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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Thinking of the Grave

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It All Ends.

Thinking Back

Selznick

I’d like to revisit some books that we’ve already featured, books that, because we initially introduced them just before or just after their publication date, probably didn’t have as many readers as they do now, and thus did not generate the kind of discussion they are capable of. Something hit Ben Wilson and he opened [...]

Thinking Ahead

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Though we are still finessing the exact date and time, I wanted to give Bay Area locals the heads up that the live Mock Election will be taking place in Oakland on MLK Jr Day weekend, a week ahead of the actual announcements. We’ll be doing online rounds of voting/discussion in the first weeks of [...]

90% of Everything Is Crap!

While we are charged with only discussing the given books in a particular year, it’s entirely unreasonable to expect that our views of what is– Marked by eminence and distinction; noted for significant achievement. Marked by excellence in quality. Marked by conspicuous excellence or eminence. Individually distinct. –are not colored by what we have read [...]

The slow course to a shortlist

Those of you who have been here before know that it’s about time for me and Jonathan to start settling on at least half of our shortlist….and we will. Soon. This year has more leisure in it than last, since our final mock deliberations don’t have to transpire until mid January. We’ll be doing an [...]

I Broke My Trunk!

PICTURE BOOK VS. ILLUSTRATED BOOK Is I BROKE MY TRUNK! a picture book or an illustrated book?  If you cover the words and read the book, you do get the gist of the plot, especially in the few flashback scenes, but it’s nearly impossible to infer the nuances of the dialogue in most of the story.  On [...]

Between Shades of Gray

BetweenShades

Heading off to the 9th IBBY Regional Conference “Peace the World Together With Children’s Books” this weekend seems like the appropriate time to talk about Ruta Sepetys BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. This came home in my glut of reading from ALA Annual.  I recall setting the stacks of a couple of dozen Newbery-eligible books and galleys by [...]

Elephant & Piggie

willems3

There were three Elephant & Piggie books published this year: I BROKE MY TRUNK, SHOULD I SHARE MY ICE CREAM?, and HAPPY PIG DAY! The series in general and these books in particular continue to delight young (and not so young) readers.  We’ve looked at some of these books in the past for Newbery consideration, [...]

Heart and Soul

I’d like to look at Kadir Nelson’s HEART AND SOUL for a moment, because though it’s gotten tossed about, unless I’ve missed it no one’s tried to champion it in a big way since Jonthan’s lukewarmness at the Fall Nonfiction Newbery Contenders post.  At the end he says: Perhaps I just know too much about [...]

Sir Gawain the True

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Here’s one for the boys! I like this book.  A lot.  You were warned. THE ADVENTURES OF SIR GAWAIN THE TRUE by Gerald Morris is the third book in the Knights’ Tales series.  Chapter book series do have to fight against a sequel bias, but unlike the ALVIN HO and CLEMENTINE series, this one features [...]