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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Shortlist Title #12: Forge

Well, here it is: our final shortlist title.  When I posted about FORGE earlier, I didn’t get many comments.  I haven’t heard much Newbery buzz for this book, but I think the book features some very distinguished qualities, namely setting, characters, and theme. We’ve already got two historical fiction titles on the shortlist (although ONE […]

Shortlist Title #11: Countdown!

Maybe you thought you’d seen the last of this one here..but it just barely didn’t make the cut on our first shortlist, and we’re happy to bring it back now.  I haven’t been a vocal supporter of this one; I feel like it suffered from early-over-hyping, which can happen to strong spring titles. Publishers, it’s […]

Shortlist Title #10: City Dog, Country Frog

You shouldn’t be surprised by this one either.  We had it ranked as our second best picture book behind DARK EMPEROR, and it narrowly missed the list the first time around.  Considering how well the mock Newbery group responded to DARK EMPEROR and how poorly they responded to THE DREAMER . . . well, we […]

Shortlist Title #9: Sugar Changed the World

You shouldn’t be surprised. Jonathan posted on this title recently, drawing out it specific strengths as they relate to the Newbery Criteria and comparing it against our other contenders.  It was one of the first titles we latched onto in this season, and we mentioned it as an example of a late-pub date book that […]

…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 […]

Mock Newbery Results

The Oakland Public Library Mock Newbery was held this afternoon at the Rockridge Branch.  Fifteen people gathered for a spirited discussion of the shortlisted books, and we are pleased to announce our Medal winner and Honor books.  Without further ado– Newbery Medal DARK EMPEROR by Joyce Sidman Newbery Honors THEY CALLED THEMSELVES THE KKK by […]

Making a list…

Some of you are probably out today getting ready for the holidays…others, in the SF Bay Area are getting ready for our Mock Newbery discussion, getting underway in just a couple of hours. And if you’re here, checking out the blog for some results…well, you’ll have to wait until at least tonight, if not tomorrow […]

Comic Guide to the Mock Newbery


My colleague Amy Martin is not only a very talented librarian (expert toddler storytime in heels and backwards), but a very talented comic book artist.  She’ll be one of the particpants in this Sunday’s Mock Newbery, and for our elucidation, offers this guide (in two parts): Amy Martin Comics Your Guide to the 2011 Mock Newbery […]

The Notorious Benedict Arnold


Most of the nonfiction that gets published for older readers tends to look the same: a large trim-size (resembling a picture book) coupled with a book design that divides the reader’s attention: main narrative, photographs, illustrations, captions, and sidebars.  It’s a bit rare when a throwback like CHARLES AND EMMA comes along, relying wholly upon […]

Dark Emperor: Nina’s Take

Reproduced with permission. Please read aloud!: I Am a baby Porcupette  I am a baby porcupette. My paws are small; my nose is wet. And as I nurse against my mom, we mew and coo a soft duet.   I am a baby porcupette. I cannot climb up branches yet. While Mom sleeps in the […]