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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Looking for Titles

So, Nina and I have been reading all year in search of books that seem to have Newbery potential.  We’re sure you’ve been reading a lot too!  As we get into our Mock Newbery planning, we love to hear everyone’s suggestions of books that might be worth considering for our Mock Newbery short list.  The short list is the list of books that everyone will read and discuss as contenders at our Mock Newbery discussion in Oakland in January.  We have some of our own ideas, of course, which we’ll be posting about over the coming weeks.  But we want to make sure we aren’t missing any great titles! 

This blog will definitely be interactive.  We really do want to hear from you.  A Newbery/Mock Newbery discussion isn’t very fun without interested people taking part in the discussion of literature for children.  So, please use the comments in this post to provide us with any books that you think are worthy contenders.  Remember to consider the Newbery Terms and Criteria when thinking about books that would make good titles for discussion in the Mock Newbery!

What are your favorite books, published this year, that you believe deserve to be considered for the Newbery??

Sharon McKellar About Sharon McKellar

Sharon McKellar is the Supervising Librarian for Teen Services at the Oakland Public Library in California. She has served on the Rainbow List Committee, the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee, The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee, and the 2015 Caldecott Committee. You can reach her at


  1. The Missing Girl, Norma Fox Mazer

  2. Savvy by Ingrid Law
    The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

  3. I also would like to nominate The Underneath by Kathi Appelt.

  4. I also would like to nominate The Underneath by Kathi Appelt.

  5. I like A Thousand Never Evers, by Burg. Also a fan of Savvy, by Law.

  6. GraceAnne_LadyHawk says:

    Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell

  7. Wating For Normal by Leslie Connor


    My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath is currently my favorite. I also think Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse would be an excellent choice (but I would *love* for Horvath to get the Medal).

  9. It hasn’t been released just yet, but I suspect that Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains is going to be a serious contender.

  10. Monica Edinger says:

    Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. That is, if he is eligible.

  11. Monica Edinger says:

    I second the Horvath

  12. I second Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell. I’d like to add Greetings From Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor and The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

  13. Brenda Ferber says:

    Shooting the Moon and Cicada Summer are my two hopefuls.

  14. Robin Gibson says:

    Also Horvath’s My One Hundred Adventures — I’m still thinking about this book!

  15. says:

    My top picks of what I’ve read so far are: The Underneath and Greetings From Nowhere. I’ll have to go check out My One Hundred Adventures.

  16. Virginia Walter says:

    The Trouble Begins at Eight by Sid Fleischman

  17. Monica Edinger says:

    I second the Fleischman.

  18. I suggest the following titles for your consideration:
    Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith and Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker.

  19. Have you tried the “Worldweavers” books by Alma Alexander? THe first book in the trilogy, “Gift of the Unmage”, came out in 2007 – the second book, which might be eligible for this particular shindig, is “Spellspam” (released March 2008) – number three (“Cybermage”)comes out in February 2009.

  20. Mrs. Martin says:

    I have so many books that I have loved this year. My favorite was Waiting for Normal until I read Trouble by Gary Schmidt. I also think Outside Beauty was very good and I am reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey now and loving it.

  21. I’d like to second the recommendation of Kadohata’s Outside Beauty. What great characterizations!

  22. I’d liked to recommend Kadir Nelson’s We are the Ship. I think meets the criteria for not only the Newbery but also the Caldecott and Coretta Scott King. Potential “triple crown” winner!

  23. _Waiting for Normal_ is a compelling read.

  24. Ooo . . . I just finished _Cicada Summer_ and I think it’s a keeper too.

  25. Waiting for Normal and My One Hundred Adventures are my picks so far. I’m looking forward to reading the Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Klage’s new book, White Sands, Red Menace. Eric, We Are the Ship is a possible Sibert pick as well: that makes four possible awards. I chose it as one of six for my Mock Newbery with 5th graders at my school. I had really mixed feelings about The Underneath. It’s great to have this blog: thanks.

  26. Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes.

  27. I second Bird Lake Moon AND Waiting for Normal.

  28. The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem

  29. Dean Schneider says:

    Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains is my pick so far. Excellent historical fiction.

  30. Sharry wright says:

    I’d like to Nominate Shifty by Lynn Hazen

  31. The Leanin’ Dog

  32. I’ll second The Unnameables and add my vote for We Are the Ship as a triple crown winner!

  33. Emily Jiang says:

    Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link. Her collection of weird short stories is illustrated by Shaun Tan.

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