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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Storms in New York

Although they’re probably not reading it right now…here’s some best wishes to those weathering Hurricane Sandy in New York.  The hardest part of a storm can be its aftermath.  In that vein, some of our New York colleagues are still watching another approaching storm: the merger of Penguin and Random House.  Those with jobs in those houses will feel it first and worst, but we are all going to be affected, and it’s hard to predict how the literary landscape will be altered by it.

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. At least two affected by Sandy are reading this. Roxanne (aka fairrosa) and David had to evacuate their Battery Park City apartment (last time they did so was 9/11) and are staying with me uptown while daughter Lily is staying a block away with her best friend. I fortunately didn’t lose power and we both have loads of time (school is cancelled again tomorrow, we assume because there is no public transportation yet)so we are reading and talking up a storm. We look forward to more posts and conversations here!

  2. I didn’t know the merger of the two big houses… wow. That’s HUGE! Superstormy for sure.

  3. Jonathan Hunt says:

    The Big Six dwindles to the Big Five . . . or the Big One and Little Four. Will we see other mega-mergers follow? Hmmm. Glad to hear you are both riding the storm out, Monica and Roxanne.

  4. So glad that Roxanne and Monica are safe and snug. And reading! That is great news.

    On the merger front, it really frightens me to see the gradual shrinking of the number of publishers. The bright spot is that there are still many imprints, but I continue to worry about the diversity of the marketplace and the ability of the giants to shove the smaller folks out of the way. One way libraries can help is to be looking for those small pubishers shiny best and promoting them.

    Has anyone gotten excited about any titles from small presses?

  5. Carol, WE’VE GOT A JOB is from Peachtree Publishers (yeah ATL!!!). As was last year’s battle of the books contender CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT.

  6. Go, ATL!

    SPlendors and Glooms. (Candlewick)

  7. Jonathan Hunt says:

    I’m not sure I’d consider Candlewick a small press. Maybe Lerner shouldn’t be considered one either, but their fiction output is relatively small compared to their nonfiction, so my top three small press books would be . . .


    WE’VE GOT A JOB (Peachtree)

    WATER SINGS BLUE (Chronicle)

  8. Maybe we should just use the term independent rather than small?

  9. Nina Lindsay says:

    “Independent” is a good take on it. It’s worth noting too that–at least from an outsider perspective–the imprints that have been swallowed by the behemoths seems to be able to maintain some editorial “independence.” I don’t know how much though their acquisitions are affected by the sales department… design/printing choices affected, etc. Candlewick, as an example of a great independent, has beautiful, unique, and stand out bindings and printing quality. Jon Klassen has also talked about shopping around I WANT MY HAT BACK…and that it was finally Candlewick who understood the genius in the ending and wanted it “hang” the worried-adult response. Not sure whether or not the Senior Editors within the big 6-5-4 can make that happen anymore. I’m sure it differs from house to house.

  10. I got endless amusement out of my first hurricane’s name. I can’t blame her for raging. That’s exactly how I feel when people call me Sandy!

    Seriously, I wasn’t really affected beyond a headache from the low pressure and a couple days off work. Though I’m glad they had the sense to close down government — so the downed trees and power outages didn’t cause more trouble. (I’m in northern Virginia, near DC). My heart goes out to those much harder hit on the north side of the storm & closer to the coast.

  11. Sheila Welch says:

    In addition to Candlewick and Peachtree, here are a few independent publishers of children’s books:

    Boyds Mills Press (which has poetry, YA, and historical fiction imprints)

    Lee and Low (which now has its Tu imprint for middle grade fantasy and science fiction — all their books feature people of color)

    Holiday House (may be the oldest of all those mentioned)

    namelos (founded in 2009, mostly older middle-grade and YA, sells Front Street, now a Boyds Mills imprint, titles as e-books plus has its own list available as e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers)

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