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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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From Half-Asleep to Wide-Awake: Little Charlie’s Journey


The moment I opened this book and started reading, I knew it would be a book that divides readers’ reactions.  The southern dialect spelled as spoken could throw some readers off, even though I appreciate it quite a bit: being able to “hear” Little Charlie’s and other characters’ voices more vividly due to spellings such as “seent,” […]

She’s a Car, Not a Bicycle


Up to this point, FRONT DESK by Kelly Yang is getting great support among Heavy Medal participants. During the March – August period when we solicited monthly “suggestions,” it was tied for first with eight. After our first round of “nominations” earlier this month, it’s the leader with ten. I really appreciate the way it […]

Hey Kiddo

hey kiddo

Last week, Roxanne talked about a couple of graphic novels that have Newbery potential.  She talked through how we can “read pictures” and where that fits into Newbery Criteria. Another graphic title I want to discuss is HEY, KIDDO, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.  It came out just about a week ago, so many may not […]

Reading the Pictures


Scott McCloud, a well respected expert about Comics and Graphic Novels, declares, “Pictures ARE text” and “Pictures ARE meaning” in an interview (17:45) and that they are not just illustrations in a novel of words.  I already cited these words in a comment about Shannon Hale’s Real Friends in January and urged Heavy Medal readers to expand the meaning […]

National Book Awards Finalists


 When the National Book Awards Longlist was announced a few weeks ago I wasn’t sure it would relate very much to mock-Newbery stuff.  As Roxanne pointed out in her post, at least five of the ten books were very much on the older end of the teen audience. But today the five Finalists were announced and it […]

Nominations: First Round Results


October Nominations are closed. We’ll call for two more nominations per person in early November, then again in December.  The first round of Nominations was one of my favorite parts of being Newbery Chair. Up to this moment, Committee members don’t have a good sense of what other members are most enthusiastic about. Then the […]

Thoughts on October 8, 2018, Indigenous Peoples Day


First off, we’d like to thank all of you who have nominated titles for our future discussion.  The number of comments is robust! That leads us to express our puzzlement: why so few of you have joined the book discussion?  Too busy? Not inspired? Book discussion seems trivial compared to what’s transpiring on the national […]

It’s Time! Top Three? Wheee!

Nominate blue

I know it seems so fast, but it’s already time to start nominating.  In October the real Newbery Committee members are painstakingly deciding which titles to put forward as their first nominations.  The first ones are hardest, for me, because I’m flying blind.  I’m trying to guess what others are likely to suggest and balance […]

You Go First


Maybe you’ve heard of Erin Entrada Kelly?  She won a little award called The Newbery last year.  And although the winner of last year’s Newbery doesn’t factor at all into this year’s decision, of course it means people are going to pay attention to her newest novel.  We, here at Heavy Medal, included. Ultimately YOU […]

Boy / Monster / Angel / Boy


When Heavy Medal readers gave monthly “Suggestions” of likely Newbery contenders from March through August, Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s THE BOOK OF BOY was at the top of the list (tied with THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE) with eight suggestions.  It was an early 2018 publication, which is obviously an advantage in that process…but also: a […]