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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

2nd Ballot – In Progress…

15This post will be updated once all our votes are in.  We’ve received fourteen out of fifteen ballots as of the morning of February 5th, 2018.  We are eager to share the results of the second round with the world.

Stay tuned…

Roxanne Hsu Feldman About Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Roxanne Hsu Feldman is the Middle School (4th to 8th grade) Librarian at the Dalton School in New York City. She served on the 2002 and 2013 Newbery Committees. Roxanne was also a member of 2008-2009 Notable Books for Children, 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, and the 2017 Odyssey Award Committees. In 2016 Roxanne was one of the three judges for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. You can reach her at at


  1. Leonard Kim says:

    Hmm, it seems the 2nd round comments have been closed and the 3rd round voting opened whil I was typing and posting this last comment. Hate to waste the effort, so I’ll just leave it right here…

    Please bear with me as I try to work through this in my own fashion. I have with me a copy of BEA GARCIA: THE CURSE OF EINSTEIN’S PENCIL by Deborah Zemke, which I thought was an outstanding 2017 early chapter book, though not quite Newbery level. Unlike PRINCESS CORA, it is an 8$ paperback befitting an early chapter book series. Even though PRINCESS CORA is ostensibly for a slightly younger readership and BEA GARCIA has twice as many pages, they actually have similar Lexile levels (610 vs. 590 for PRINCESS CORA) and not too different word counts (PRINCESS CORA has ~10% fewer words.)

    I’m going to literally pick a random number (36) and turn to that page for both.

    He sang: “I am Princess Cora’s pet- Am I her favorite croc? You bet! Inky-stinky, dry or wet. And I am inappropriate!” The Queen couldn’t stand this. “That’s a bad rhyme!” she shouted. She picked up a fat book and threw it at the crocodile. “Reptile!” she yelled.

    BEA GARCIA (full disclosure – I’m starting about 1/2 way down, after the illustrations and speech bubbles)
    Here’s Bert, trying to ruin everything. You can’t see him because I’m not going to draw him, but you can hear him. No way, Bert. I’m not drawing you, especially not in Australia.

    I think the two passages are representative enough. Surely the passage from CORA has its delights, but it is also comparatively sophisticated, more than you’d expect from the two books’ superficial appearance. I think Schlitz is trying to adapt her style to a younger audience, and that shows, but she doesn’t quite meet the demands of a “true” early chapter book, and that shows too. As Mr. H implies, I don’t think the compromise is completely successful for either the young reader or the adult reader looking for Schlitz’s usual literary mastery.

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