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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

What You Might Have Been


When Nina introduced this book way back in September, her biggest quibble was with Ivan’s voice, particularly the rich metaphorical language that dominates the first 50 pages or so.  This didn’t bother me because, like many of you, I made a distinction between his thinking voice and his speaking voice.  However, I do still find that first section […]

Polly Horvath


Do you have a favorite author that provokes a Pavlovian response?  When I hear “Polly Horvath’s new book” I drool.  “…two new books..” knocked me to the floor in fits. Up and dusted, I tried to put my brain in order so that I could read her current titles as objectively as possible…meaning, likely, that […]

Disasters and Hoaxes


We’ve already spent quite a bit of time obsessing over BOMB–and with good reason–but there are a handful of other worthy narrative nonfiction books that deserve our attention.  Each writer, to one degree or another, has structured the plots of their books to take full advantage of the suspense of their stories.  The book you […]

Beneath a Meth Moon

Jonathan introduced this title briefly into discussion, and it might be the outside longshot on our shortlist.  I’ve seen comments from otherwise-Woodson-fans call this one “too afterschool special,” or note that the parallels between Laurel’s addiction and the Hurricane seem “too forced.”  Then of course there’s the age-range question.  Yet others, myself included, can’t help but […]