Mock Newbery

AB Mock Newbery Award Winners, 2020

The Winner: 

New Kid, by Jerry Craft

Honor Books (in winning order):

  1.  Maybe He Just Likes You, Barbara Dee
  2.  White Bird, R. J. Palacio
  3.   Words on Fire,  Jennifer Nielsen 
  4.  The Bridge Home, Padma Venkatraman
  5.  The Okay Witch, Emma Steinkellner


Congratulations to all our Mock Newbery student readers.  We had 19 schools participate this year and students read over 3,000 books!  Thank you to the educators, staff, and volunteers at our participating schools.




Every September, we create a list of the 25 books as candidates for the Newbery Award, the highest honor in American literature for young people.

We use our knowledge of the books and that of all the many educators, publishers, authors, and reviewers to develop our annual list. The Mock Newbery List of 2020 will be the program’s 25th year.    


Anderson's Mock Newbery Candidates 2020


A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

A Japanese-American family, reeling from their ill treatment in the Japanese internment camps, gives up their American citizenship to move back to Hiroshima unaware of the devastation wreaked by the atomic bomb in this piercing look at the aftermath of World War II. Grades 5-9


Cape by Kate Hannigan

Hidden Figures meets Wonder Woman in this action-packed, comic-inspired adventure about a brilliant girl puzzler who discovers she's part of a superhero team. Grades 3-7


Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

This beautifully honest middle-grade debut tells the story of a girl, her special needs brother, and the summer they will never forget. Grades 3-6


Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan's Anishinaabe Sharpshooters by Sally Walker

An engaging middle-grade nonfiction narrative of the American Indian soldiers who bravely fought in the Civil War. Grades 5-8


I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

In her debut middle grade novel inspired by her family's history, Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family's secrets and finds her own Native American identity. Grades 3-7


Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's debut fantasy novel is a gorgeous, literary adventure about bravery, friendship, self-reliance, and the choice between accepting fate or forging your own path. Grades 3-7


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home and in life. Grades 5-9


Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates. Grades 4-8


Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream? Grades 3-7


More to the Story  by Hena Khan

From the critically acclaimed author of Amina's Voice comes a new story inspired by Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic, Little Women, featuring four sisters from a modern American Muslim family living in Georgia. Grades 3-7


New Kid by Jerry Craft

Fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang will enjoy this contemporary graphic novel about a twelve year old kid from Washington Heights who starts the seventh grade at a new posh private school where diversity is low and expectations are high. Grades 5-7


Not If I Can Help It by Carolyn Mackler

Willa has been living with sensory processing disorder but is thrown for a big loop when her dad announces he is dating Willa's best friend's mom. Grades 3-6


Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

A lyrical and moving middle-grade novel in verse about a Syrian girl who moves to the United States. Grades 5-8


Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt

Sixth-grader Carter must adjust to the unwelcome presence of a know-it-all butler who is determined to help him become a gentleman and also to deal with burdens from the past. A coming-of-age story with the light touch of The Wednesday Wars. Grades 5-8


Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

A rich reimagining of history in a beautifully detailed hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary. Grades 5-8


Roll With It by Jamie Sumner

In the tradition of Wonder and Out of My Mind, this big-hearted middle grade debut tells the story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town. Grades 5-8


Stargazing by Jen Wang

Two unlikely best friends, Christine, a perfectionist, and Moon, confident and impulsive, find their friendship tested by jealousy, social expectations, and illness. A heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel in the spirit of Real Friends and El Deafo. Grades 3-6


Strange Birds by Celia Perez

When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up. Grades 5-8


Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes

From two-time Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes, this timeless novel about loss, loneliness, and friendship tells the story of the spring break that changes seventh-grader Amelia Albright's life forever. Grades 3-6


The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

This beautifully written story is about the power of love and family and the resiliency to survive when the odds are against you. Set in Chennai, India, by the author of A Time to Dance. Grades 5-8


The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Following a tragedy that further alters the course of her life, twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart decides to continue the shark research her marine biologist mother left unfinished when she died years earlier. Heartbreaking but hopeful. Grades 5-8


The Oddmire Changeling by William Ritter

In this first book in a new fantasy-adventure series, William Ritter takes readers on a journey of monsters, magic, and discovery. Grades 3-7


The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl in this hilarious, one-if-a-kind graphic novel about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town and is doing her best to survive middle school now that she knows everything.


White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio

R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war. Grades 5-8


Words on Fire by Jennifer Nielsen

Nielsen transports readers to a corner of history with this inspiring story of a girl who discovers the strength of her people united in resisting oppression. Grades 5-8


School Participation and Voting


Participation and Voting Information
Our voting will take place in January, prior to the Newbery Award announcement at ALA Mid-Winter. Voting instructions and ballots to follow.
To participate in voting, schools must purchase the complete mock set or partial set (15 books) from Anderson’s. Special discounts apply.


Please contact one of our stores for more information or to place your order.     


Sue Skells or 
Carolyn Roys
(630) 355-2665

Downers Grove 
Kathleen March
(630) 963-2665

Kathleen March
(630) 355-2665