I'm asking because I've actually read three of the four Newbery books for this year - The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (the Newbery Award winner); The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz and Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (both Newbery Honor books). And in my humble opinion, the two Honor books blew the winner out of the water.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon was a wonderful fantasy story, but it didn't stand out to me as different or better than many of the other fantasy stories published today. But The Inquisitor's Tale provided a unique storytelling method (reminiscent of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales), a unique format ("illuminated" text), and a great way to learn about life in medieval times. Wolf Hollow has been compared by many to To Kill a Mockingbird, and the comparisons really do hold up, in its tone, atmosphere, and coming of age story that will touch your heart - and potentially have a profound effect on its readers, especially if that reader is a middle schooler. In my opinion, either of those books deserved to win the award.