A sixth grade reading group has students debating which books should receive a Newbery Award.

Students Debating Which Books Should Receive a Newbery AwardAt D.C. Everest Middle School, 50 students were chosen to participated in the Mock Newbery Reading Group, that was led by library media specialist Beth martin.  The group began in 2008, allowing students to read and discuss books that are nominated for the John Newbery Medal, awarded by the American Library Association for most disdinguished American children’s book.

The members of the group are asked to read a minimum of five books from a list of 12.

“Most of the group read more than five books, and some read all 12,” Martin said. “Students were so enthused to read the books, which represent the best that American authors have to offer.”

The group met weekly for three months.  They discussed the books, and evaluated them with book reviews.  They also prepare author interviews.

“Students discussed the books in person and online using the Moodle platform,” Martin said. “Admittedly, at times it was a challenge for them to keep the book discussions academic — they had a lot to say. But they worked hard to compare the books to the Newbery criteria and support their opinions with evidence. The students had strong opinions, so the discussions were lively.”

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