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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal


Nina and I had the same idea…to make a post about all the anticipation.  I’m finally resting in my hotel room watching the snow out the window and wondering wondering wondering what the Newbery (and other) Awards will look like tomorrow, bright and early.   Will the Graveyard Book surprise us with eligibility and a win???  Will I be a pleasantly shocked when the winner is announced?  Or will it be, for my tastes, a disappointing less surprising choice?  Or something I’m never even heard of (like the year that The Higher Power of Lucky won)?

I’ve been to a couple different events thrown by various publishers and you can see their anticipation as well.  Last night I went to a Penguin preview dinner and had fun talking to the staff about their hopes for potential award books from that publishing house.  The excitement/nervousness/energy around this, and other, awards, is visible and contagious. 

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the Rainbow List with an amazing group of people.  So, I’ve been enjoying more book discussion of my own.  The Rainbow List is a yearly list of the best of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, etc literature of the year written for children or teens (birth – 18).  It’s such a pleasure to sit around a table with people I truly respect, books piled all around us, and talk about literature.  It’s similar to the Mock Newbery, but also very different.  First of all, we aren’t looking for a winner, we’re just deciding which books belong on this list, based on our criteria.   But we are discussing in a similar manner – defending our feelings about the books, and being open to changing minds.   Last year’s Rainbow List is posted here.

So, anticipation builds, and I must nap.  But we’ll be back tomorrow morning to announce and discuss the award winners.  I’ll make sure to take a picture of the crowd at the press conference. 

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

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