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Mock Newbery 2020

These are ICPL's contenders for the 2020 Mock Newbery Award! Vote for which one you think should win the Newbery at icpl.org.

The John Newbery Medal, frequently shortened to the Newbery, is a literary award given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

The ICPL children's department has chosen ten books they think could win this year's Newbery. Vote for your favorite, and see if ICPL predicts the actual Newbery winner when the awards are announced in January 2020.

Other words for home

Jasmine Warga

jFICTION Warga Jasmine
Fiction, Kids

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

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A beautiful, timely book in verse that will help you understand the Syrian refugee crisis.
- Anne W

My life as an ice cream sandwich

Ibi Aanu Zoboi

jFICTION Zoboi Ibi
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Kids

Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, Jeremiah has nurtured Ebony-Grace's love for all things outer space and science fiction--especially Star Wars and Star Trek. But in the summer of 1984, when trouble arises with Jeremiah, it's decided she'll spend a few weeks with her father in Harlem. Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and Ebony-Grace's first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer's end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.

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This book is sad and funny, with issues of race and class and growing up navigated via Old New York and Star Trek fandom. The best!
- Anne W

New kid

Jerry Craft

jGRAPHIC NOVEL Craft
Fiction, Kids, Graphic Novels

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

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Funny graphic novel with something important to say about systemic racism, microaggressions, and school segregation.
- Anne W

Genesis begins again

Alicia Williams

jFICTION Williams Alicia
Fiction, Kids

Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.

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Heartbreaking, gritty story of a girl who struggles to feel at home in skin society and her own family tells her is too black (in ways both subtle and not) and find a place to belong when her family is frequently forced to move.
- Anne W

A place to belong

Cynthia Kadohata

jFICTION Kadohata Cynthia
Fiction, Kids, Historical Fiction

Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

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One Japanese-American family dealing with the aftermath of WWII and their time in an internment camp
- Anne W

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Holly Goldberg Sloan

jFICTION Sloan Holly
Fiction, Kids

Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, two girls, age eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through letters, emails and text messages.

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Told in emails and letters, two girls connect over their fathers' new relationship. So funny and page-turning!
- Anne W

Eventown

Corey Ann Haydu

jFICTION Haydu Corey
Fiction, Kids, Dystopian

To Elodee, eleven, things seem a little too perfect in Eventown when she moves there with her parents and identical twin, Naomi, especially since forgetting the past is so highly valued.

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Kind of creepy but with mouthwatering descriptions of creative cooking and baking projects!
- Anne W

My Jasper June

Laurel Snyder

jFICTION Snyder Laurel
Fiction, Kids

The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah's been adrift and alone. Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There's something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find. But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.--

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A touching story of friendship and loss
- Anne W

On the come up

Angie Thomas

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Thomas Angie
Fiction, Kids

When sixteen-year-old Bri, an aspiring rapper, pours her anger and frustration into her first song, she finds herself at the center of a controversy.

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Teenage girl dominates at rap battles; what more do you need to know?
- Anne W

The undefeated

Kwame Alexander

jE Alexander
Picture Books, Nonfiction

"The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree"--

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Stunning tribute to black excellence, with spot-on writing and illustrations!
- Anne W