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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Other Mock Winners, Echo Chambers and Outliers

Tomorrow I head to Dallas for ALA, and Jonathan a little later. So here’s where our postings and comments may get a little more sporadic. You’ll hear from us at the conference, and on Monday of course. A couple of Mock Newberies reported on the ALSC listserv: Queens Library: Winner: OKAY FOR NOW, Honor: WONDERSTRUCK […]



Yesterday, thirteen of the smartest, most articulate, most passionate people in all of Northern California gathered at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library for the annual Mock Newbery.  The discussion was stimulating, the snacks yummy, and the results surprising.  I’m having a hard time making both the book covers and the ballot tables […]

Unstarred, Unlisted, Underestimated


UNSTARRED ICEFALL is the book most often mentioned in the comments that we have never properly featured in a post.  Nina read it and was unimpressed.  I read the first three chapters (about fifty pages) and put it down because nothing had happened yet.  Since many of you have mentioned this book is similar to […]

Drawing from Memory

One of my favorite books of the year that I can’t seem to find a Newbery argument for is DRAWING FROM MEMORY. We bandied it about lightly for our shortlist… but while I think it’s easily one of *THE* best children’s books of the year…I couldn’t find truly distinguished elements in the text alone on […]

The Freedom Maze


Nancy Werlin first brought THE FREEDOM MAZE to our attention in the comments to the 2012 Newbery Reading List thread.  I hunted a copy down, read it, and loved it as much as Nancy did.  My gut instinct was that it was a top five sort of book, but as I shared the book with […]

Our online ballot winners…and looking ahead


Despite a last minute plea for more honors, I think we’ll call the results of our online ballot: Our winner: OKAY FOR NOW by Gary Schmidt, published by Clarion, a division of Houghton Mifflin   Our honors, in alphabetical order: AMELIA LOST: THE LIFE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF AMELIA EARHART by Candance Fleming, published by Schwartz & Wade, […]

Online Ballot Results

Here are the numbers from our ballot! We had 61 voters. Assigning 4 points to first place, 3 points to second place, and 2 points to 3rd place votes, I’ve tried to put them into some sort of ranking.   1st place votes 2nd place votes 3rd place votes Total points OKAY FOR NOW 24 […]

The Polls Are Open!

It is time to proceed to the online ballot!  Have you: Read all of the titles on our shortlist? Read and considered the Newbery Terms & Criteria?  Considered each of these 10 titles against the criteria, and against each other using them, only? Participated in the discussion here, and listened to what other commenters have […]

Best Books Outliers


Each review journal has books that are unique to its own best of the year list.  Many of these books got starred reviews from multiple journals, but others were championed solely by one publication.  Since there is no correlation between my earlier composite list and Newbery recognition, these books are just as likely–and oftentimes just […]

Join me at the table


At the Newbery Committee final deliberation meetings, there is a giant traveling trunk shipped by ALSC containing all the books for discussion, and these are generally brought out and spread all over the table, and get handled and referenced throughout the discussion. As we get ready for the polls to open Tuesday morning, I want […]