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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Tis the season to curl up with a good book

It is a challenge to be on an award committee if you have a small living space. My stints have at least scourged the under-the-bed of dust bunnies, dragging boxes in and out. 

Newbery committee members can technically do as they please with the "complimentary" books the publishers send them. Many wind up in the members’ local libraries or schools. Because my library (happily) generally has copies already in the system of any worthy title anyway, I’ve often sent most of my books to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, for family holiday gift boxes.

Now’s the time of year to do it, even though the committee deliberations are still in progress.  Nevertheless, I always found I could make a few boxes of books I really really really didn’t think I’d need again. Since committee members are expected to "have ready access to the major part of the current output of children’s books under consideration," I did so with the understanding that if a book that I’d given away was later nominated or suggested, I’d have to get a library copy or order a copy at my local independent bookstore.

I encourage everyone to check to see if a food bank or other charity in your area would like books for holiday boxes.   While you’re at it, ask them how they label/sort their gift items for children, and give the gift of your expertise by labelling each book with an age range.

Nina Lindsay About Nina Lindsay

Nina Lindsay is the Children's Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, CA. She chaired the 2008 Newbery Committee, and served on the 2004 and 1998 committees. You can reach her at


  1. If you live in the San Jose area, you can donate the books to the San Jose Mercury News’ “Gift of Reading” book drive. The year I was on the Printz Committee, they got a bounty of teen books!

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