The Newbery Challenge KIDS: Back in Time (a Rigorous Book Club)

$15.00 every 2 weeks

In this Newbery book club, students discuss each novel that has won the Newbery Medal. We read deeply and then discuss analytically. This is a challenge!


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Timezone: America/New_York

Section A

  • STARTS: Jan 4, 2024
  • MEETING FREQUENCY: One Time Every Other Week
  • LIVE CLASSES: Thursdays 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
  • TEACHER: Ali Marie
  • CALENDAR: View Entire Calendar

Section B

  • STARTS: Jan 9, 2024
  • MEETING FREQUENCY: One Time Every Other Week
  • LIVE CLASSES: Tuesdays 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
  • TEACHER: Karen Lemons
  • CALENDAR: View Entire Calendar
  • 2 Students Enrolled


**New sections starting in January 2024! Join us from the beginning and go back in time!**


Are you up for the challenge?

We are reading every book that has won the Newbery medal, starting with the 2022 winner and working back in time to 1922! We discuss a new novel during each class. The novel should be read before class. This isn’t your average book club! Feel free to join us for all the books or just the ones you want. Pop in and out of the class as you wish. This class will be ongoing until we finish!

ALL SECTIONS MEET EVERY OTHER WEEK. You are not charged for the weeks we do not meet.


Students will learn reading strategies, how to analyze, who they are as readers, and how to communicate about literature and life! They will begin to develop their own criteria for evaluating the books they read and begin to understand the type of readers they are. To do this, each student takes a turn in talking about the book, and the teacher will probe a bit to get each learner to do a little deeper thinking. Because it’s a discussion class, we encourage students to leave their cameras on, to use the chatbox to expand the discussion, and to think about what they want to say before class begins. This isn’t your average book club! Feel free to join us for all the books or just the ones you want. Pop in and out of the class as you wish, or transfer to different sections if your schedule changes. Sometimes students don’t quite finish the book, but they are still welcome to attend–they can pass on the discussion and listen; however, we also ask questions that apply to reading in general, and these topics can be discussed whether they read the book or not. This class will be ongoing until we finish! Students will earn a badge for each book they complete. Examples of in-class activities are below. Students will:
1. discuss literature in a large group with the instructor and other students.
2. discuss how American literature has changed over the past 100 years.
3. reflect on how literature reveals elements of humanity or the world in which we live.
4. speak aloud and use the chatbox to participate in the conversation.
5. articulate an evaluation of the novel and why they think the way they do.
6. learn how to analyze a literary character.
7. learn how to analyze a piece of literature for the theme.
8. learn how to analyze conflict to reveal character and theme.
9. learn elements of the story.
10. learn point of view.
11. learn how to analyze literature in light of the culture in which it is written.

THERE ARE MULTIPLE SECTIONS OF THIS CLASS. If a section is sold out, keep your eye out as students tend to move in and out based on vacations, etc. You can transfer from one section to another without missing any discussions about novels. Students can send transfer request emails to their teacher for a different section weekly. This class will continue year-round so long as enrollment stays strong; sections may be merged eventually. To learn more about each book, look at the list from the Albuquerque library.

**This schedule is displayed in U.S. Time zones**
***Students should finish reading the book before we meet***

The week starting Jan 7: (2023) FREEWATER BY AMINA LUQMAN-DAWSON
The week starting Jan 14: NO CLASS
The week starting Jan 21: (2022) The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
The week starting Jan 28: NO CLASS
The week starting Feb 4: (2021) When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
The week starting Feb 11: NO CLASS
The week starting Feb 18: (2020) New Kid by Jerry Craft
The week starting Feb 25: NO CLASS
The week starting Mar 3: (2019) Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
The week starting Mar 10: NO CLASS
The week starting Mar 17: (2018) Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
The week starting Mar 24: NO CLASS
The week starting Mar 31: (2017) The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The week starting April 7: NO CLASS
The week starting April 14: (2016) Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Pena
The week starting April 21: NO CLASS
The week starting April 28: (2015) The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
The week starting May 5: NO CLASS
The week starting May 12: (2014) Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
The week starting May 19: NO CLASS
The week starting May 26: (2013) The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The week starting Jun 2: NO CLASS
The week starting Jun 9: (2012) Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
The week starting Jun 16: NO CLASS
The week starting Jun 23: (2011) Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
The week starting Jun 30: NO CLASS
The week starting July 7: (2010) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The week starting July 14: NO CLASS
*more coming soon

Additional information

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Check the offerings of this course on Outschool. Courses on Outschool are secular.

The Lemons-Aid Way: Our Approach to Teaching and Learning is Explicit!

Explicit teaching is a method of instruction students desperately need! It is the opposite of a constructivist philosophy whereby students try to construct meaning themselves.


Instead of leaving students to magically figure out how to write an essay or read or do a geometry proof, we teach explicitly, which is backed by a large body of evidence, and it’s how Mrs. Lemons teaches her undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates in college to teach! We do it this way because it’s how kids learn.

Explicit instruction is “a structured, systematic, and effective methodology for teaching academic skills. It is called explicit because it is an unambiguous and direct approach to teaching that includes both instructional design and delivery procedures. Explicit instruction is characterized by a series of supports or scaffolds, whereby students are guided through the learning process with clear statements about the purpose and rationale for learning the new skill, clear explanations and demonstrations of the instructional target, and supported practice with feedback until independent mastery has been achieved.”
-Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching by Anita L. Archer and Charles A. Hughes.

Anita Archer trained Mrs. Lemons in workshops, and it changed her teaching. Read a little more about the research behind explicit teaching here and here.

To read more about your teaching and learning methods, read Mrs. Lemons’ blog.

We have adopted The Master’s Seminary Doctrinal Statement.

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