Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

more backlash

With the Mock Newbery coming up on Sunday, I should really be posting about the books, getting deeper into discussion, and preparing for that.  But I’ll admit, I’ve been distracted a little bit by this Bloomberg article.

There has been discussion on Read Roger (check the comments)  and Fuse #8 also discusses the article. 

I don’t know that I have much to add, other than confusion at the outrage being spewed at the Newbery lately.  Wow.  This study seems inacurate and the article an excuse to garner press with negativity.

So, I’d just like to take a second and thank every member of every Newbery Committee of the past, present (and future).  Your work is honored. 

Back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled program. 

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. Tara Olson says:

    Here, here! The negativity ship has sailed. Let’s get back to doing what we love, talking about good books for kids.

  2. I have a completely off-topic question for any past or present Newbery committee members – one that I’ve been dying to ask for years.

    Some years ago the cover of The Horn Book was an illustration by David Macaulay of what I think was supposed to be the Newbery committee “discussing” books. That would be “discussing” in the sense that violence had either just broken out or was just about to. It has been one of my cherished mental pictures for years – a committee of people so passionate about which book they each think should win that they’re throwing around insults and coffee cups and rulers.

    Is there even a teensy bit of truth to that picture? Or is everybody all calm and businesslike and bland? It would be so much more fun if the deliberations began with the announcement, “Let the wild rumpus begin!”

  3. Roger Sutton says:

    I always took that cover to be Macaulay’s observation of a typical day at the Horn Book, but I’m checking.

  4. Monica Edinger says:

    We aren’t allowed to tell what happened during our meetings, but did you see my committee member’s black eye last January at the press conference? The other one’s crutches? Not saying who did what, but there you are. Or how about those head wounds among the Caldecott committee? (I mean, their medalist is a dangerously heavy book.) (JOKE JOKE JOKE!!)

  5. I, also, would like to thank every person who has ever served on a Newbery Committee. Last year, my students and I had the honor of having a Newbery Committee member come in and discuss her experiences as a committee member. My students and I were stunned by the number of books she had read over the year. Several of my students asked her if this was her full-time job. No, indeed it wasn’t, she had a full-time administrative postion in our school district.

    Thank you committee members for your time and efforts in selecting books which you feel are important for today’s children.

  6. Speaking of the Caldecott (Monica mentioned it): Are the Caldecott committees being given grief over their selections, too? Or is it just the Newbery that’s under fire?

Speak Your Mind