I have loved Newbery books and the Newbery award for over 6 years, which is saying a lot because I'm 12, so that is most of my life. When the awards were about to be announced on Monday, I was a little sad because this year I haven't been able to participate in any Mock Newberys or other Newbery-related events. This year I've been ridiculously, annoyingly, painfully sick. I was even a little worried that I might not have (Gasp!) read this year's winner. My mom consoled me by saying that I had read many amazing books this year, many of them due to the extraordinary "books as medicine" effort of authors all around the world. And then the announcement was made. You might have heard my squeal all the way from Indiana. It was The One And Only Ivan! I had read it (and, of course, loved it), but that's not all. Early in the books as medicine barrage, Katherine Applegate had sent me an amazingly over-the-top and wonderful package, which included my own autographed copy of The One and Only Ivan, plus my very own Ivan. The stuffed version of Ivan has accompanied me on many recent medical excursions, which means that I had this year's Newbery with me all along. When I first read The One and Only Ivan I thought it was sad but wonderful. In a lot of ways, that has been true in my recent life. It is not amazing that Katherine Applegate won the Newbery because she wrote an amazing book, but I am unbelievably happy that I've had Ivan with me all the way.