Happy Monday Everyone! It’s Becky and I am here to share with you my latest pick of 2020 of a book that I feel should be considered for the Newbery Award. In case you’re not familiar with the award it is an award given out annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished contribution for children’s literature. Book considered for this award must be aimed at an audience from birth to 14 years of age.
Title: Here in the Real World
Author: Sara Pennypacker
Summary: Ware doesn’t fit in with anyone in his school. He would much rather be alone than spend time with his classmates. When Ware’s summer at his grandmother’s retire home is canceled he is forced to spend the summer at the local community center. Ware can’t stand being in the noisy childcare facility and he quickly finds solace in helping a girl, Jolene, build a garden in an abandoned lot.
Newbery Considerations: Ware’s journey to understanding himself and accepting how he isn’t like his classmates is an often visited classic children lit theme. Also, during his summer he begins to understand his role in his family and how little control anyone has over their own lives which perfectly illustrates lessons children learn as they grow into adolescence. Plus, how Jolene’s family issues are presented and slowly explored is the perfect way to introduce the idea of abandonment and neglect to children to teach empathy. Here in the Real World is filled with strong characters and relevant storylines which just may get noticed by the Newbery Committee.