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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

At Long Last — the 2018 Heavy Medal Long List for Balloting

Given that each year more than 3,000 children’s books eligible for the Newbery are published, each of the 70 titles receiving even a single nomination from the Heavy Medal readers already signifies certain distinctive qualities.  We thank you all for sharing with us what you have loved this year. After compiling reader nominations and considering discussion potentials, we […]

What’s Missing?

The year’s almost over and the 2017 Heavy Medal has been going for three and a half months.   We’ll announce our “Long List” on Friday, which will include roughly 18 titles that we’ll use for our on-line voting in early February.  You’d think by now we’d have covered every book with a decent shot at […]

Alligators, Curses, A Swamp – Oh My!

In 19th century England, a fictional child reader asked, “and what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?” In 20th century Taiwan, a non-fictional child reader pondered, “and what is the use of a book without magic or something completely made up?”  Indeed, when this Taiwanese young reader grew up and studied Children’s Literature in the United States, she […]

December Nominations

In December, the real committee submits two more nominations and this is crunch time.  It’s the committee’s last chance to nominate titles (unless things come out later in the year) and each member’s last chance to ensure that their choices are on the table for discussion. Here at Heavy Medal we did nominations in October […]

First Time a Charm?

In a comment from an earlier post, Genevieve said:  “I wish there was a Morris equivalent for children’s books.”  It’s an interesting idea.  YALSA started the Morris Award in 2009 to honor a “first time author writing for teens.”  ALSC doesn’t have a similar award at this point, and the Newbery Terms and Criteria tell […]

Disastrous Journey, but the Book’s Sure Good

BOUND BY ICE  by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace has a lot of qualities that I look for in narrative nonfiction.  It’s a highly absorbing survival story with lots of suspense.  The historical figures have distinct and engaging personalities.  And it’s a piece of history that most readers won’t know about already.  With a compelling true […]

Jade & Patina: Two Admirable Young Women

One of our short listed titles this year is The Hate U Give, with a teenaged black protagonist attending a predominantly white school away from her own neighborhood.  At least two other titles in 2017 feature  similar situations.  Jason Reynolds’ Patina and Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together (both received four starred reviews from major review journals.) If two or all three are nominated by […]

It’s Here! Announcing the Short List and Oakland’s Mock Newbery!

We are so excited to announce our short list today!  But before we get to that, let me tell you a little bit about our plans for this list and some of our plans for the blog for the rest of the Newbery season. This short list will be used in the Mock Newbery discussion […]