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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Coming Soon…

Yes, Jonathan and I will return September 4th for another season of Heavy Medal!  If you need a quick recap of last year, check out  librarian/cartoonist Amy Martin‘s post our on discussion.

It’s not too late to add to the 2013 Newbery Reading List…many of you posted this spring. What have you read since then?

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. I can’t believe it’s almost time already. I never did get to read through the stack of adult non-fiction I had ready to go when Newbery Season was over, before the early possibilities started showing up in libraries and bookstores. My impression so far: this is an amazing year for middle-grade fiction. So many great established authors with new books–true icons of the field–and several new authors that have made me think “but why haven’t I read anything by this author before? oh… because it’s the first book!”.

  2. My two recent favorites are nothing surprising – Splendors & Glooms and Liar & Spy. But sometimes you don’t know what to expect from an author whose earlier books you loved, so I’d say these lived up to or exceeded my expectations. But I haven’t read nearly as widely as I’d hoped to this year…so I’m sure I’m missing something great.

  3. I am halfway through LIAR & SPY and have to say, I’m a tad disappointed. I think the whole “will keep readers guessing till the very last page” sort of hype has ruined my reading experience. It’s changed the way I am reading the book, no matter how hard I try!

    Plus, I think I see the ending coming a mile away.

    It’s just different from WHEN YOU REACH ME. I was expecting brilliance, and that was my fault. I’m not sure this is yet . . . but I’m not done, so who knows.

    Can’t wait to get the ball rolling here!

  4. Just one more reason Autumn is the best time of year.

  5. My favorites so far (in ascending order) are: Wonder, The One & Only Ivan, The Summer of the Gypsy Moths, and Palace of Stone.

  6. Yay! I’m ready for the discussion to begin. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Slendors and Gloom and What Came from the Stars. I recently read Liar and Spy and had the same experience of Mr. H. I wish I hadn’t read some of the early buzz, because I guessed the ending early on and felt disappointed the whole book. I still love Wonder, although I think it has some significant flaws. I found the One and Only Ivan to be incredibly sad, but very well done. I read it immediately after reading The Story of Charlotte’s Web and I enjoyed the parallels between those two books.

  7. TeenReader says:

    So excited for my first season!

    I loved Wonder and The Mighty Miss Malone. I’ll have to reread both, and “Liar and Spy” and “Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas” are next to read. (I am SO Behind!) Currently reading Miles to Go For Freedom. The photography is the best part, which may hurt its chances, but the text seems plenty distinguished.

  8. I’ve been booktalking Wonder as the 2013 Newbery Winner for months now (but stopped myself from putting leftover gold seals on it in advance). I’m excited to see it featured in upcoming posts (I’m catching up in order). Other favorites includes Born Wicked (Jessica Spotswood), and Shadow on the Mountain (Margi Preus). Palace of Stone (Hale) is my next to read and I’m itching to get my hands on Starry River of the Sky (Grace Lin)!

  9. I was not in love with Mighty Miss Malone (Curtis). I felt like there was a strong character there but not a particularly strong story.

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