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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

What’s Your Prediction?

We’ve spent the last several months discussing what we think SHOULD win Newbery recognition, and why.  For this post, let’s shift gears and talk about what we think actually WILL emerge as winners.  It’s not as easy as it looks. Though some of my predictions have won Honors over the years, I’m afraid that the last time I picked the winner in advance was eighteen years ago!  And it’s not like BUD NOT BUDDY was a big surprise.

So I don’t expect to be accurate, but it’s always fun to speculate.  If you want to join in, make your Medal prediction, and Honors too if you want, below.  You can also share the reasoning behind your prediction.  And you can add one title you don’t think will make it, but really wish it would.  I’ll start it off:

Medal Prediction:  THE WAR I FINALLY WON.  It checks all the criteria boxes, and it’s hard to find much fault.  Could rise to the top as a book that most members could eventually give a first place vote to, even if it’s not their original top pick.   

Honor Prediction:  VINCENT AND THEO.  Strong, innovative nonfiction with distinct style.  I’m thinking age level concerns might limit consensus.

Honor Prediction:  LONG WAY DOWN.  It received less support than I expected on Heavy Medal, but I can see this getting multiple first place votes.

Honor Prediction:  HELLO UNIVERSE.  Maybe this one gets few first place votes, but could make a lot of top three ballots.

Wishful Thinking:  I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING.  I know it won our mock poll on Heavy Medal, but I still think it’s a long shot.  But a medal for poetry!  A medal for humor!  This would make me happy.  

I always enjoy Betsy Bird’s predictions on Fuse 8, which she updates through the year, and she’s got her final picks up for Newbery and Caldecott.  As for my picks , I’m probably way off as usual…what do you think will be announced on February 12th?

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Steven Engelfried About Steven Engelfried

Steven Engelfried is the Library Services Manager at the Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon. He served on the 2010 Newbery committee, chaired the 2013 Newbery Committee, and also served on the 2002 Caldecott committee. You can reach him at sengelfried@yahoo.com.

Comments

  1. I have horrible track record of predicting as well… but here we go.

    Medal: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA (Never has the #1 on the Goodreads list won the Newbery… I think that changes this year)

    Honors: THE WAR I FINALLY WON, WISHTREE, ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

    Wishful Thinking: HELLO UNIVERSE and I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING

  2. I’m not too good at this either but I’ll give it a shot.

    Medal: CLAYTON BYRD GOES UNDERGROUND

    Honors: THE HATE U GIVE, WISHTREE, REFUGEE, VINCENT & THEO

    Wishful Thinking: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA, PRINCESS CORA AND THE CROCODILE, A DIFFERENT POND

  3. Adrian Zeck says:

    Medal: No idea. I think this year is super hard to predict. I could see BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA getting it for historical fiction.

    Honor Book: AMINA”S VOICE
    I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, because our copies are continually checked out, but the staff that’s read it here loved it. The patrons loved it well enough to give it a Mock Honor. It might be a long shot but I think that could bode well.

    Honor Book: WISHTREE
    Applegate is hard to stop. Topical subject matter.

    Long Shots: HER RIGHT FOOT (because of all the feels), FIRST RULE OF PUNK (because of the cool format/treatment), ONE LAST WORD (cause you never know)

  4. Often the book I love the most doesn’t win or even get recognized (When the Sea Turned To Silver last year) but I would sure love to see Beyond the Bright Sea be recognized in the medals this year.

    My prediction for the medal is: Long Way Down
    Honors: War I Finally Won, Beyond the Bright Sea, Her Right Foot and Brave

    Outside Chance/Wishful thinking: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut for an honor

  5. I have no idea about the Medal. Almost nothing would surprise me this year.

    My thoughts about the honor are PIECING ME TOGETHER (I think this is more likely than THUG or LONG WAY DOWN for the Newbery), HER RIGHT FOOT (aforementioned feelings), and ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL.

  6. Eric Carpenter says:

    My Medal Prediction is CLAYTON BYRD GOES UNDERGROUND because it hits every criteria and I can see consensus building around this title.
    Honors for A DIFFERENT POND, and A LONG WAY DOWN. Both that are outside what some “stuffy” committee members might consider the “normal newbery” and therefore harder to get those 8 first place votes. They are however so distinguished that they should rise to the top when it comes to honor voting.
    Wishful thinking: ORPHAN ISLAND (as i’ve said before, do believe this one will be more appreciated with multiple rereads, which is exactly what the committee members are doing)

    • I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Clayton Byrd winning the Medal. Other titles that I also adored which never seemed to have a chance on the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Fifteen table are Real Friends and Wish Tree.

      However, I don’t think I can predict at all!

      • I have a feeling REAL FRIENDS and WISHTREE will carry the day when my students vote on Friday. Merits aside, they are required to read a minimum of five eligible titles between, Sept and the announcement. You can see where the length of these two books, might have an advantage with over-scheduled fifth and sixth graders.

