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Sondy for Newbery!

My Experiences on the 2019 Newbery Committee


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Sondy for Newbery!

I served on the 2019 Newbery Selection Committee.
I made this page to tell people why they should vote for me.
Now I'm going to use it to collect the blog posts I wrote about my experience on the committee.

January 22, 2017 -- Connecting with other ALSC members while campaigning for the Newbery committee at ALA Midwinter Meeting

September 7, 2017 -- Explaining the process of getting on the committee, getting excited about beginning to serve

February 19, 2018 -- First Book Blitz to try to get Newbery reading time

February 24, 2018 -- First meeting of the 2019 Newbery Committee at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colorado

March 11, 2018 -- First 48-Hour Book Challenge to try to get Newbery reading time

March 13, 2018 -- 48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line. Reading progress so far: 129 books, 23,305 pages.

March 23, 2018 -- The Reading Process. Progress so far: 156 books, 20,839 pages. (Wait a minute! Why do I list fewer pages now than 10 days before? I'd miscounted pages earlier.)

April 3, 2018 -- How I got on the committee. Progress so far: 200 books, 25,405 pages.

April 17, 2018 -- The struggle for reading time. Progress so far: 253 books, 30,205 pages. 151 books received.

May 9, 2018 -- 48-Hour Book Challenge for May. Progress so far: 310 books, 37,863 pages. 225 books received.

May 11, 2018 -- 48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line. Progress so far: 327 books, 39,347 pages.

June 12, 2018 -- Midyear Newbery Notes. Progress so far: 434 books, 49,251 pages. 273 books received.

June 30, 2018 -- Committee Meeting at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Progress so far: 479 books, 11,002 pages.

August 3, 2018 -- August Newbery Notes. Progress so far: 560 books, 62,211 pages. 375 books received.

September 2, 2018 -- September 24-Hour Book Blitz. Progress so far: 610 books, 69,002 pages.

September 3, 2018 -- Book Blitz Finish Line. Progress so far: 622 books, 71,867 pages. 438 books received.

December 5, 2018 -- Crunch Time. Progress so far: 876 books, 98,391 pages. 676 books received.

January 1, 2019 -- Choosing - But Not Posting - My 2018 Sonderbooks Stand-outs. Progress so far: 904 books, 102,390 pages.

Posted Later -- My 2018 Sonderbooks Stand-outs

January 20, 2019 -- Preview of Decision Time. Final stats of books read: 915 books (593 picture books), 105,277 pages. 689 books received.

February 7, 2019 -- Choosing the Winner at 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington!

Reviews of the Winning Books (Written after my first reading)

Medalist: Merci Suárez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina

Honor Book: The Book of Boy, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Honor Book: The Night Diary, by Veera Hiranandani

But wait! We're not done! We still have to celebrate at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC!

June 21, 2019 -- Committee Dinner with Honor Authors

June 22, 2019 -- Newbery Winner Dinner

June 23, 2019 -- The 2019 Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Banquet

So that was my amazing year and a half serving on the 2019 John Newbery Medal Selection Committee! And it's all thanks to the people who voted for me. Below is the material I originally posted on this page to convince people to vote for me:

I love children's books.

As a kid, as a big sister, as a mom, and as a librarian, children's books have always had an important place in my heart.
I took a Children's Literature class in college, even though it wasn't required for Math majors.
Long before I became a librarian, I subscribed to Horn Book Magazine and read each issue cover to cover.
I've been reviewing books here on Sonderbooks.com since 2001, covering more than 3,000 books, of all ages and genres, but with a special emphasis on children's books.
I got my MLIS from Drexel University in 2007.
I'm currently Youth Services Manager at City of Fairfax Regional Library, a large public library in Northern Virginia.
I'm a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the Public Library Association (PLA), and the Virginia Library Association (VLA).

I've been trained in book evaluation.

I applied three times until I was accepted to attend the Invitational Bill Morris Seminar on Book Evaluation in 2012, a seminar run by ALSC to train future committee members.
I've taken the online classes ALSC offers on the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the class from YALSA on the Printz Award.
I avidly follow the Heavy Medal blog and have learned much about how the Newbery committee works from the moderators.

I've worked on ALSC committees.

I was a member of the Children and Technology Committee from 2011 to 2013.
I was a member of the Grants Administration Committee from 2013 to 2015.
I chaired the Grants Administration Committee for the year 2015 to 2016.

I have experience on award committees.

I've been a member since 2012 of Capitol Choices, a DC-area group that chooses 100 of the best children's and young adult books of the year each year. The group operates using the same rules of book discussion as the ALSC committees use.
I've been a judge for the Cybils Awards (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards) since 2012:
First round Elementary and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction the years from 2012 to 2013,
Second round Elementary and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction for 2014,
First round Fiction Picture Books in 2015,
First round Young Adult Speculative Fiction in 2016.
Both rounds use panels of seven people to select winners.
The first round panel reads a large number of books and selects Finalists.
The second round panel chooses one winner from the Finalists.

I want this so much!

I'm so proud to be a librarian and a member of ALSC, the group that chooses the most awesome award in the world!
Please help make my dream come true and give me your vote!
I will take the charge very seriously and work hard to help find the most distinguished children's book published in 2018.