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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Fourmile and What Came from the Stars


Anything by Gary Schmidt is subject to high expectations…so good for him for trying something a little daring, even if WHAT CAME FROM THE STARS ultimately fumbles.  Sixth-grader Tommy’s grief over the death of his mother is compounded by the evil advances of a realtor on his family’s beachfront home.   Schmidt takes his metaphor-laden melodramatic style […]

90-Second Newbery

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival returns to NYC on December 2 at 4 pm.  Check out the details. Kids who love videos as much as they love books will want to check out this event, hosted by the festival’s  hilarious co-creators James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and Jon Scieszka (The Stinky Cheese Man) with special guest appearances […]

Graphic Novels

WE CONSIDER ONLY THE TEXT . . . Each book is to be considered as a contribution to American literature. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the text. Other components of a book, such as illustrations, overall design of the book, etc., may be considered when they make the book less effective. […]

Strange but True


Do you get a jolt sometimes on your commute, at your favorite lunch place, suddenly looking at the same mundane scene you see every day and think: “how peculiar?” A slightly distorted lens on the world in fiction, when done well, can make the story that much more believable.   Here are two titles that fit […]

Proud to Be an American?


We’ve already considered TEMPLE GRANDIN and CHUCK CLOSE: FACE BOOK, but there are four additional biographies for young readers that we ought to pay attention to this year: ABRAHAM LINCOLN & FREDERICK DOUGLASS by Russell Freedman, MASTER OF DECEIT by Marc Aronson, THE BRONTE SISTERS by Catherine Reef, and THE AMAZING HARRY KELLAR by Gail […]

Will Lightning Strike Twice?


We’ve already considered the work of Christopher Paul Curtis (THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE), Karen Cushman (WILL SPARROW’S ROAD), Kate DiCamillo (BINK & GOLLIE: TWO FOR ONE), Rebecca Stead (LIAR & SPY), Laura Amy Schlitz (SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS)–and I’d like to consider Russell Freedman (ABRAHAM LINCOLN & FREDERICK DOUGLASS) a bit later in the context of […]