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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Elizabeth Bluemle has taken to occasionally posting a list of books earning multiple starred reviews from the various review journals (Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal).  Thus a book can earn up to six starred reviews.  Wendy wonders, in a previous comment, how the number [...]

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Elizabeth Bluemle has taken to occasionally posting a list of books earning multiple starred reviews from the various review journals (Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal).  Thus a book can earn up to six starred reviews.  Wendy wonders, in a previous comment, how the number [...]

The Magician’s Elephant

Ok, I’m ready to admit I’ll probably never feel ready to comment on this one. The New York Times review by Adam Gopnik revived my interest, because he appreciates everything I appreciate in it. He nails a description of her prose style in the final paragraph.  It is sentimental, but utterly genuinely so.  People have wondered [...]

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

No, this post is not about Albert Marrin‘s YEARS OF DUST or accuracy in nonfiction.  It’s about fantasy fiction, broadly defined, so maybe the headline should read LIAR, FIRE, CATCHING FIRE.     As excellent as LIAR by Justine Larbaelstier and FIRE by Kristin Cashore may be, however, both are too old for the Newbery.  HEROES OF THE VALLEY [...]

Accuracy in nonfiction

Recent discussions on Almost Astronauts and Years of Dust have prompted commenters like Leslie C to wonder: "I’m impressed by the level of detail that I’ve read on this blog about nonfiction accuracy. Can you tell us how that works in committee discussions, Nina or Johnathan or any other former members? What if one person [...]

Years of Dust

I‘ve mentioned YEARS OF DUST by Albert Marrin in this post and that one, but it’s never had its own post until now.  Debbie Reese posted some of her objections to the book on her blog and I wanted to address those concerns.    1.  My understanding is that the hunters as a group ate several [...]

War and Peace

War and peace are very much in the public consciousness nowadays and it’s no surprise, therefore, that many of the excellent books published this past year touch on these themes.  Here are some of the most prominent ones, organized thematically and viewed through the Newbery lens.    THE CIVIL WAR   We’ve already mentioned A SAVAGE THUNDER [...]

War and Peace

War and peace are very much in the public consciousness nowadays and it’s no surprise, therefore, that many of the excellent books published this past year touch on these themes.  Here are some of the most prominent ones, organized thematically and viewed through the Newbery lens.    THE CIVIL WAR   We’ve already mentioned A SAVAGE THUNDER [...]

Choice Reading

I’ve been taking a week off my Mock Newbery reading. Yes, I took The Rock and the River and a couple others home for the holidays, but I also took Eugenidies–The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia–in anticipation of the arrival of the arc of A Conspiracy of Kings. (Thanks, Monica, [...]

Once Upon a Twice

I continue to look for picture book and easy reader texts that are worthy of Newbery consideration.  While reading through the Kirkus Best Children’s Books, I came across the following description.    In the inspired silly style of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, first-time author Denise Doyen teams up with award-winning illustrator Barry Moser to [...]