Besides Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan , I now have more books that I want to receive the Newbery.
One is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2015.
Ya - I know she already won a Newbery. But there's no law against winning another (or honor book). Supurbly done, well researched story of a girl who runs away from a cruel father on a farm and goest to the big city of Baltimore. (Having lived in Baltimore for years, I can verify the accuracy of it. But Schlitz works at a school in Baltimore, so of course she'd get it right. And having not only lived in a 17th century house with items from all centuries in it plus having worked with a wood stove that heated my house, I can also verify what was in the Baltimore house in Schlitz's book and how to clean them.)
As a hired girl and a Catholic, Joan finds herself working as the Shabbos Goy (the person who does the work around a Jewish household on Saturday - the Jewish holy day when they are not allowed to work. Told in Diary format
Another review is from School Library Journal's Elizabeth Bird here.
The other book that I love, love, love probably won't get the Newbery - because it's funny and for some reason funny books don't seem to win this award. But I loved, loved, loved Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
Illustrated with cartoony figures this is the tale, told in letter format, about Sophie, a girl whose family has inherited a farm and who discovers she had become the caretaker of very unusual chickens.
a chicken who can unlock the chicken coop
a chameleon chicken
a really fast chicken that Sophie calls - the roadrunner
Additional review of this book is on the Educating Alice blog (by Monica Edinger).
In additon, I'm currently reading the latest by Kimberly Brubacker Bradley - The War that Saved My Life. I have always felt most all of her books have deserved the Newbery, so why not this year.
A world War II tale about a girl with a club foot who is evacuated to the English countryside after being held prisoner by her mother for about 9 years and how she discovers the world.
People that take care of you and don't beat you and starve you.
"This isn’t merely a story where the main character has to learn and grow and change. She has this enormous task of making Ava strong in every possible way after a lifetime of systematic, often horrific, abuse. And she has to do so realistically. No deus ex machina. No sudden conversion out of the blue. That she pulls it off is astounding. Honestly it made me want to reread the book several times over, if only to figure out how she managed to display Ada’s anger and shock in the face of kindness with such aplomb. For me, it was the little lines that conveyed it best. Sentences like the one Ada says after the first birthday she has ever celebrated: “I had so much. I felt so sad.” It’s not a flashy thing to say. Just true."
Actually she says much more than this. Go read her review