Sleeper Newbery Pick

Today I am sharing my sleeper Newbery pick with you.  My hit rate for award predictions is not too bad, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it either.  This one just felt like a great selection.  It is timely, so well written and kids will actually enjoy it.  So we’ll see when the awards are announced on the 28th if the judges agree with me.  But regardless of the award outcome, this story is a wonderful read for your kids.

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Title: The Season of Styx Malonesleeper newbery pick season of styx malone

Author: Kekla Magoon

Target: Grade 4-7

Series: No

What this book is about:

Caleb and Bobby Gene never leave their hometown of Sutton.  When they meet a new neighbor Styx, who is older and very charismatic, they suddenly feel their world expand.  Styx teaches them about the Great Escalator Trade where they can take something small and keep trading until it becomes big and the boys are off to achieve their dreams.  The one trouble is that Styx gets them in over their head and his troubled past could lead to trouble for Caleb and Bobby Gene.

Why I love this book:

  • I LOVED this one.  First off, every kid has a Styx, an older kid who they look up to and see as a living a better life than they ever could.  I could totally feel the longing of Caleb to have the swagger, confidence, and self-assurance of Styx.  It absolutely will hit home with readers.
  • The Great Escalator Trade was a wonderful set up for the story. Readers will be caught up in seeing how the boys can trade up to the scooter of their dreams.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see your kids wheeling and dealing after reading this book to try and make their own fantasies a reality.
  • A subtle but powerful message of how black families try and shield their sons from harm.  Caleb and Bobby Gene’s dad is reluctant to leave Sutton where everyone knows them.  Some readers will pick up on the reason for the parent’s fears but it may go over the heads of younger readers.  It is still substantial to see a family of color at the heart of this story that will resonate will all readers.

Who this book is for:

Great for kids who like realistic fiction and watching a scheme unfold.  Kids who enjoyed The Parker Inheritance or Speechless should like this one.

Final thoughts:

The moment I put this one down I thought Newbery. This is my sleeper pick and I would love to see it get a shiny sticker. 

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Season of Styx Malone.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.