The Saint Ann’s Library Mock Newbery Committee awarded its 2022 Newbery Medal to Starfish by Lisa Fipps, and chose Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow and Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland as Newbery Honor Books. Our committee, open to all fourth and fifth graders, met biweekly starting in the fall and began with a slate of 24 titles published in 2021. After much reading and discussing, the committee of 20 voted for eight finalists at the end of November, and then for the winner on January 18, 2022, just days before the actual Newbery was announced by the American Library Association. In all, we read a whopping 132 books!
The winner of the actual Newbery Medal, which has been awarded annually by the ALA since 1922, was The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. Four Newbery Honor Books were named: Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca, A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger, Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff, and Watercress by Andrea Wang.
Our committee members did a great job. Although our group didn’t predict the actual Newbery winners, they chose award-worthy titles. Starfish ended up winning an honor for the Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults) and Almost Flying received an honor for the Stonewall Book Award (for children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience).