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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Mock Newbery Discussions

Amy Martin Comics

It’s December, and finally feeling like award season!  If you’ve ever read through the Newbery manual, you have an idea of what the actual Newbery committee has in store for themselves the next couple of months. Shortly, they’ll complete their final round of nominations, and will be busy re-reading those several dozen titles in preparation for their two full days of discussion.  Their official times posted on the conference schedule are Friday January 24th 8am-4pm; Saturday January 25, 8am-10pm; Sunday January 26, 8am-10am.  In other words: they start Friday morning and keep on going until they are done. Within that time, they will need to discuss or otherwise address every nominated title,  come to a consensus on the winner and honor books (see p.40 in the manual for the elaborate voting process), and write a press release…due at 10am Sunday.  The awards are announced Monday

We will attempt, a couple of weeks before the actual deliberations, a 4-5 hour version of that entire ordeal.  Will you join us? You have our shortlist.  You have the dates:

Saturday January 11th, 2014 at 10am in San Diego, with Jonathan (flyer here).

Sunday, January 12th, 2014 at 1pm in Oakland, with me (email me to be added to the Evite).

On that day, we assume everyone at the live discussion has followed the blog, and familiarized themselves with the books and the public discussion of them.   We review, quickly, the Newbery criteria, and the CCBC Book Discussion Guidelines, to frame our few hours of discussion, in which we compare only those eight titles in relation to each other, and the criteria.  And we’ll vote, using exactly the same procedures as the actual committee.

If you’re not near enough to join us (or one of the Mock Discussions linked on our sidebar), you could try your own.  ALA sells a digital download Toolkit that helps much of the logisitcs and background.

And if you’re still not sold, I recommend you read Amy Martin’s comic all about it.



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

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