Finally… I emailed the three October nominations in to the Chair. My method for this round? As I read, I’ve been keeping a “top secret” file on my computer and each book, as I finished it, received a 1-10 rating. So I am reminded of my fresh impressions and reactions to the books. For this nomination round, I sorted the books by rating — and any book above an 8.5 got a serious consideration — and then those above 9 and the 9.5 titles, of course. I re-read my notes and re-scanned some of the top titles and recalled my thoughts and reactions on each one. Then, I considered how strongly some titles have been supported (evident by the accumulative monthly suggestion numbers) by my fellow committee members. I also threw into the mix my own “agenda” — I definitely want to diversify: older readers/younger readers, nonfiction/realistic/historical fiction/fantasy/scifi, varied tones/styles, thematically different… etc. So, the first three were finally decided on. Then it took me almost three days to agonize how to present the books (150 – 300 words for each) to the rest of the Committee. I have to highlight each book’s strengths without laying out every single merit or textual example — those will surface during the actual closed-door discussion in late January. After writing and re-writing and re-writing — I had to send them in. And now, waiting for the compiled first round of nominations from everyone. Hooray and much much gratitude to a hard-working and on-top-of-it-all 2013 Newbery Committee Chair: Steven Engelfried!!! I cannot be more excited!