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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

December Nominations

57 Bus

In December, the real committee submits two more nominations and this is crunch time.  It’s the committee’s last chance to nominate titles (unless things come out later in the year) and each member’s last chance to ensure that their choices are on the table for discussion. Here at Heavy Medal we did nominations in October […]

First Time a Charm?

Train I Ride

In a comment from an earlier post, Genevieve said:  “I wish there was a Morris equivalent for children’s books.”  It’s an interesting idea.  YALSA started the Morris Award in 2009 to honor a “first time author writing for teens.”  ALSC doesn’t have a similar award at this point, and the Newbery Terms and Criteria tell […]

Disastrous Journey, but the Book’s Sure Good

Bound by Ice

BOUND BY ICE  by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace has a lot of qualities that I look for in narrative nonfiction.  It’s a highly absorbing survival story with lots of suspense.  The historical figures have distinct and engaging personalities.  And it’s a piece of history that most readers won’t know about already.  With a compelling true […]

Jade & Patina: Two Admirable Young Women

piecingmetogether

One of our short listed titles this year is The Hate U Give, with a teenaged black protagonist attending a predominantly white school away from her own neighborhood.  At least two other titles in 2017 feature  similar situations.  Jason Reynolds’ Patina and Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together (both received four starred reviews from major review journals.) If two or all three are nominated by […]

It’s Here! Announcing the Short List and Oakland’s Mock Newbery!

clayton byrd

We are so excited to announce our short list today!  But before we get to that, let me tell you a little bit about our plans for this list and some of our plans for the blog for the rest of the Newbery season. This short list will be used in the Mock Newbery discussion […]

So Much Nonfiction, So Little Time

Fault Lines

I’ve thought about doing separate posts for some of these titles, and still may, but my list of nonfiction-books-I’d-really-like-to-discuss keeps getting longer.  So here’s sort of a catch-up post of a half-dozen titles (in Dewey Decimal order) that could be worthy of Newbery consideration: FAULT LINES IN THE CONSTITUTION:  THE FRAMERS, THEIR FIGHTS, AND THE FLAWS […]

Refugee: the Undoubtedly Relevant, but Is It Distinguished?

refugee

In the comment section of Sharon’s YA? Why Not? (October 18th) post, some readers discussed the timeliness of titles and whether a book’s thematic relevance increases its winning chances.  Many considered the manual and emphasized that the committee members are not to make their decisions based on the chosen theme but how successful such theme is literarily presented. […]

Picture Book Possibiities

after the fall

We haven’t talked too much about picture books yet this year, and I wanted to check in and see where everyone was in terms of picture books with potential. After LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET took the gold, I think we are all thinking even more about the text in picture books and how it […]

The Glorious Ineligibles

labellesauvage

Being on the Newbery Committee means devoting almost all your reading time (and time to do other things in the past) to the year’s output of American Children’s Books. I know that my husband definitely felt the impact of being a Newbery Committee Spouse. Evenings that were family times — watching TV together or playing […]

Language and Length in The Glass Town Game

Glass Town Game

In THE GLASS TOWN GAME, four Bronte siblings (yes, those Brontes) travel to a magical world filled with characters and settings from the their own imaginative games.  I went back and forth on this book several times while I read it, and it shows in my thoughts below: The language is eloquent, imaginative, clever, often […]