I sell children's books for a living, and read almost nothing but. The first does not necessarily cause the second, as books for children and teens are better than anything in the world.
I'm trying to catch up on the various Newbery short list books before Midwinter at the end of the month, and this was the first read. It's a good one, too.
The thing with the books this year is that for me there's no Ivan. There's no one book that has leaped up and grabbed me around the neck and held on like last year's winner did. I'm not sure if I'm missing something, or if it's just that I'm not going to get as excited every year as I was last year.
Cynthia Kadohata is a heavyweight. She's a writer's writer - one of those people whose every scene counts, whose every word counts. That's on full display in The Thing About Luck. It's beautifully written and exceptionally well characterized. It'll be brilliant for classroom use. I'm not sure it'll be my Newbery pick, but if it wins, I wouldn't be sorry.