Mock Newbery at Pemetic Elementary School

Since last fall, a group of 10 fifth and sixth graders at Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor have been reading away as part of IRW’s Mock Newbery book club. Last Monday, the club members revealed their pick for the Mock Newbery winner and honor books! “Forever Or a Long, Long Time” by Caela Carter was selected as the Mock Newbery Medal winner, while “Exit Strategy” by Lauren Allbright, “Pablo and Birdy” by Alison McGhee, and “The Someday Birds” by Sally J. Pla were all named Mock Newbery Honor Books.

The Mock Newbery Club had met once per month in the Pemetic library at lunchtime since October, where librarian Tracey McCarthy along with IRW staff and IRW volunteers guided the readers through different topics that the actual Newbery Medal committee looks for when selecting its top books, such as: interpretation of theme or concept; presentation of information including accuracy and clarity; development of plot, characters, setting and style.

Since there was a plethora of books to choose from in 2017, a dozen IRW volunteers scoured through Newbery eligible titles (must be published by an American author by an American publisher) all last summer and ranked their favorites. We narrowed that list down to 15 books for the Mock Newbery club members to choose from, and they were required to read at least three from that list, although some chose to read many more and one student even made it her goal to read all 15 books!

Members of the IRW Mock Newbery Club at Pemetic Elementary toss around a beach ball that prompted questions about aspects of books the students read.

The Pemetic students were so impressive with their comments, questions and feedback about the books — and were quite opinionated as well! We encourage everyone to check out the IRW Mock Newbery reading list. All 15 books will be available to Pemetic students and will be available to check out at the Southwest Harbor Public Library and at Harbor House.

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