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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Shortlist!

After much reading and deliberation, Nina and I have decided on the following nine–nine!–titles:

DROWNED CITY . . .

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ECHO . . .

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GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA . . .

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GOODBYE STRANGER . . .

Goodbye Stranger

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HIRED GIRL . . .

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MOST DANGEROUS . . .

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MY SENECA VILLAGE . . .

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ROLLER GIRL . . .

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RHYTHM RIDE . . .

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We strive for simulation rather than prediction and we feel like we have a good mix of diversity in terms of audience, format, and genre–with a pinch of controversy thrown in for good measure.  Additional details are forthcoming, but the San Diego Mock Newbery will be held on Wednesday, December 16th, while the Oakland mock Newbery will be held on Sunday, January 3rd.

We welcome your thoughts on the list as a whole.  We’d also like to see other mock Newbery lists in the comments.

 

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Jonathan Hunt About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the Coordinator of Library Media Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. You can reach him at hunt_yellow@yahoo.com

Comments

  1. My 6th graders will participate in the first elimination round next Wednesday, so this number will be halved. But here’s our list: http://www.northallegheny.org/Page/20285

    I’m adding My Seneca Village next week because I think it’s a strong contender. I hope it doesn’t get knocked off in the next elimination.

    • Gail Shepherd says:

      Love your sixth graders’ list, Joe. I particularly enjoyed Fish in a Tree and The War That Saved My Life this year. Did the kids participate in picking this list? Or how’d you come up with these titles?

      • Hi, Gail –
        To develop the list, I troll multiple Mock Newbery sites (this one and For Those About to Mock) are my most-visited stomping grounds. I combine some of the books I read about there with books that I’ve read and books that I think will have strong appeal to 6th graders. I have 45 participants this year, so I’ve been buying a ton of multiple copies – and I hope the medal appears on one of them!
        Joe

    • That’s a great list! I’ll be curious to hear what your students choose. I also want to say thank you for putting A Night Divided on my radar. I don’t know how I’d missed it!

  2. I’m shocked to see that The War That Saved My Life didn’t make this list. I’m curious as to why it was left off. I’m also surprised to see nothing for younger readers. These titles all appear to be middle grade or above.

  3. Sam Bloom says:

    The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Lane Libraries (north of Cincinnati in Butler County), and a bunch of other folks from the Cincinnati area are reading:

    * Stonewall – Ann Bausum
    * Stella by Starlight – Sharon Draper
    * The Boys Who Challenged Hitler – Phillip Hoose
    * Listen, Slowly – Thanhha Lai
    * The Story of Diva and Flea – Mo Willems
    * Gone Crazy in Alabama – Rita Williams-Garcia

  4. Lynn Miller says:

    The Sullivan County BOCES School Library System (100 northwest of NYC, very rural) has selected the following titles for their Mock Newbery shortlist:
    The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen & the Churchill Club – Phillip Hoose
    Echo – Pam Munoz Ryan
    Fish in a Tree – Lynda Mullaly Hunt
    The Hired Girl – Laura Amy Schlitz
    This Side of Wild – Gary Paulsen
    The War That Saved My Life – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    Stella by Starlight – Sharon M. Draper

    • Great list! I haven’t read This Side of Wild (animal-heavy stories are my kryptonite) but I saw it made the National Book Award longlist last month. Is it worth reading?

  5. Hannah Mermelstein says:

    Our school’s Mock Newbery Committee (4th-6th grade) is still working with our long list of 35 books. We’ll vote for finalists in a couple weeks and I can update you then, but for now (in alphabetical order by title):

