2013 Newbery

Dear 2013 Newbery Committee,

Thank you for spending your Newbery term searching for the most distinguished contribution to children's literature. I bet you can recite this part of the John Newbery Award Selection Committee Manual in your sleep: distinguished is defined as: 

• Marked by eminence and distinction; noted for significant achievement. 

• Marked by excellence in quality. 

• Marked by conspicuous excellence or eminence.

• Individually distinct. 

Thank you for coming to consensus that The One and Only Ivan embodies those qualities. I know the word distinguished pops into my head whenever someone mentions Ivan.

I hope the next week is dedicated to catching up on your favorite television series, spending quality time with friends and family, and feeling proud that you selected a timeless book that will be passed down from one generation to the next. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm sending you virtual hugs and a standing ovation. 


P.S. I was the guy in the convention center with tears streaming down his face. Tears, tears, tears. I kept wishing the real Ivan were still alive to hear the news.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate 

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz 


Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage 


Bomb by Steve Sheinkin 

Head on over to TeachingBooks.net to hear this great introduction to Bomb

I am giving away a copy of The One and Only Ivan

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 1/29 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/1. 

2. You must be at least 13.

3. Please pay it forward. 


  1. I'm so, so happy that Ivan won...I cried at school when I heard, too. So, so deserving.

  2. I couldn't agree more. My heart soared with Ivan's win. I haven't read a book that special in years. It just stays with you. It is the most perfect tribute to the real Ivan and the suffering of animals in captivity everywhere. There is hope, and light, and love.

  3. This was a special year - such amazing books! I've never been so invested in a year's books before. Such power in stories... Yay, Ivan and Katherine Applegate!


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