Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Poll #1 is Open!

Welcome to the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery online ballot! We have no idea how well this is going to work, what kind of a response we’ll get, or how exactly to interpret results until we get them, but we’re going to give it a shot. Thanks to everyone for plugging along, and apologies to those who couldn’t get all the books read.

Before you vote, you have:

1. Read all of our shortlisted titles:

FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson

KEEPER by Kathi Appelt

SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

THEY CALLED THEMSELVES THE KKK by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

SIR CHARLIE by Sid Fleischman

THE KNEEBONE BOY by Ellen Potter

THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan

DARK EMPEROR by Joyce Sidman

A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS by Megan Whalen Turner

COUNTDOWN by Deborah Wiles


ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams-Garcia

2. Considered them against the Newbery Terms & Criteria

3. Followed comments on this blog regarding these titles.

4. Understood the voting procedures we’ll be mimicking.

The ballot is in SurveyMonkey, link below. Vote once, before 7am PST tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, at which point the poll closes. Later that day we’ll post some results.  Hopefully we’ll be able to interpret a “winner” as a title that has first place votes from more than half of the voting body, and the same number of point spread (half voting body plus one) in total points over the next book down in total points.

If there’s no clear winner, we’ll have to have another round of voting before we even proceed to deciding Honor Books.  So stay tuned through the week, as we try to come to an online consensus…and as we approach the actual award annoucements!


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. Well, I finished KEEPER last night and loved it — but I still haven’t read SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD, THE KNEEBONE BOY, SIR CHARLIE, or KKK. I guess it’s just as well: With each book I read, it’s harder to decide what my votes would be! I really was taken with KEEPER.

    Anyway, thanks for making such a great list! I’m going to try to finish them this week, because it would be cool to have read all the Newbery Honor books before they are announced — and I think these have a great chance.

    By the way, if there’s a second ballot, and all the books I haven’t read happen to get knocked out, can I vote in the second round?

  2. Enough already………….

  3. Wondering the same thing as Sondy – or, if we get all the books read by a 2nd round of voting, can we come in late?

  4. David Ziegler says:

    I’m in a similar boat as Sondy. Just received SIR CHARLIE today, while FORGE is in transit. My library system doesn’t yet have copies of SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD or KNEEKNOCK BOY.

    Thanks for doing this and hopefully next year I will have read the whole list.

  5. Nina Lindsay says:

    Well, I can’t really moderate this online voting like a live discussion, but the answer to your question if we were at the live discussion would be “no,” the point being that a single determined body–having read a single determined set of books–have to winnow down a single consensual winner. If you introduce different voting bodies midway through the process, it mucks with the process.

    This always happens at the live discussion too…a few people haven’t read all the books. I think it will still be fun, vicariously. And even if this all goes wonky (if the voting body is too large, we may just not be able to get a consensus) I think it’ll be illuminating. There are other places (Goodreads’ Newbery 2011 list, for instance, or differently structured Mock Newberies), where people can vote on favorites without having read the entire pool, but that has just never produced as interesting results to me as when participants are “forced” to read and consider books they might not otherwise.

  6. I had a feeling it wouldn’t model the process as well if we jumped in…. But you’re right, it will be fun to experience it vicariously. Next year, I will start reading sooner!

  7. By the way, the time stamp on the comments is off… It is only 10:33 pm on the 3rd, not 3:34 am on the 4th!

  8. Woo Hoo. Thanks for not cutting the vote off early in the day. I was able to get KKK from my over achieving student. I just finished every chilling page. Now I am off to review criteria one last time and then vote. Thanks!

    (Considering the book I just finished, meeting voting criteria seems a bit ironic)

Speak Your Mind