And the Children’s Book Medals Go to…

Have you ever voted in a mock election at school? You might be surprised to find out that every year, CPL children’s librarians vote in a mock election to guess which kids books from the previous year will win important awards like the Newbery and the Caldecott. This gives us a chance to talk about the books—and to discover new books to recommend to you!

This week we met to vote on our choices for these awards. The real winners will be announced next month.

Mock Newbery Award

The Newbery Award is given for writing and is typically awarded to a chapter book. This year's Mock Newbery Medal for the most distinguished book published in 2017 goes to:

The First Rule of Punk: When punk-loving, zine-making Malú moves to Chicago with her mother, she's not exactly excited. She's nervous about going to a new school and worried she won't make any friends. Then she remembers the rules of punk:

  • Be Yourself—even if your true self is a little weird
  • Find Your People—even if they are not who you expect
  • Fight for Your Right to Express Yourself—especially against adults

Debut author Celia Pérez brings a fresh look to this classic coming of age tale with a great soundtrack.

The First Rule of Punk is available in multiple formats.

Two Honor Books were also selected:

Isaac the Alchemist: In a time before modern science existed and when people believed in magic, a little boy lived in an apothecary, observing the world and creating a little bit of mischief. Even great scientists start out as children. Meet the father of modern science in this fascinating biography of Sir Isaac Newton. 

Isaac the Alchemist is available in multiple formats.

Orphan Island: Jinny dreads the arrival of the green boat each year. It means a friend is taken away and someone new is coming. Now that she is the eldest, Jinny must ready the new one for life on the island and prepare herself to leave—even if she refuses to go. This is a great choice for younger dystopian fiction fans.  

Orphan Island is available in multiple formats.

The following books were also discussed: Clayton Byrd Goes UndergroundMe and Marvin GardensReal Friends, Speed of Life and See You in the Cosmos.

Mock Caldecott Award

The Caldecott Award is given for illustrations and is typically awarded to a picture book. This year's Mock Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished book published in 2017 goes to:

After the Fall: Have you ever wondered what happened to Humpty Dumpty after his notorious fall from the wall? Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat lifts Humpty to new heights with his awe-inspiring illustrations in this tale of triumph over tragedy.

Two Honor Books were also selected:

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters: Extraordinary collage illustrations that seem to vibrate off the page complement this picture book biography of Chicago Blues legend Muddy Waters.

Wolf in the Snow: A child, a wolf pup and a blizzard come together in this stunning wordless picture book about finding help in unexpected places.

The following books were also discussed: The Antlered ShipHow to Be an Elephant, Niko Draws a Feeling, Out of Wonder and Why Am I Me?.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the actual winners of these and many other awards on February 12.

Do you have a favorite book from 2017 that you think should win?