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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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The Polls Are Open!

It is time to proceed to the online ballot!  Have you:

  1. Read all of the titles on our shortlist?
  2. Read and considered the Newbery Terms & Criteria?  Considered each of these 10 titles against the criteria, and against each other using them, only?
  3. Participated in the discussion here, and listened to what other commenters have had to say in balancing one book against the other?   

If you’ve answered yes to all three, then please imagine the weighty task you have in casting a ballot for our Mock Newbery.  Our voting only works if we have succeeded in coming to some vaguely communal “decisions” about which books stand out, and the strengths and weaknesses of each.  Your voting is anonymous, and unlike other online polls, this one is not about getting your horse across the line first.  It’s about establishing a group consensus on the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” among the 10 on our list.

Now, establishing that consensus will be a bit of a trick.  With a committee of 15, the actual committee uses the following formula:

  • · In tabulating ballot results, the tellers assign four points to each first place vote, three points to each second place vote, and two points to each third place vote.
  • · There is a formula to determine the winner. A book must receive at least 8 first choices at four points per vote for a total of at least 32 points, and it must have an 8 point lead over the book receiving the next highest number of points.

This formula works really well with 15 members and the several/many dozen titles they’re usually voting on.  We have no way of knowing how many votes will be cast, and we only have 10 books to vote on.  Pretty soon after the polls close, I’ll post our results and we’ll see what it looks like.  Last year, when we tried this for the first time, I called our first ballot “inconclusive,” which in retrospect was probably a mistake… but it was interesting to reopen the ballot a second time and see what happened.  (Not much changed).  In my experience with Mock Newberies, it’s most satisfying when you can come up with a winner in the first round; there generally just aren’t enough books under discussion to shift votes in any substantial way in future voting.  But let’s see where we get.

You can vote here.  Polls remain open until 6am PST Wednesday January 11th.

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





  2. SPARROW ROAD? How’d you add that one? I would’ve added PIE and ICEFALL behind OKAY FOR NOW, had I known we could!

  3. Nina Lindsay says:

    Well, you can’t. Make sure that to cast your vote you proceed to the surveymonkey ballot in the link. We’re still in the Mock Newbery universe with the ten titles on our shortlist only, but we will have time to look at the wider field before the actual announcements!

  4. sam leopold says:

    sorry…was not trying to add a title. I voted on the survey monkey. I just really like Sparrow road ……though I agree that Icefall is an excellent choice also.

  5. Sara Ralph says:

    I voted for: 1) Wonderstruck – I loved this one much more than Hugo. However, I do think this one may be a longshot for the gold 2) Amelia Lost – Such a great book and not her first brilliant biography; Candace Fleming deserves some Newbery love 3) Okay For Now – The plot has flaws, but I love the world Schmidt creates so much that I can forgive them. If I could have voted for four, I would have chosen Sir Gawain…I read it over winter break, and got many laughs. Also, the ending surprised me so that made it even more enjoyable. I’m going to encourage my daughter, who is in 3rd grade, to read it.

    The book I’m championing that is not on the shortlist – Jefferson’s Sons. After failing to find a copy anywhere, I downloaded an ebook version and can’t.stop.reading. I see a distinguished setting, characters and plot and I really hope it gets at least an honor. Of course, I have a huge bias in that historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love this book as much as I did Chains and Forge, which were shutout. Hoping to read Icefall and Sparrow Road before the announcement.

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