Making the Mock Newbery Their Own: A School/Library System Collaboration

Alpha DeLap, Cecilia McGowan


It was a warm June Chicago night, and we were talking about Mock Newbery programs in public and school libraries over dessert. After a bite of dark chocolate mousse, Cecilia said to me, “Well, what if we partnered on a Mock Newbery program this Fall?” I clapped my hands like one of my second grade students and said, “Yes, please!” I had dreamed of this moment for a long time. “Let’s be in touch at the end of the summer and see what is possible.”

I teach at an independent school, St. Thomas School, preschool through grade 8, across Lake Washington from Seattle. In the past, I have run small Mock Newbery programs, like a traditional lunch book club. We have used the already curated book list from our local public library, which is part of the King County Library System, and usually a handful of fifth grade students participate.

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