The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. Mock Newbery programs empower students to evaluate the Newbery criteria on their own terms and choose a book they feel best meets those criteria.
This summer, more than 30 students and teachers participated in the first-ever Middle School Mock Newbery Medal club to select "When Stars Are Scattered" by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. The book is an incredibly moving graphic novel based on Mohamed's experience growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp after he and his younger brother fled Somalia's civil war.
Club members read up to 10 books from the Mock Newbery long list, met virtually throughout the summer to discuss the books, choose a shortlist of contenders, and named one medalist and two honorees. In addition to "When Stars Are Scattered", the group recognized "Echo Mountain" by Lauren Wolk and "Chirp" by Kate Messner for Mock Newbery honors.
All books on the GCS Mock Newbery long list will be purchased for the Middle School's Moxley Library, and the medalist and honorees will receive special recognition. Club members will also serve as student ambassadors for these books at future Middle School lobby meetings.