Birbery Awards

  • The 2019 Birbery has been concluded! 
    Our committee members have decided on the winning book...
    and the award goes to...

    Small Spaces!

    with honor books:
    Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair
    Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
    Endling: The Last
    Thank you and congratulations to our BCS Birbery Committee members:
    Ethan Lemont
    Hailey Lossia
    Nolan Peterson
    Sarah Skinner
    Daniel Youn
  • Amal Unbound

    by Aisha Saeed Year Published: 2018 Realistic Fiction, Multicultural

    In Pakistan, Amal holds onto her dream of being a teacher even after becoming an indentured servant to pay off her family's debt to the wealthy and corrupt Khan family.

    Comments (-1)
  • Black Panther: The Young Prince

    by Ronald L. Smith Year Published: 2018 Fantasy, Adventure

    Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger.  This is his destiny. But right now, he's simply T'Challa, the young prince. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T'Challa's father makes a startling announcement: he's sending T'Challa to school in America. In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T'Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.

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  • Doughnut Fix

    by Jessie Janowitz Year Published: 2018 Realistic Fiction

    After Tris’s father loses his job, his parents drag him from NYC to tiny, down-on-its-luck Petersville. Tris sees a sign in the General Store window advertising chocolate cream doughnuts, but finds out they aren't made anymore. So Tris decides to bring doughnuts back to Petersville. If he can perfect the recipe, he may be able to bake his way into his very own business.

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  • Endling: The Last

    by Katherine Applegate Year Published: 2018 Fantasy, Adventure

    Byx, the last of the dairnes, sets out to find others of her kind and along the way meets new allies. The group soon uncovers a secret that threatens the lives of every creature in their world.

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  • Hunger

    by Donna Jo Napoli Year Published: 2018 Historical Fiction

    In the autumn of 1846 in Ireland, twelve-year-old Lorraine and her family struggle to survive during the Irish potato famine, but when Lorraine meets Miss Susannah, the daughter of the wealthy English landowner who owns Lorraine's family's farm, they form an unlikely friendship that they must keep secret due to the deep cultural divide between their two families.

    Comments (-1)
  • Knockout

    by K.A. Holt Year Published: 2018 Verse Novel, Realistic Fiction, Sports

    When formerly medically fragile Levi discovers his love for boxing, he finds himself in the ring with those who love him most. He knows he's strong enough to fight for his life, but can he convince everyone else to believe in him, too?

    Comments (-1)
  • Last Pick

    by Jason Walz Year Published: 2018 Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

    Three years ago, aliens invaded Earth and abducted everyone they deemed useful. The only ones spared were those too young, too old, or too 'disabled' to be of value. Living on Earth under the aliens' harsh authoritarian rule, humanity's rejects do their best to survive. Their captors never considered them a threat--until now. Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels and start a revolution.

    Comments (-1)
  • Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

    by Stacey McAnulty Year Published: 2018 Realistic Fiction

    A lightning strike made Lucy, twelve, a math genius but, after years of homeschooling, her grandmother enrolls her in middle school and she learns that life is more than numbers.

    Comments (-1)
  • Small Spaces

    by Katherine Arden Year Published: 2018 Horror, Mystery

    After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces…or endure the horrors of the past.

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  • Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair

    by Amy MacKechnie Year Published: 2018 Realistic Fiction, Mystery

    As ten-year-old Gwyn searches for a missing neighbor in her new town in Iowa, she learns much about her mother, who grew up there but has suffered from memory loss since Gwyn was four.

    Comments (-1)
  • Calendar

    Posted by:

    November 9
    Book checkout begins

    January - Feb
    Book Clubs

    Jan 9: Last Pick, Small Spaces
    (6th during lunch, 7/8 during Ac Lab)

    Feb 4: Amal Unbound, Hunger
    (6th during lunch, 7/8 during lunch)

    Feb 5: Miscalculations, Knockout
    (6th during lunch, 7/8 during lunch)

    Feb 12: Black Panther, Endling
    (6th during lunch, 7/8 during lunch)

    Feb 13: Unforgettable, Doughnut Fix
    (6th during lunch, 7/8 during Ac Lab)

    February 24
    Requirements for participation must be met by 11:59pm

    February 27
    Quiz Bowl at BCS

    March 1
    Committee Meeting at Baldwin Library

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  • What is the Birbery?

    Posted by:

    The Birbery is a reading program designed by Birmingham Media Specialists 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 Media Specialists chose ten books that they believe are front-runners for the real Newbery Award. 

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  • How does the program work?

    Posted by:

    We begin by introducing the program and the books to students November 6th through November 9th during an assembly and/or academic labs.

    Then, students can begin to check out the books beginning at 8am on Friday, November 9th.

    This is an optional program where students can read and review as many of the 10 Birbery books as they choose.  Students who meet the requirements detailed below come to the Quiz Bowl on February 27 during school, where the 10 book readers answer game-show style questions about the books. Students who are 5+ book readers get to watch.  Everyone votes on BCS’s favorite Birbery book.  Plus, everyone gets fed lunch and snacks, too!

    Finally, the top 5 scorers of the Quiz Bowl form the BCS branch of the Birbery Committee. The committee members from each middle school are picked up by a limo from school on March 1 and taken to Baldwin Library to meet.  They eat a catered lunch and discuss the books to decide on the Birbery Award winning book of the year.

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  • What are the requirements to participate?

    Posted by:

    To compete in the Quiz Bowl (and enjoy a delicious lunch):

    1. Read all 10 Birbery books.
    2. Review all 10 books on the Media Center website by February 24.
    3. Attend 2 or more book clubs during lunch.


    To watch the Quiz Bowl (and eat the food, too!):

    1. Read 5 or more Birbery books.
    2. Review those 5+ books on the Media Center website by February 24.
    3. Attend 2 or more book clubs during lunch.
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  • When are the book clubs?

    Posted by:

    The book clubs will be held during lunches in January and February.  The exact dates for the bookclubs are listed in the calendar above.  Remember, students who wish to participate as an audience member or a contestant in the Quiz Bowl must attend at least 2 of the 10 book clubs!

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  • Contact

    Posted by:

    If you have any additional questions, please contact Ann Truesdell at

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