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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

So Much Nonfiction, So Little Time

Fault Lines

I’ve thought about doing separate posts for some of these titles, and still may, but my list of nonfiction-books-I’d-really-like-to-discuss keeps getting longer.  So here’s sort of a catch-up post of a half-dozen titles (in Dewey Decimal order) that could be worthy of Newbery consideration: FAULT LINES IN THE CONSTITUTION:  THE FRAMERS, THEIR FIGHTS, AND THE FLAWS […]

Refugee: the Undoubtedly Relevant, but Is It Distinguished?

refugee

In the comment section of Sharon’s YA? Why Not? (October 18th) post, some readers discussed the timeliness of titles and whether a book’s thematic relevance increases its winning chances.  Many considered the manual and emphasized that the committee members are not to make their decisions based on the chosen theme but how successful such theme is literarily presented. […]

Picture Book Possibiities

after the fall

We haven’t talked too much about picture books yet this year, and I wanted to check in and see where everyone was in terms of picture books with potential. After LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET took the gold, I think we are all thinking even more about the text in picture books and how it […]

The Glorious Ineligibles

labellesauvage

Being on the Newbery Committee means devoting almost all your reading time (and time to do other things in the past) to the year’s output of American Children’s Books. I know that my husband definitely felt the impact of being a Newbery Committee Spouse. Evenings that were family times — watching TV together or playing […]

Language and Length in The Glass Town Game

Glass Town Game

In THE GLASS TOWN GAME, four Bronte siblings (yes, those Brontes) travel to a magical world filled with characters and settings from the their own imaginative games.  I went back and forth on this book several times while I read it, and it shows in my thoughts below: The language is eloquent, imaginative, clever, often […]

Music to the Mind and Salve to the Soul

clayton byrd

Grief and complicated family relationships are treated with impeccable prose construction, musical sentences, and deep compassion by Rita Williams-Garcia. It is a love song to the Blues and a tribute to life’s “blues” as experienced by a young child so’s to become a wiser, deeper soul.  Williams-Garcia also offers a forensic examination of the failed relationship between a child and her father and its lingering effects. Yes, this story […]

Moving On Up: Princesses, Capers, and Crocodiles

dark shadows chicken

What do you call these books in your library?  Here, in Oakland, we call them “Moving Up” books.  More advanced than easy readers, but not as sophisticated as chapter books.  Featuring lots of pictures, but integrating more complex language.  In any case – they don’t tend to get a lot of Newbery love.  There are […]

Give Riordan a Chance? Popularity IS “Quality Presentation”

magnuschase

At the end of the Newbery Criteria document, there is a Note: “The committee should keep in mind that the award is for literary quality and quality presentation for children. The award is not for didactic content or popularity.” (I have always wondered what propelled the addition of this particular statement to the Manual.) We […]

November Nominations: Only Two This Time!

Glass Town Game

The real Newbery Committee members will submit two more Nominations in November.  They each select three books in October, then two each in November and December for a total of seven.  We collected nominations from 22 people in October, and the results are here.  Now it’s time to think about two for November. We’re also working […]

Novels in Verse: Two Out of Three Isn’t Bad

514UQFha0qL

This week Roxanne and Sharon both introduced books for older readers with thoughtful arguments for why they should be considered possible Newbery contenders.  I’ll start this post on novels in verse with a title that falls clearly on the other side of the line for me.  David Elliott’s BULL is one of my favorite books […]