For the record, I did more reading this year than I ever have, of Newbery eligible contenders. I thought I had read at least 30 but looking back, it's closer to 25 eligible titles. Maybe closer to 30 if we count the Elephant and Piggie easy readers that Heavy Medal has been clamoring over.
Here are my predictions:
Of the books I've read, the following three titles would not surprise me in the least . . .
They would not all be my personal choices (although OKAY FOR NOW remains my favorite read of the year), but I can at least see the merits behind them and could understand them being honored in some way Monday morning.
Of the books I've read, I'm really pulling for the following three titles to receive some kind of honor, though I'm not sure their chances are anything but a long shot . . .
Now onto the bold part of my predictions, books I haven't even read yet! Last year, MOON OVER MANIFEST came out of nowhere to grab the Medal and I have a feeling, a few titles announced Monday morning will surprise folks. Maybe even the Medal again. Similar to MOON OVER MANIFEST, the following books have received just the right amount of buzz (somewhat small), have some starred reviews to their names, and just have the overall look and feel of a Newbery book, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see their names announced . . .
BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY was honored by none other than Apple, as their Book of the Year. BREADCRUMBS draws on classic fairy tales, much like the shortchanged A TALE DARK AND GRIMM from last year. The fact that Gidwitz's novel was left out last year gives me a gut feeling about Ursu's tale this year. YOUNG FREDLE received lots of early buzz, but was mentioned never on Heavy Medal this season. Kind of makes me wonder . . .
Both SPARROW ROAD and WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE just have plot descriptions and covers that scream Newbery to me.
So, that's how I'm calling it. Like I said, maybe not so bold, but we'll see now Monday morning if I'm onto something.