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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

…Dreamer? You’re not the only one

Sharon, Mr. H, and all you lurkers out there, here’s your second chance.

With 15 particpants at this year’s Mock Newbery (13 voters by the end) we were able to meet and vote as a single group, which everyone noted was much preferrable to last year, when we had to break into two and ended up with two different winners (posted here, and here). Well yes, it was more satisfying to feel like we had a “real” winner, but we lost the un-satisfying though interesting illustration of how two different committees will almost inevitably select a different array of winners.

All is not lost, however, because we’re going to engineer a second round of sorts, here–online–at Heavy Medal.

Another round of voting on the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Shortlist will commence at 10am PST, Monday January 3rd, 2011.  A schedule of voting rounds progressing through that week will be posted as we get closer.  Depending on how many rounds it takes, we hope to have a new set of winners and honors posted sometime between Thursday January 6th and Sunday January 9th…just in time for the actual award announcements on Monday January 10th.

The Catch

We’re going to add a few titles to this shortlist.  Recall that we limit it to 8 each year because we want participants to actually be able to read everything, and we want to keep withing a reasonable amount of time for a Sunday afternoon discussion.  Limiting to 8 always means we leave out one or two that we think would actually extend the discussion, and this year we decided to leave out late-pub-date books, because we felt participants wouldn’t have access to them in time.  But now that you all have until January 3 to read!…we can sneak in a few more.  We’ll be announcing them one by one this week.


You’ve asked before for an online Mock Newbery.  I still feel that it can’t be done, in the way and for the purpose that I do it: to give participants a taste of what the discussion is like at the table.   Still, because of the early discussion this year, we have time to do a redux of sorts.  We’ll try to simulate discussion as much as possible through our posts…it won’t be the same, but I do think that we can produce a simulation of the voting rounds, with ranked points and all!


Make sure you read the 8 books currently on our shortlist, and watch here through this week for the remaining titles to read.

Follow the posts and comments for discussions on these books…and if you haven’t yet, review some of the past discussion on the current shortlist.

Make sure you’re online on Monday January 3rd to cast your vote.  To vote, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ve read all the titles on the shortlist and all of the posts and comments regarding those titles on this blog. That’s the closest we’ll come to assuming that everyone who is voting has been “at the table” and participating the entire time.

We’ll be getting into more detail on how the voting works, but if you’re curious, you can review the procedures in the Manual (you can skip ahead to Midwinter Selection Meeting on p. 48)

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. Alright, 5 of those 8 I’ve read. Still can’t get my hands on your new Newbery winner DARK EMPORER, CONSPIRACY OF KINGS, and KNEEBONE BOY. But I’ve got some time to try now! Thanks for working this out.

  2. AWESOME, thank you!

    Of course, Sugar has been on my library holds list for a couple months now, and it’s still only on order… might need to cave and buy it, since I assume it will be one of the additions.

    This does mean that I need to make myself finish The Dreamer, though—I only got 50 pages in last time.

  3. I’m excited.

    Hey everyone who knows more stuff than me. Can you tell me who all comes out with Best of lists? I’ve seen Kirkus, SLJ, and PW. Are there more. When does Horn do it’s Fanfare? Does Booklist have one, or is it just the Notables?

  4. Ok I just went out and answered some of my previous question:

    I’m still ignorant on the Booklist front however.

  5. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Booklist publishes their picks in their January double issue, but last year it got released mid-December in a newsletter. Could come any day now. Also, Bulletin Blue Ribbons typically show up on Jan 1 on their website.

  6. Thanks, I get the Booklist newletter, so I will keep my eyes peeled. (Peeled eyes would really be gross.)

  7. Based on my experience with the Cybils and the Oakland Mock Newbery, I’m convinced that something online can be done… I think it’s just hard for people to get to all eight. I only had a couple of responses from people who had actually read all of them and were up for discussion. Maybe another time. Anyway, I look forward to this!

  8. I use this website for the “mega-list” of lists:

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