    ANOTHER KIND OF HURRICANE by Tamara Ellis Smith
    BAYOU MAGIC by Jewell Parker Rhodes
    THE BOYS WHO CHALLENGED HITLER by Phillip Hoose
    CHASING SECRETS by Gennifer Choldenko
    CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley
    CRENSHAW by Katherine Applegate
    THE CURIOUS WORLD OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jacqueline Kelly
    THE DETECTIVE’S ASSISTANT by Kate Hannigan
    ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan
    FIREFLY HOLLOW by Alison McGhee
    FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
    FUZZY MUD by Louis Sachar
    GEORGE by Alex Gino
    GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA by Rita Williams-Garcia
    A HANDFUL OF STARS by Cynthia Lord
    THE HONEST TRUTH by Dan Gemeinhart
    LIKE A RIVER by Kathy Canon Wiechman
    LISTEN, SLOWLY by Thanhha Lai
    LOST IN THE SUN by Lisa Graff
    THE MARVELS by Brian Selznick
    A NEARER MOON by Melanie Crowder
    A NIGHT DIVIDED by Jennifer Nielsen
    OLD WOLF by Avi
    PAPER THINGS by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
    THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING by Jeanne Birdsall
    RED BUTTERFLY by A. L. Sonnichsen
    ROLLER GIRL by Victoria Jamieson
    STELLA BY STARLIGHT by Sharon Draper
    THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin
    TURNING 15 ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
    UNTIL I FIND JULIAN by Patricia Reilly Giff
    UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER by Kelly Jones
    THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    THE WAY HOME LOOKS NOW by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
    WISH GIRL by Nikki Loftin

  6. Well, this shortlist threw me for a loop! I had been considering adding MY SENECA VILLAGE to our list, but there were also three books that weren’t even on my radar! Now all four have been added to our mock Newbery list. Here are our books: http://www.sunrisenewberyclub.com/#!what-were-reading/c21kz
    (In retrospect, I wouldn’t add LOST IN NYC again)
    So far my students are most in favor of:

    THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE
    ECHO
    CIRCUS MIRANDUS
    FIREFLY HOLLOW
    CRENSHAW

    Their favorites might change as more students dive in to the books we added just a few weeks ago. I’m surprised to see FULL CICADA MOON doesn’t appear above. That book really resonated with me and with the kids in my club who’ve read it (we just added it).

  7. Surprised THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE did not make the list. It is still one of my top titles! Three titles on the list haven’t made it into our system yet – need to catch up!!

  8. Jonathan Hunt Jonathan Hunt says:

    Thanks for posting all the shortlists. I love to see the variety.

    I was very sad to leave THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE off the list. We have an awfully crowded field with historical fiction already–ECHO, GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA, and THE HIRED GIRL–but I think THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE is arguably just as popular and may actually be easier to build consensus around and it still features some subtle diversity issues.

    I also feel disappointed about the dearth of younger titles, although I do think DROWNED CITY, ROLLER GIRL, and ECHO all reach down to third grade for the right readers. Still, it would have been nice to have a picture book, easy reader, or transitional chapter book. FIREFLY HOLLOW may have been the best candidate, but I’d love to hear about others that may have flown under our radar.

    All things considered: 1 poetry, 2 graphic novels, and 3 nonfiction titles (including one of the GNs).

    • Any chance you guys might change your minds and add The War That Saved My Life? Going back and looking at the Serious Work post, I noticed that many of those who commented said that they were looking forward to that particular title getting its own post so it could be discussed further. Come on, 10 is a nice even number! :)

      • Jonathan Hunt Jonathan Hunt says:

        I’m sure we will continue to have a running discussion of THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE, but we were kind of pushing it with 8 titles, and then to choose 9 on short notice. It’s hard to do. We had talked about creating separate shortlists to cover more titles, but decided that it would seem weird to do that during Nina’s final year.

  9. Hannah Mermelstein says:

    My Mock Newbery Committee voted today. About 30 kids in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade chose the following books as our finalists (a couple surprises in there):

    GEORGE
    THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE
    THE HONEST TRUTH
    A NIGHT DIVIDED
    A HANDFUL OF STARS
    RED BUTTERFLY
    LOST IN THE SUN
    THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH

  10. Now that I’ve had time to dive into MY SENECA VILLAGE, I am surprised this made your list. It has content that seems far too mature for Newbery consideration. I’m not finished yet, but the poem “The Park Theatre” references whores in the balcony around her, and finishes with, “She was so entranced by the tiny distant drama/ that, when one of the pleasure-purveyors gave a cry/ of release, Elizabeth woke up with a start./ She looked around the industrious balcony…” I know many of my students wouldn’t understand this, so it might go unnoticed, but it does point to this writing being geared toward an older audience.

    • Now I haven’t read My Seneca Village (free verse poetry is not my cup of tea) but that passage is indeed disconcerting. I remember all of the hullabaloo that surrounded the use of the word “scrotum” in The Higher Power of Lucky. (when the conversation really should have centered around how mind-numbingly boring that book is) Maybe My Seneca Village is more of a Printz candidate.

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