Mock Award Program

Welcome to The Sydney Taylor Shmooze Mock Award Program! 

If you've explored this website, you know that the Sydney Taylor Book Awards recognize the best Jewish children's and young adult literature each January, and that our blog reviews books of Jewish content against the criteria of the award. The Mock Award Program empowers teachers, librarians, and other leaders to help groups engage with Jewish literature in a deep and critical way.

Why do a Sydney Taylor Mock Award?

  • To increase awareness of new Jewish books for youth and celebrate the genre of Jewish literature
  • To encourage participants to engage with the greater community of book lovers
  • To help participants find their voices in advocating for the books they believe should win, and to critically evaluate books beyond personal likes and dislikes

How to do a Sydney Taylor Mock Award?

  1. With your group, share information about the Real Award, read some past winners, and talk about the criteria.
  2. Read a few books (suggested titles below) and evaluate them according to the official criteria or kid-friendly criteria. This can be done as a group, or done individually and then shared. You can choose to read books in just one age category or in more than one.
  3. As a group, discuss the books and select a Mock Winner, the book you think best adheres to the criteria and that you think is most likely to win the Real Award. You might also decide to select Mock Honor and Notable books.
  4. Submit your results to the ALSC blog (Association for Library Services to Children). 
  5. Vote in The Sydney Taylor Shmooze poll in early January to help select the blog's Mock Winners.
  6. Make plans to watch the Youth Media Awards livestream on January 22, 2024 to hear the announcement of the Real Sydney Taylor Book Award winners, honors, and notables (as well as other book awards). 


Sydney Taylor Mock Book Award programs may use any books of Jewish content that fit the award criteria, but these titles below are our suggestions for your consideration this year. Note that the award recognizes books published the prior year (i.e. the 2024 award goes to books published in 2023). We've provided six recommendations per age category, along with links to background information about each book.


published 3/21/23
ISBN 978-1681155999

Farrar Straus and Giroux
published 3/21/23
ISBN 978-0374390105
published 4/4/23
ISBN 978-1728445595
Random House Studio
published 7/11/23
ISBN 978-0593482070
published 8/8/23
ISBN 978-1797212814
published 9/19/23
ISBN 978-1419762963

published 1/17/23
ISBN 978-0063034433
Katherine Tegan Books
published 5/23/23
ISBN 978-0063248199
published 6/13/23
ISBN 978-1250864710
Interview: Publishers Weekly 
published 7/5/23
ISBN 978-1774880494 
published 8/15/23
ISBN 978-0062983596
Levine Querido
published 11/7/23
ISBN 978-1646142644


published 1/3/23
ISBN 978-1529088861
published 8/29/23
ISBN 978-1250265722
Wednesday Books
published 6/13/23
ISBN 978-1250871640
Peachtree Teen
published 7/11/23
ISBN 978-1682634837
Blackstone Publishing
published 7/18/23
ISBN 979-8200864973