Welcome to Week 1 of CPI Medal Mania! Spoiler alert, while we love the Newbery as much as a reader can we also have a deep love and appreciation for the Caldecott medal so be on the lookout for our predictions on that front too!
Please note that each title is appearing in no specific order other than publication date and that it is physically impossible for us to choose just ONE title to receive the Newbery medal, therefore we have narrowed it down to our top 10!
Newbery Prediction #1: From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Publication Date: 01/14/2020
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary from the Publisher:
With equal parts mystery and heart, this middle grade debut by Janae Marks follows Zoe Washington after she receives an unexpected letter on her twelfth birthday from the incarcerated father she’s never met and her courageous journey to uncover the truth about his crime. Perfect for fans of Front Desk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook!
Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write next. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, she hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?
A crime he says he never committed.
Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe’s determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters from her mom and stepdad.
Everyone thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge! It’s Zoe’s dream to become a star baker, and she can’t afford to mess anything up.
But with bakery confections on one part of her mind and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: everyone lies.
Why have we chosen this title?
This book has so much heart and at its core it is a mystery novel. It’s up to Zoe to determine her father’s innocence. However, while the mystery of the story keeps you turning the pages, the conflict and emotions Zoe feels about her father’s innocence, keeping it a secret from her Mom and best friend is what makes this an incredible middle grade novel worthy of a very important award. Zoe is at that perfect Middle Grade book age where everything is tough and complicated and feelings are weird and it can all just be so overwhelming. Zoe is the best character; she is funny and smart but also questions things and takes risks in a way that middle grade audiences will truly resonate with. Also her love of baking and the bond she forms with Marcus through the lost art of writing letters is unique and heartwarming.
We highly recommend this one for your shelves. Additionally it is also an excellent audiobook and would make for a great read aloud!
Trade Hardcover CPI Item #: 2144577
Trade Paperback CPI Item #: 2196110
Large Print CPI Item #: 2182129
View the Educator Guide HERE.
Let us know what you think in the comments section!