And the 2022 Children’s Literature Mock Winners Are…

Every year, librarians at Chicago Public Library meet to talk about the best books of the previous year published for children from birth to 14 in order to make our picks for books we think might win awards this year. We start with a list of incredible books and spend a couple of hours discussing the best parts of their illustrations and writing. We make our picks before the real Caldecott and Newbery awards will be announced by the American Library Association at the end of January.

Mock Caldecott

The Caldecott award honors illustration and is typically given to a picture book.

CPL's 2022 Mock Caldecott award goes to Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement This incredible book is not a picture book, but the illustrations are full of emotion. They pull the reader into the story of Emmett Till's short life and Mamie Till-Mobley's bravery that inspired so many to stand up for civil rights.

We selected two honor books:

Every Dog in the Neighborhood which features a child doing a survey to find every dog in the neighborhood. The evocative watercolor illustrations feature a neighborhood with elevated train tracks that could be many different neighborhoods in Chicago.

The World Belonged to Us: The colorful illustrations show children engaged in lots of fun outdoor play in a time many adults will remember and children will love looking at!

Mock Newbery

The Newbery award honors the author and is typically given to a chapter book.

CPL's 2022 Mock Newbery Award goes to Three Strike Summer written by local Chicago author Skyler Schrempp. Gloria Mae Willard's determination to join a baseball team with the boys in the face of 

We selected two honor books:

Maizy Chen's Last Chance: Will Maizy's summer in the tiny town of Last Chance, Minnesota be a snooze? Nope, not even with a busted cell phone and being on grandpa duty. Turns out, grandpa has stories and so does the town.

Tumble: Another fabulous book written by Chicago author Celia C. Pérez , this is the story of Adela's journey to find out more about her birth father. Along the way, she gets to learn about the lucha history of her father's family and meet her wrestling cousins.

Looking for more great books? Check out our Best of the Best titles from 2022 and previous years! Or check out the list of Youth Media Award winners from ALA.