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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

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 writers whose books were widely read. Critics had complained that in recent years judges had preferred little-known authors, which diminished the award’s stature.”

The National Book awards don’t have formal criteria beyond their eligibility and submission requirements; the process sounds similar to that described by Thom Barthelmess of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award.  The NBAs are announced tonight, so check back here for a debrief on the Young People’s category.

The group that truly awards literary “popularity” by young readership has announced their voting date.  The Children’s Choice Awards will open for voting in March. They’ll be voting from a finalist list derived from young-reader-input through IRA.  Follow them if you think you can help them reach their goal of 1 million votes!

Meanwhile, if you want some red carpet glamour….ALSC now has slideshows up of the 2012 Newbery/Caldecott banquet, including the Green Room reception where you can see the committee members posing with their winning authors and illustrators.  Check out the Dinner slideshow for the candid on-the-floor schmoozing.  There’s Chris Raschka and his very tall son!  Jack Gantos’ wife laughing (or weeping?) …probably at something her husband just said or did on the dais!  There I am standing as an ALSC board member! (With my colleague Eva Volin eyeing me from the corner: thinking she has the better outfit.  She does: you can see it a few slides later.)

Also, for the first time I think, there are video archives of the speeches.  You may have read them in the Horn Book Magazine, or listened to the pre-recorded audio donated by Weston Woods….but you really really have to experience Jack Gantos’ speech as it was presented live.

Finally….getting round to that post title, that’s right:  our shortlist will be announced Monday.   I’m still waiting for the call-back from Anna Wintour.

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. Jonathan Hunt says:

    GOBLIN SECRETS wins the NBA!

  2. Nina Lindsay says:

    You’re joking: they actually picked a book for KIDS!

  3. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Last three winners have been juvenile: GOBLIN SECRETS, INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN, and MOCKINGBIRD. The tide is turning!

  4. And a fantasy, Which may not be so surprising given that two of the judges, Susan Cooper and Marly Youmans are known writers in that genre and Gary Schmidt knows it well too. This year’s title may be his first playing with Tolkienesque writing, but he also did a reworking of Rumpelstiltskin, STRAW INTO GOLD, years back and he’s written about it in a scholarly way too, I believe.

    I am though very glad to see a book for kids honored. “Young adult” is so overused these days that I was thinking that the NBA used that term, but am glad to see they call theirs “Young People’s Literature.” Yay for them.

    I’m on a tear about the annoying way “young adult” is being used more and more in popular culture as an umbrella for all books for young people that aren’t picture books and early readers so this was great to see though I suspect that GOBLIN SECRETS is now going to be called “young adult” too. Sigh. (See my blog wail on this here:

  5. Nina Lindsay says:

    Thanks Monica, I’ll go wail with you over there. So overused in bookstores, where they shelve by format (chapter book vs. picture books). Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary are not Young Adult authors.

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