From School Library Journal, there's Heavy Medal.
From the St. Joseph County (IN) Public Library, there's the SJCPL Mock Newbery.
I first heard that my most recent book, Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices, was on a Mock Newbery reading list while interviewing for a library job at an elementary school in Massachusetts. (Didn’t get the job, but reading aloud from So You Want to Be President? at the interview was a blast and so was hearing that Hope and Tears is on someone’s Newbery radar.)
Now, the book has been mentioned by Sam Eddington, librarian, musician, and Mock Newbery blogger/reviewer. Don’t really know anything more about him, except that I really like his blog post. Hope and Tears no longer has to say, “I coulda been a contender.”
It’s already on the For Those About to Mock contender list.