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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Lips Touch: You Had Me At Hello

I have a new book that I am absolutely besotted with, thanks to the National Book Award judges.  It will most likely appeal to the junior high grades of 7th, 8th, and 9th, at the very top of the age range, but this excellent book will probably be my favorite Newbery eligible fiction of the year.  It’s a book of kissing stories–two novelettes and a novella–and the literary elements are very strong, namely plot and style.  I’ll give you just a taste of them . . .
There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave.  You could walk across a high school campus and point them out: not her, not her, her.  The pert, lovely ones with butterfly tattoos in secret places, sitting on their boyfriends’ laps?  No, not them.  The girls watching the lovely ones sitting on their boyfriends’ laps?  Yes.
Kissing can ruin lives.  Lips touch, sometimes teeth clash.  New hunger is born with a throb and caution falls away.  A cursed girl with lips still moist from her first kiss might feel suddenly wild, like a little monsoon.  She might forget her curse just long enough to get careless and let it come true.  She might kill everyone she loves.
She might, and she might not.
Six days before Esme’s fourteenth birthday, her left eye turned from brown to blue.  It happened in the night.  She went to sleep with brown eyes, and when she woke at dawn to the howling of wolves, her left eye was blue.  She had just slipped out of bed when she noticed it.  She was headed to the window to look for wolves–wolves in London, of all impossible things!  But she didn’t make it to the window.  Her eye flashed at her in the mirror, pale as the wink of a ghost,  and she forgot all about the wolves and just stared at herself.
Jonathan Hunt About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the Coordinator of Library Media Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. You can reach him at

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