Happy New Year! We hope 2011 is wonderful year for you!
And also a big Happy 5th birthday wish to our friends, colleagues, and mentors at A Year of Reading - congratulations to Mary Lee and Franki!!
Today's Looking for Newbery pick is Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord. I read it this past summer and fell in love with it! I'm not sure how many Mock Newbery conversations have discussed this as a possible winner, but I'm throwing it in as one of my possiblities because I loved the story line, the way the characters developed, the beautiful language, the setting (an island in Maine), and the fact that the main character's family makes their living by being lobstermen. Add in the symbolism that is so powerful in the book, and you know that Touch Blue is a quiet gem that needs bigger accolades.
In fact, I thought this book was so wonderful, it became the first book Cathy, the librarian at my school, and I chose for our GREat Discussion parent/student book club. And because great minds think alike, it is also the book that Bill and our friend, Joyce, chose for their Grand Discussion parent/student book club. (And on a side note, yes the names are slightly similar because I was at the school where Bill and Joyce teach, and when I moved, I brought their terrific idea with me. Now we have amazing parent/child conversations happening about books at two schools!!)
I'm not sure if Touch Blue will be in Newbery consideration or not, but regardless, it most definitely is a book to which many students should be exposed. For further specifics about how wonderful I think Touch Blue is, check my blog post from July. I think Cynthia Lord is a truly gifted writer, and this book is her at her best.