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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Other Mock Winners

Nina just posted about Kids and Mock Newbery Discussions.  A perfect lead-in for this post, where I’m going to provide as much information as I have found about winners and honor books from other Mock Newberys around the country.  The reason I see Nina’s post as a perfect lead-in is that I always wonder, when reading other results, what methods they use to arrive at their decisions.  How are the short lists selected?  How is the discussion led?  Who is participating?  And how is the winner chosen? 

This year it seems our results are quite different from most other Mock Newberys around the country, in spite of some similar short lists.  If any readers have participated in these other groups, I’d love a comment about how your Mock was run…just for the sake of interest and comparison.

Let’s get started.


As Nan Hoekstra pointed out in the comments to another post, "The mock newbery blog Anokaberry put 20 titles in the Big Bowl and called them the Anokaberries for 2008. Google Anokaberry to see that post."  Here that post is!  They did not select a winner or honor books, but the post lists the books that they selected.


The Austin Public Library discussed 10 titles at their first Mock Newbery.  These titles were:
Ain’t Nothing But a Man:  My Quest to Find the Real John Henry (Nelson)
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Look)
Brooklyn Bridge (Hesse)
The Hunger Games (Collins)
Saavy (Law)
Smiles to Go (Spinelli)
The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West (Fleischman)
The Underneath (Appelt)
We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (Nelson)

Winner – The Hunger Games (Collins)
Honors – Brooklyn Bridge (Hesse) and The Trouble Begins at 8 (Fleischman)

With this group, you can see that most of their selected discussion titles were at least talked about in this blog at one point or another.  Some of them made it onto our shortlist and some didn’t.  Their winner and one of their honors did not. Their other honor did, but was not selected by our group for an honor. 


The Brooklyn Public Library Children’s Specialists met for their 2nd Annual Mock Newbery and they also had results quite different from our own.  They discussed these titles:

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Look)
Chains (Anderson)
Diamond Willow (Frost)
The Graveyard Book (Gaiman)
A Thousand Never Evers (Burg)
The Underneath (Appelt)

Winner – The Underneath (Appelt)
Honors – Chains (Anderson) and The Graveyard Book (Gaiman)

I think it’s fair to say that our group loved The Graveyard Book – at least those that had read it.  After much deliberation, though, Nina and I did not include it on our shortlist because we do not believe it is eligible for the Newbery based on previous publication.  The Underneath and Chains were both on our short list and after lengthy discussion neither of them were honored by our group, while Alvin Ho was given an honor.


The Central Rappahannock Regional Library selected Mock Newbery winners with staff participants.  
Winner – Waiting for Normal (Connor)
Honors – Diamond Willow (Frost) and The Underneath (Appelt)

I am not sure which books were discussed with this group, but the Underneath was on our short list, and in spite of some serious lovers of the title, through our discussion we agreed to not give it an honor.


The Johnson County, KS Library held a discussion with librarians from several local systems.  

Winner – Keeping Score (Park)
Honors – The Underneath (Appelt) and Waiting for Normal (Connor)

Again we have The Underneath.  Many other groups seemed to have a different conclusion about this book as a distinguished piece of literature for children in comparison to others of this year.  It’ll be quite interesting to see if the real Newbery Committee agrees.


The Rhode Island 2009 Mock Newbery results are also in.

Winner – Keeping Score (Park)
Honors – The Hunger Games (Collins) and Waiting for Normal (Connor)

Would love to know which other titles were discussed, as none of these made it onto our short list.


The 2nd Annual SCKLS Mock Newbery was held in Wichita, KS.  For Newbery titles the group discussed:

Appelt, Kathi


The Underneath





  Seer of Shadow          


  Beaty, Andrea   Cicada Summer   Amulet
  Birdsall, Jeanne   Penderwicks on Gardam Street   Knopf

Blume, Lesley M. M.





  Broach, Elise   Masterpiece   Henry Holt & Co
  Burg, Shana   Thousand Never Evers   Delacorte
  Cashore, Kristin   Graceling   Harcourt
  Collins, Suzanne 
  Hunger Games   Scholastic Press

Connor, Leslie

Waiting for Normal


Katherine Tegen Books  

Dowell, Frances O’Roark

Shooting the Moon


Engle, Marqarita

The Surrender Tree


Henry Holt & Co.


  Fleischman, Sid   Trouble Begins at 8 – A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild Wild West   Greenwillow

Frost, Helen

Diamond Willow

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Gaiman, Neil

Giff, Patricia Reilly


Graveyard Book



Wendy Lamb Books

  Harmon, Michael   Last Exit to Normal   Knopf

Henkes, Kevin


Bird Lake Moon



  Horvath, Polly   My One Hundred Adventures   Random House
  Kadohata, Cynthia   Outside Beauty   Atheneum
  Kimmel, Haven   Kaline Kattermaster’s Tree House   Atheneum

Law, Ingrid



Dial Books

Lowry, Lois


The Willoughbys


Houghton Mifflin


Nelson, Kadir


We Are the Ship


Jump at the Sun


Park, Linda Sue


Keeping Score


Clarion Books


 Rinaldi, Ann Redheaded Princess

Schmidt, Gary



Clarion Books


  Woodson, Jacqueline   After Tupac and D Foster   Putnam

(pardon the format, but with such a long list it was much easier to copy from their page.

Winner – The Graveyard Book (Gaiman)
Honors – The Willoughby’s (Lowry), Savvy (Law) and My One Hundred Adventures (Horvath)

Again, Gaiman was recognized as well as several titles we decided to not put on our shortlist and one that was on, but was not recognized as the winner or an honor by our group.


So, that’s what I have.  Please feel free to chime in with any information about these Mock Newbery discussions, or any others I might have missed.

And definitely STAY TUNED to find out the real Newbery Winner and Honor Books on Monday morning.  Nina and I head to Denver on Thursday for the ALA Midwinter Meeting.  Maybe we’ll see you there!  And we’ll blog as soon as possible after the press conference announcing the ALSC awards.

Sharon McKellar About Sharon McKellar

Sharon McKellar is the Community Relations Librarian for the Oakland Public Library in California. She has served on the Rainbow List Committee, the Notable Children's Recordings Committee as well as the 2015 Caldecott Committee. You can reach her at


  1. Anokaberry says:

    Sharon, Thanks for this fine “compare and contrast” — so interesting to me as a first time mock newbery. I have been following all the newbery discussion of late and am most eager to think more about how it is even possible to compare between genres. Hence the big bowl of berries from Anokaberry. Next year we will award honors to books by genre. Comments?

  2. sharon mckellar says:

    there have definitely been quite a few posts throughout this blog that touch on the difficulties of comparing books of different genres. i think in the end, it’s a trust of the criteria that lets it work. i was so skeptical, for example, about alvin ho because it wasn’t “serious”. i thought there’s no way it would stand up to discussion. but in the end, in our group, it did! so i think the more a group can maintain discussion around the actual newbery criteria, the easier it is to compare between genres. i’m gonna go back and see if i can find some posts that talk about this and make another comment.

  3. I found the discussion guideline to consider a book for what it is, not what it isn’t, very helpful in this. I think people made really good comments (and validated them) in our discussion about voice and setting that helped me compare Alvin Ho to more sophisticated books like, say, Chains. Maybe trying to compare books of different genres even helps to distill “what makes a book distinguished?”.

    I think it’s interesting that people were somewhat surprised by our selections, since it was really pretty definitive in our small group. On the other hand, I’m really curious about how the discussions went for books that didn’t get much love from us but have from other mockommittees.

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