The 2020 Newbery Committee
It's the day before the Youth Media Awards where the 2021 Newbery winners are announced. My experience serving on the 2020 Newbery Committee was a special one. It marked the second time I had served on a national awards committee. I had previously served on the Street Literature Book Awards Committee and enjoyed the experience.
The year also marked boxes and boxes of books arriving at my home for review. Let me tell you, it was a lot of reading and note taking. There were so many books that were excellent reads and it was difficult to eliminate these titles down to the final five that were represented on the final list. It could only be accomplished through the work of a dedicated committee.
The 2020 Newbery Committee was comprised of librarians from various backgrounds and work experiences from across the country. They brought a rich perspective to the discussions and though our life experiences were different, we found common ground in our love of books. Fueled by coffee, regional snacks and humor, we met in a hot hotel conference room and voted for the 99th Newbery Award Books. I greatly respect all of the committee members and cherish that our relationships continues to this day. Serving on this historic award committee is an event in my life that I will never forget.
As I count down the hours until the winners are announced, I think about this year's committee. They had to read books for consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic. I can only image the stress they have faced during the past year. This year's committee has my utmost respect because I understand that this was challenging. Despite this, I know they will feel the same way I did last year when the awards are announced, proud that they contributed to making history. These books that are selected every year by this esteemed committee are historic and will be loved by children for years to come.