Mock Newbery

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 2018 will be the program’s 24th year.    



AB Mock Newbery Award Winners, 2019


The Winner: 

Ghost Boys


Jewell Parker Rhodes


Honor Books (in winning order)

1.  Be Prepared, Vera Brosgol 

2.  Blended,  Sharon Draper

3.  Bob, Wendy Mass 

4. Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell  

5.  Nowhere Boy, Katherine Marsh


Congratulations to all our Mock Newbery student readers.  Students at all 11 participating schools read over 2000 books.  Thank you to the educators, staff, and volunteers at our participating schools.






Anderson's Mock Newbery Candidates 2019

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
The compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude. Grades 5-8

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Perfect for fans of Raina Telegemeir, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship. Grades 5-8

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson
A powerful middle-grade fictionalized account of the childhood activism of Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X’s wife, written by their daughter.  Grades 3-6

Blended by Sharon Draper
Eleven-year-old Isabella's blended family is more divided than ever in this thoughtful story about divorce and racial identity. Grades 3-6

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
A classic middle-grade tale of magic and friendship about a girl who helps an old friend find home. Grades 3-6

Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
In 1350, a boy becomes the servant of a shadowy pilgrim who pulls the boy into a dangerous expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter. Grades 3-6

Can I Touch Your Hair by Irene Latham & Charles Waters
A collection of poems that looks at the experience of race through fifth graders, Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is African American. Grades 4-6

Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
This graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity. Grades 4-7

Flight of the Swans by Sarah McGuire
Based on the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale Six Swans, this story follows Ryn's journey to save her family and their kingdom. Grades 4-8

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. Grades 5-8

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Woodson celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share the fears they face--racial profiling, deportation of a family member, a father’s incarceration. Powerful and beautifully written. Grades 5-8

House in Poplar Wood by K.E. Ormsbee
A story about a boy's desire to be free, a girl's desire to make a difference, and a family's desire to be together again. Grades 5-8

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed in a tornado, and in the aftermath of the storm, she begins to develop feelings for another girl at school. Grades 3-6

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez, navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between. Grades 3-6

Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
A lightning strike made Lucy, twelve, a math genius but, after years of homeschooling, her grandmother enrolls her in middle school and she learns that life is more than numbers. Grades 3-6

Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Told through Nisha's letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl's search for home, for her own identity, and for a hopeful future.  Grades 3-7

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes. Grades 5-8

Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages
A story about the fight for equal rights in America's favorite arena: the baseball field!  Grades 3-7

Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
The Westing Game meets The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 in a stirring mystery of past and present, as two kids search for a place in their families, city, and country. Grades 3-7

Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
In this madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure, friendships are forged, loyalties are tested, and miracles just might be possible. Grades 3-7

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins
This effervescent story introduces two sisters--Alix and Jools--and takes readers on an unforgettable journey to the beach. Grades 3-7

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
This middle grade debut novel is a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic.  Grades 5-8

Sweep by Jonathan Auxier
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life—saving one another in the process. This book is a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and hope. Grades 3-7

Truth As Told By Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
A poignant and humorous middle grade contemporary novel whose narrator struggles in school and is suspected of having done something wrong to cause his best friend’s death. With a unique voice, Connor delivers a warm and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope.  Grades 3-7 

Where Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin
Twelve-year-old Della Kelly of Maryville, North Carolina, tries to come to terms with her mother's mental illness while her father struggles to save the farm from a record-breaking drought. Grades 5-8

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

Sue Skells
(630) 355-2665