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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Sunday Hush

You can get a great sense of the ALA Midwinter bustle from Monica Edinger or Betsy Bird. I’m sitting this one out, and spending the warm drizzly California Sunday in my armchair with the paper and cup of ginger tea.

And the Newbery Committee? Well they are–done. By noon, Boston time, they’ll have delivered their press release to the press office (where they are up nearly all night getting the awards presentation together for your enjoyment). 

But the committee…might be hitting the exhibit floor for the first time, buzzed and exhausted, walking through the crowd carrying an enormous secret. Or, lying down in their hotel room knowing that for the first moment in a very long time, they don’t have to read or think about anything.

I hope they do get some rest, because they’re due probably around 5:30am back at the press office for an early morning group photo shoot, and: to call their authors.  Then, escorted into the press conference (maybe passing the winning publishers on the way in? An exercise in communal poker face), where they will wait until the very very end….for everyone to finally know what they know too: which author’s life has been changed forever with that gold sticker.

The change has already happened.  So: congratulations, to all.  I can’t wait until tomorrow…but there’s also a strange sort of comfort just from knowing that the consensus has taken place.

Nina Lindsay About Nina Lindsay

Nina Lindsay is the Children's Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, CA. She chaired the 2008 Newbery Committee, and served on the 2004 and 1998 committees. You can reach her at


  1. so any last minute out of the blue bets? in Bostonor on here?

  2. Ok, totally separately from what I think SHOULD win each award, it would really tickle me to see a:

    Little Brown Sweep (Lion and the Mouse, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon). When was the last time there was such? I can’t think of any of the top of my head…

    Multiple Sibert/Newbery correlation. There’s been several books this decade that have placed for both awards, but it does seem like the year that we could have more than one nonfiction with a Newbery and Sibert medal of some sort.

    Single Newbery Honor. I know it’s not popular, and there are certainly SEVERAL books this year deserving of an honor. But a single honor book suggests that there are *two* books that are so head-and-shoulders distinguished above the rest that it kind of raises the bar. Which is the point of the Newbery. And with such an “apples and oranges” group of contenders, it’s a real possibility.

  3. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Not a prediction, but a tip. If you are following the award announcements tomorrow, be aware that the honor books are read in alphabetical order by author’s last name. So if they announce there are three Newbery Honor books and the first book they call is WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin then you know that the only way that CLAUDETTE COLVIN or ALL THE BROKEN PIECES can be recognized by the Newbery committee is if they are the Medal book. (All awards follow suit, but sometimes the Printz titles are announced alpha by title, throwing me for a loop.)

    Not only did Clarion publish A SINGLE SHARD and THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, but Dinah Stevenson edited both!

    What if CLAUDETTE won the Newbery and CHARLES won the Printz (like MONSTER and BUD, NOT BUDDY winning in 2000 and SINGLE SHARD and A STEP FROM HEAVEN winning in 2002). . .

    What if Scott Westerfeld wins for LEVIATHAN and his wife, Justine Larbalestier wins the Printz for LIAR . . .

    What if THE STORM IN THE BARN earns Caldecott recognition . . .

    What if MY PEOPLE becomes the first Caldecott book illustrated soley with photographs . . .

    What if SWEETHEARTS OF RHYTHM or THE DUNDERHEADS get Newbery and Caldecott love . . .

    What if Jerry Pinkney has two books recognized by the Caldecott . . .

    What if Jim Murphy has two recognized by the Newbery . . .

    What if!

  4. Monica Edinger says:

    OK, Jonathan, I’m here with my two roommates (petite, one who currently has electric blue hair and the other from Chicago)getting ready to go youknowwhere. What if Jonathan is wrong? Or what if Jonathan is right?

    See you on the other side!

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