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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Little White Duck

Autobiography (or memoir) is not recognized very often by the Newbery committee. 26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE BY Tomie DePaola (2000 Newbery Honor) I didn’t always live in the house at 26 Fairmount Avenue.  We moved there when I was five years old.  I know that because in 1938, when I was still four, a big hurricane […]

Summer of the Gypsy Moths, with Sondy Elkund

Next in our guest posts, you heard from commenter Mark Flowers on one of his favorite contenders. Now here is Sondy Elkund, on Sara Pennypacker’s SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS…doing pretty strong in the Goodreads poll and our nominations. First, like Mark, I want to thank Nina and Jonathan for letting me chime in.  My […]

Historical Fiction

Thirteen books have been recognized by the Newbery committee in the past three years, and eleven of them have been historical fiction.  The irony, of course, is that historical fiction is not a genre that kids ask for–at least, not in explicit terms.  In fact, I daresay that from a child viewpoint historical fiction is not […]

The art of writing

A little Thanksgiving disgestif, as I mull over a lot of threads we’ve got going on…all of them circling around the idea of what makes a Newbery book. I’m no personal fan of Philip Roth.  But I’ve been appreciating what he has to say about his retirement.  In Sunday’s NYTimes he said: “I know I’m […]

Louise Erdrich

I’ve mentioned here and there in the comments that I just never warmed up to THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE and THE GAME OF SILENCE for whatever reason, and I’m not even sure that I read THE PORCUPINE YEAR, but I really, really like CHICKADEE.  While it’s currently not in my top three, should one of those […]

Shortlist, the Long Way

Our shortlist requires a little context, so we’ll start with some details. This year’s in-person Mock Newbery Discussion will take place on Sunday, January 13th, in Oakland CA.  Logistics and registration are handled by email, so if you’re interested in participating, email me. Over the course of four-ish hours that afternoon, we’ll discuss and vote […]

Hades: Lord of the Dead

TRADITIONAL LITERATURE From the terms and criteria— “Original work” means that the text was created by this writer and no one else. It may include original retellings of traditional literature, provided the words are the author’s own. And the expanded definitions in the Newbery manual– A committee may consider books that are traditional in origin, […]

Alphabet Soup: NBA and NN

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD As I’m sure you already know, The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature went to GOBLIN SECRETS by William Alexander.  Nina reviewed it here, but I still haven’t read it.  I did finish ENDANGERED this morning which could be considered a cuspy Newbery candidate–and the NEVER FALL DOWN debate continues to intrigue me.  […]

Will Anna Wintour Announce our Shortlist Monday?

No, but she has lent glamour to The National Book Awards announcement dinner.  This year they’re planning on Molly Ringwald to help give the awards some popular traction.  That and: “This year it issued new instructions to the judges, in red ink no less, apparently as a signal to the judges that it was O.K. to nominate […]

Twelve Kinds of Meth

Oops! Got your attention, didn’t I? Of couse, I meant TWELVE KINDS OF ICE and BENEATH A METH MOON, but first things first . . . We had 30 people submit a full set of three nominations in October, and the results are listed below. Please note that these are slightly different from the earlier […]