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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Hey, we’re back!

…Like me, with your mouth full of leftovers?

This migration has caught me and Jonathan in the midst of taking it slow, and traveling, so it may take us a moment to get back up to speed and get comfortable in with our upgrade.  In the meantime…

Monica Edinger at Educating Alice hosted a couple of guest posts for us during the interim.  Have some thoughts on books that have slipped under the radar, or deserve a second chance in consideration?  Head on over there to add to the discussion.  And thank you Monica!

And our live Mock Discussion is just over 2 weeks away.  Let’s get back to MOONBIRD and NO CRYSTAL STAIR, which were under discussion when we had our unexpected interruption.  And if you haven’t had a chance yet to get in your mock December Nominations…it’s not too late.

If you notice a recent comment of yours gone…it’s because you posted it after we tried to call a halt for the Unexpected Interruption.  The comment feature still allowed you to post, but your post hadn’t been captured in the data snapshot for migration. Or something like that.  We invite you to comment again.

And for those with the URL bookmarked…please note our spiffy shortened



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. TeenReader says:

    I’ll get the NCS discussion going again. My two major complaints were 1) the book covered so many events that it felt like a well-written summary more then a book and 2) characters were left to the backburner when the book would have been improved by multiple voices. I am willing to chalk up my 1st complaint as a matter of personal taste. (I had a similar problem with the excellent BRIDES OF ROLLROCK ISLAND.) However, I think that my second complaint is still valid, and Mark’s collection of quotes is also an issue. Sure, there is plenty distinguished here, but it certainly pales next to BOMB, SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS, THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE, TEMPLE GRANDIN, and maybe WONDER. (I am rereading soon.)

  2. Underappreciated book this year: KEEPING SAFE THE STARS by Sheila O’Connor. I didn’t care much for SPARROW ROAD, and the cover of this made me think it was a fantasy, and even once I got to the blurb, I thought it sounded sappy. But this orphans-in-distress story blows ONE FOR THE MURPHYS and SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS (which is very similar, really) out of the water. Many of the logistical concerns (other than the dead body ones) from GYPSY MOTHS are covered a little more realistically here. And the author does a great job of really making the historical setting MATTER to the characters’ and plot’s developments. I thought at first it was going to be one of those books about which we can whine “this book had no reason to be set in 1974″, but it isn’t. Not in my top ten, just better than those other books.

  3. Jonathan Hunt Jonathan Hunt says:

    Thanks for the shout out for KEEPING SAFE THE STARS. It’s been on my radar with two starred reviews, but I haven’t managed to read it yet. Interesting how many books with stars in the title: KEEPING SAFE THE STARS, WHAT CAME FROM THE STARS, JEPP, WHO DEFIED THE STARS. I think I may be missing another one . . . THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

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