- FULL OF BEANS by Jenni Holm
- GHOST by Jason Reynolds
- JUANA & LUCAS by Juana Medina
- PAX by Sara Pennypacker
- SAMURAI RISING by Pamela Turner
- SOME WRITER: THE STORY OF E.B. WHITE by Melissa Sweet
- WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano
- WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER by Grace Lin
- WOLF HOLLOW by Lauren Wolk
I have read four of these titles (FULL OF BEANS, PAX, WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES, and WOLF HOLLOW). PAX remains my personal favorite but WOLF HOLLOW contains the best writing. I am still blown away by the poetry in WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES and find myself cheering that title on.
These Mock Newbery groups are great because you can really get a sense for how difficult it is to build consensus around a title. For that reason, I am betting that PAX falls. Its early hype has simmered and the discussion around it on Heavy Medal was surprisingly divisive. The initial conversation around SAMURAI RISING proved to illicit divisive feelings as well. Age appropriateness seemed to be an issue with WOLF HOLLOW
GHOST seems to be gaining hype among kidlit types online and everyone seems to love WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES. As a Jenni Holm fan, I'm excited for the conversation to begin on FULL OF BEANS because my initial instinct was that it was okay. Grace Lin always seems to have a fan base and I've read some positive thoughts about Melissa Sweet's E.B. White book. I haven't heard much about JUANA & LUCAS.
I would have loved to see Adam Gidwitz's THE INQUISITOR'S TALE or Kelly Barnhill's THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON make the list, but Jonathan noted that their long length makes it a challenge to include them on a list of this nature.
For now, my money is on GHOST or WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES.