Some fantasy/science fiction books have had quite a Newbery buzz this year--Doll Bones, by Holly Black, The Water Castle, by Megan Frazer Blakemore, Jinx, by Sage Blackwood, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, and The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu. I think Jinx has more kid-appeal than Newbery appeal, but I wouldn't be too terribly surprised to see any of the other three get mentioned tomorrow
But what would be fun if a Dark Horse middle grade sci fi/fantasy book emerged triumphant!
Here there are two that I think are viable surprises--Parched, and How I Became a Ghost. Either would make me happy!
Just for the heck of it, I went through Elizabeth's list of the stars of 2013 (as of November) at ShelfTalker (I couldn't find a final star list for the whole year), pulling out the mg sff books. I've excluded the books that aren't eligible to the best of my ability.
Doll Bones was the only mg sff that got five stars. It is my favorite to win tomorrow, although in part that is because I have two first editions squirreled away which will help pay for the boys' college education if it wins. EDITED TO ADD: It won an honor, which pleases me because I did like it.
Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo got four stars, but it didn't feel Newberyish to me. EDITED TO ADD: Clearlly I was wrong, since it won! Jinx and True Blue Scouts were also four stars.
In the three star category are:
Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur and The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail, by Richard Peck; I'd be surprised to see either of these recognized.
Two stars went to:
Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz
Fallout, by Todd Strasser
Ghost Hawk, by Susan Cooper
The Girl Who Soared Above Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, by Catherynne M. Valente
Hokey Pokey, by Jerry Spinelli,
Lara's Gift, by Annemarie O’Brien
A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff
The Watcher in the Shadows, by Chris Moriarty
I'm not putting money on any of these; Hokey Pokey and Tangle of Knots both were published early in the year, and had a bit of buzz to them, but then they kind of drifted off people's lists. The one I like best myself is The Watcher in the Shadows, but I doubt the committee would agree with me.
The Apprentices, Maile Meloy
A Box of Gargoyles, Anne Nesbet
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, Charles de Lint
A Dash of Magic, Kathryn Littlewood
The Grimm Conclusion, Adam Gidwitz
The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, Christopher Healy
How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story. Tim Tingle
Magic Marks the Spot. Caroline Carlson
Parched. Melanie Crowder
Pi in the Sky. Wendy Mass
The Princess of Cortova, Diane Stanley
Rise of a Legend (Guardians of Ga’Hoole). Kathryn Lasky
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin. Liesl Shurtliff
Texting the Underworld. Ellen Booraem
The Time Fetch, Amy Herrick
The Water Castle, Megan Frazer
The Wells Bequest, Polly Shulman
The Whatnot, Stefan Bachmann