- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Lamb/Random). Duh. It's awesome and has gotten eleventy billion starred reviews. If this doesn't get recognized -- nay, if it doesn't WIN -- I will eat my hat. (Note to self: buy hat.)
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown). Beautiful storytelling, librarian-friendly hooks (folktale, multicultural, girl power), gorgeous package.
- A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (Dial). It's good. And he's Richard Peck.
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (Holt). Lots of good attention. And did you read this woman's bio? She's a doctor and a lawyer and a writer and probably a rocket scientist to boot.
- The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown). Could this be the year?
- Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (HMCo). Haven't pored over it myself, but lots of folks seem to be talking about it.
- The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan (Candlewick). Graphicy goodness -- would the committee go for it again after Hugo?
- Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (Levine/Scholastic). Really, if you haven't read this by now, what is wrong with you?
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking). And again I say, duh.
- Going Bovine by Libba Bray (Delacorte). An acceptance speech made entirely of tweets, maybe?
- Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman (Holt). Surely at least one Darwin book pub'd in 2009 will get attention? (Er, two. Forgot about you, Callie Vee.)
- The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton (Charlesbridge). Oh please oh please? (And no, it's not mine -- it's just that good.)
- Catching Fire and Fire, starred reviews be damned. There, I said it.
- The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick). Tulane fatigue, maybe.
Book Everyone Else Will Love and I Will Just Not Get and Find Annoying (aka the King Dork award):
- Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman (Delacorte)
That is all. Tune in four and a half months from now to compare notes.