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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Mock Newbery Mania

Yesterday, eighteen students and I discussed the following nine books.  I have encapsulated our discussion in brief annotations.   CLAUDETTE COLVIN . . . Students liked how Hoose wove Claudette’s voice into the narrative, and found the themes of the book very powerful, but while the arrest and trial were fascinating there was a noticeable lull in between those events. [...]

Newbery & Caldecott 2010: Predict-o-rama

Okay, I have been drawn to these list-making activities like a moth to the flame.  While I listed my seven Newbery nominations in the previous thread in response to Monica’s list, here, in the spirit of Fuse’s Newbery/Caldecott post, are my thoughts, and some predictions, on what may win the various ALA Awards and Honors.  I’ll revisit this list afterward to see how I [...]

Love, Love, Love

Jonathan says in a comment on Has the Newbery Lost its Way: "And when you get right down to the end of your discussion and you only get three votes, and the books are close, so close, who can fault anyone for picking the book their favorite? I can’t. But I would hope that people [...]

Voting on Apples, Oranges and Lychees

Here’s a little more description of the content of our deliberations…at least my table’s half of the discussion. Jonathan notes that while THE DUNDERHEADS was well praised at his table, only he cast a vote for it in the first ballot, and that the group then pulled it out of discussion in order to focus [...]

Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?

As various mock Newbery results trickle in we see WHEN YOU REACH ME repeating again and again–and to a slightly lesser degree WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON and THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE.  Not only are these among the most distinguished books of the year, they perfectly fulfill what many recognize as the unofficial mission of [...]

And the OTHER Winner is….

…Completely different from Jonathan’s group. Winner: WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead Honors: CLAUDETTE COLVIN by Phillip Hoose THE DUNDERHEADS by Paul Fleischman THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly Interestingly, it seems like the strongest similarity was in the way our two sets of ballots progressed, not in reference to titles, but in the way [...]

And the Winner is . . .

Twenty five people met yesterday at the Rockridge Branch of the Oakland Public Library for several hours of spirited discussion on our shortlisted titles.  We broke into two groups with Nina facilitating one discussion and I facilitating the other.  Nina will report on her group a bit later today, but here are the results for [...]

Online Discussions?

The comments on Cream of the Crop (and Jonathan’s follow up) are starting to resemble the sort of discussion we hope to have in person this Sunday in Oakland. But, are they really … discussion? Even though there are now many ways to do it, the actual Newbery committees still generally refrain from email or online [...]

When You Reach Me: The Race Card

As we’ve become fixated with the character of Julia, some people have pressed me to clarify my vague comments, and while I’m still not in possession of my copy of WHEN YOU REACH ME, I will make a better effort to be more specific.   First, however, let me remind you that I do think Julia [...]

Three Questions

WHAT DOES DISTINGUISHED WRITING LOOK LIKE? We’ve hashed this out yet again under The Cream of the Crop.  Coincidentally, if I were a committee member one of the things I would be particularly looking for in my final readings are passages that evidence a distinguished style that I can quote, if need be, to my fellow members.  I mentioned [...]