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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

The Hockey Kid and the Boy in the Stoopid Shirt


I read THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE and CHECKED a while ago and what really stuck with me weeks later was the distinctive voices of the two first person narrators. The Newbery Terms and Criteria mention “appropriateness of style” as a key consideration, and that’s where I think these two books shine. Style isn’t enough […]

National Book Awards Long List

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A few days ago, the long listed titles for this year’s National Book Award Young People’s Literature category were unveiled.  How does our monthly suggestions list compare?  What are some common threads that you see? Here’s a quick recap and description: Out of the ten titles, Heavy Medal readers have strongly supported Boots on the Ground (nonfiction), Truth as Told by […]

Past Winners and Trend Bucking


Remember that year when the Caldecott winner was a significantly longer book than the Newbery winner?  It was 2008 and Brian Selznick got the Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret while Laura Amy Schlitz got the Newbery for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village.   That felt like a big deal […]

Martians, Butterflies, and the Depths of the Ocean


When Roxanne, Sharon, and I  looked ahead to this year’s Heavy Medal season we discussed how deeply we should dig into each book in the early days. When you read a book you’re really enthusiastic about, it’s tempting to explore every possible example of qualities that might make it “the most distinguished contribution to American […]

An Invitation – To Go Wild (with your recommendations!)


Starting in March, we asked our readers to make monthly suggestions with the strict rule on only including books already published.  So far, more than 80 titles have been put forth by our readers and 27 of them have 3 or more reader support.  We will definitely discuss all 27 and many more from the suggestion pool.  You can see the […]

We’re Back!


This year, unlike years past, we didn’t *really* go anywhere, since we’ve been checking in every month to see what everyone has been reading.  Here we are, though, in September, ready to get the Heavy Medal year officially underway. We are so excited to be here!  We’ve been reading and reading and know you have […]

2019 Heavy Medal: Suggestions to Date – March to August


Here it is, our final cumulative reader suggestion list before we start up our book discussion in early September.  More than forty (40) readers have contributed to the list.  Thank you so much! Plenty of titles to read in preparation for us and Heavy Medal readers.  Please continue to recommend worthy titles for us to […]

2019 Heavy Medal: August Suggestions


Although members of the Newbery Committee would continue to make monthly suggestions throughout the year, at Heavy Medal, this is our last monthly official suggestion post.  In September, we will start our book discussions and readers can suggest titles in comments during the last few months of 2018. For now, the rules are the same as […]

2019 Heavy Medal: Suggestions to Date – March to July

We must thank long-time and new Heavy Medal participants (there are quite a few of you this month) for suggesting titles! Please also actively read these titles in preparation for the September 2019 Heavy Medal official launch.  Of course we will discuss those with multiple suggestions but we also urge everyone to read those with one […]

2019 Heavy Medal: July Suggestions


It is July! By this time, member of the real 2019 Newbery committee must be feeling a bit more pressure: half of 2018 has gone by — did they catch all the worthy titles in their suggestions so far?  Many books are yet to be published in the coming months — will they be able to […]