Mock Newbery Intro: 2016
I was introduced this year by some amazing educators across the US to a book club called "Mock Newbery." I know the title has been floating around social media for some time now, and I wanted to just do a quick explanation of some books I did and why I love the club so much and then direct you to my friend Amanda, whose blog posts go more in depth on the club and it's components!
Basically, mock Newbery club is a either a group of students, or a class(es) of students who want to participate in book talks with other students during meetings. We held our meetings either during recess or after school. We set up the club with a few stipulations, for example, if you want to be able to vote on our 4th grade Mock Newbery winner, you have to read a minimum of 4 of the Mock Newbery books. Started from August-Christmas/holiday break. These students then were required to either share out at meetings about these particular books they read, or their favorites only, or share out during their class.
The biggest takeaway I had from Mock Newbery this year was that students have no idea how to find new authors or different books without direction. I did a lot of searching through Twitter, Instagram, blog posts, Nerdy Book Club, etc., to find books that I thought would be of high interest to my students. As books kept getting published in 2016 I would pull more in up until the final two weeks. I did a Donors Choose project for a huge set of Mock Newbery books, so we were able to have a lot of new books at our kiddos fingertips. Here are almost all that we ended up labeling "Mock Newbery" in our classroom library this year.
Yes, there are a lot of titles, and if you are unable to purchase books for your room, Donors Choose is an amazing site that helps get books in your hands. Public libraries are a great place to check out several books at one time and Scholastic has several of these titles.
The other COOLEST thing about finding this debut authors or even seasoned authors is that the offer Skype sessions for free if they're 15-20 minute sessions.
We had the opportunity to Skype with SIX of our Mock Newbery authors! This was an experience that our kiddos absolutely adored and I know they will never forget. They were able to brainstorm questions about the book, their writing process, their life before writing, and many other things.
Our very first Skype was with Melanie Conklin, author of Counting Thyme, and she shared with us her personal writing strategies. This was an amazing experience that the kids all took back and realized that writing doesn't just happen overnight, that a book doesn't just get written in a day and published.
I will share more about the authors and Skype sessions during author spotlight!
As promised, if you have any more questions about Mock Newbery follow these steps:
Head to my friend Amanda's blog:
Also, my friend Stacey has some amazing ideas as well: