Amari and the Night Brothers wins the 2022 Birbery Award!

Birbery 2022 Selections:

  • Amari and the Night Brothers  Deadman's Castle Cover  Ground Zero Cover  How to Train Your Dad COver  Linked Cover

    Starfish Cover  The Last Cuentista  The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. Cover  While I Was Away Cover  Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero Cover  

    All book covers are hyperlinked to Amazon. Please consider the Birmingham Education Foundation as your Amazon Smile charity of choice. 

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Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the Birbery?

    The Birbery Reading Challenge is a reading program designed for all Birmingham Public School 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It is a “Mock Newbery” program. The real Newbery is an award given each year in January for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in the preceding year.” The BPS Middle School Media Specialists along with Mrs. Stephanie Klimmek, Head of Youth Services at the Baldwin Public Library, chose 10 exceptional books that they believe are front-runners for the real Newbery Award. 

    How do I participate?


    Book Review Guidelines


    Book Checkout

    Q: How many Birbery books can I check out at one time?
    A: One

    Q: How long can have the book?
    A: Three weeks. If you have any overdues or fines on your library account, you’ll need to take care of those before you check out a Birbery book. Sorry, there are no holds on Birbery titles.

    Q: Can I renew a Birbery Book?
    A: No. Birbery books need to be returned by their due date, but you may check out the same title after the book has been returned for two full class periods. If it is still available after that time, you may check it out again. 

    Q: Can I get the books from another provider such as Amazon, Kindle, the public library, Books-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, etc?
    A: Yes, you are not required to check them out through the school library.

    Q: If I have an Audible account or can locate an audiobook version, is that cheating?
    A: No. Listen away! The Derby Library provides Birbery books in audio. 

    Bookmark Stickers

    Q: How do I get a sticker for my bookmark?
    A: Read the book, write a quality review, come to the library to pick up a sticker.

    Q: Do I need to print out my review to get the sticker?
    A: No. Stickers are handed out on the honor system.

    Birbery Finale - celebration after school 

    Q: How do I get invited to the Birbery celebration?
    A: Read 5 or more books. Write and submit a review for each book. RSVP that you plan to attend. Attend two Birbery book clubs during lunch rec. The party usually consists of pepperoni or cheese pizza from Jets, salad, chips, pretzels, pop, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

    Q: When will the party be held?
    A: May 17th from 3:20 - 5:20 pm (Note: there is a track conflict) 


    Official Birbery Committee

    Q: How do I earn a spot on the official Birbery Committee?
    A: Read all 10 books, write 10 quality reviews, attend two lunch rec book clubs, and be one of the top 5 scoring participants in the quiz bowl.

    Q: What are the perks of being on the committee?
    A: You will be picked up by limo and transported to the Baldwin library for lunch. Once there, you will discuss the books with the committee members from the other middle schools. You will represent our school when voting for the one book that you believe should win the Birbery award.

    Q: If I read all 10 books, will I be forced to compete for a spot on the committee?
    A: No. If you want to be on the committee, then you have to compete for a spot. However, If you are content with simply gathering stickers and being invited to attend the final celebration, then that’s awesome, too!

    Birbery Quiz Bowl

    Q: How will the quiz bowl competition be structured?
    A: The structure of the quiz bowl depends on the number of qualified participants. The quiz bowl will be an in-person event.

    Q: Will the competition be done by grade level?
    A: No, all eligible students will compete at one time.

    Q: What can I expect the questions to be like?
    A: The quiz bowl is tough! Ten questions from each book will be placed in an envelope and selected at random. The questions may be rather obscure, so if you plan on competing for a spot, you'll need to know the books quite well.  

    Were do I get the books?

    All of the books are available for checkout in the Derby Media Center. 

    Baldwin Public Library has copies of each title as well. Several eBooks and audiobooks are available 24/7 through the Baldwin Sora app in ClassLink. See Mrs. Sindelar to connect your BPS Sora to the Baldwin Sora app. 

    Baldwin Overdrive/Sora: 

    Sora app

    Amari and the Night Brothers: eBook and Audiobook

    Deadman's Castle: eBook and Audiobook

    Ground Zero: eBook and Audiobook

    How to Train Your Dad: eBook and Audiobook

    Linked: eBook and Audiobook

    Starfish: eBook and Audiobook

    The Last Cuentista: eBook

    The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S: eBook and Audiobook

    While I Was Away: eBook and Audiobook

    Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero: eBook and Audiobook

    When are the book clubs?

    The book clubs will be held during lunches beginning in early April and running through the second week of May. 

    I enjoy watching book trailers like last year. Do you have any of those?

    Yes, click the video box at the top of this page to view the trailers. 


    If you have any additional questions, please contact Mrs. Sindelar at

Birbery Logo

Important Dates:

  • January 18
    Birbery program is released

    January 21
    Book checkout begins at 7:45am

    January 24
    The Newbery Award winner is announced

    April 14 
    Birbery book club (lunch rec) Had to move to Thursday due to PSAT testing in the library.

    April 20
    Birbery book club (lunch rec)

    April 27
    Birbery book club (lunch rec)

    May 4
    Birbery book club (lunch rec)

    May 15
    Deadline for all reviews to be submitted: 11:59 pm.

    May 17
    Pizza Party and Quiz Bowl (3:20 pm - 5:20 pm)

    May 19
    Trip to Baldwin