      • Adrian Zeck says:

        Patrons picked either WISHTREE and REAL FRIENDS as the most popular choices at our branches when we did a Mock Newbery last month, with WISHTREE taking the overall System Mock.

    • I would love to see A DIFFERENT POND on the announcement. It didn’t make it through my student’s first round for Caldecott, up against THIS HOUSE, ONCE.

      • Eric Carpenter says:

        I think A Different Pond is much more likely for newbery than caldecott (same with HER RIGHT FOOT).

  7. Sara Coffman says:

    It’s fascinating to me that LONG WAY DOWN is getting so many mentions now when it has hardly been discussed through the season here! I just said this weekend that if an “older” book of this nature is going to win, it should be LONG WAY DOWN instead of THUG (this is my fear prediction), but I didn’t think it had a chance. Hmmmm….

    My hopeful predictions follow.
    Medal: I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING
    (here’s my justification: this is my strong front-runner, but I didn’t think it had a chance at all. Your Newbery 15 process convinced me that it could, so I’m sticking with it! It shouldn’t matter, but I do wonder if the white maleness of the author will end up being a strike against this title this year.)
    Honor: CLAYTON BYRD, WISHTREE, TWIFW, REAL FRIENDS

    • I would definitely have argued for LONG WAY DOWN if I’d read it in time for nominations here.

      • I’m going to reread LONG WAY DOWN before next Monday, now that I have it in print. I’ve had it argued to me, that is is the perfect book for the ages between twelve and fourteen. I think its impact, the impact it was written to make, would be lost on an upper YA audience. For me THUS is still and upper YA title.

      • I would have loved to hear some arguments for LONG WAY DOWN. It’s almost like we need Jason Reynolds to publish fewer books each year so each one can get the attention it deserves. :)

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        It’s interesting to see what books did get talked about on HM this year. I wonder how much depends on how we introduce the books. LONG WAY DOWN was part of a three-book post on novels in verse (http://blogs.slj.com/heavymedal/2017/11/03/novels-in-verse-two-out-of-three-isnt-bad/). It did get some discussion, but maybe would have gotten more attention if it was a single post. Also, that post was just a week or so after publication date, so maybe a lot of people hadn’t seen it yet. Next week we’ll have a short online survey for readers, and one thing we hope to learn is how the different ways/times/styles we use in posts might be improved…

  8. I just did my Thoughts on Newbery: Wishes for This Year Post (https://medinger.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/thoughts-on-newbery-my-wishes-for-this-year/) The titles (go to the post to read why for each) are Long Way Down, Hello Universe, I’m Just No Good at Rhyming, Auma’s Long Run, Her Right Foot. Train I Ride, Crown, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, The War I Finally Won, All’s Faire in Middle School, and Vincent and Theo.

    Predictions? Clueless. Wouldn’t be surprised if something came totally out of left field. That would be very cool, if so.

    • Personally, I found there to be less distinction between the titles I read this year than past years. I too, would not be surprised AT ALL to see something many of us have overlooked come away with the Medal!

    • Left that off my comment, but I’m also rooting for Real Friends (thanks to those who set me straight on how the writing of a graphic novel works:).

  9. I feel that this is a year without many “typical” choices. I’m with Monica, I have not idea. The book I most want to win is the most “typical” of the lot in many ways, but I also, along with Steven, find THE WAR I FINALLY WON hits all the criteria hard and strong. But it is also a sequel, and unlike Eric, I don’t think committee members want to be seen as “stuffy” and sticking to patterns of the past. I do really feel it is the best of the best.
    So I’m gong to give the committee the benefit of believing they are up to rattling expectations.

    Medal: LONG WAY DOWN

    Honors: I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING, PRINCESS CORA, and ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL.

    Wishes to hope for: Well, Ada of course.

  10. Cherylynn says:

    Winner: Hello Universe
    Honors: War I finally Won, Piecing Me Together, Wishtree
    Wishes: I’m Just No Good at Rhyming

  11. sam leopold says:

    MY PREDICTIONS

    GOLD: ONE LAST WORD by NIKKI GRIMES

    HONORS: VINCENT AND THEO
    BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA
    I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING
    THE WAR I FINALLY WON
    LOVING VS. VIRGINIA

  12. sam leopold says:

    I think LONG WAY DOWN gets the CORETTA SCOTT KING AWARD

  13. When is the winner announced?

  14. Genevieve says:

    Medal: THE WAR I FINALLY WON
    Honors: PIECING ME TOGETHER
    BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA
    REAL FRIENDS
    Outside chance: TRAIN I RIDE
    HER RIGHT FOOT
    ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL
    Wishful thinking: THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET
    THE HATE YOU GIVE (but I think it will get Printz Medal or Honor)
    THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET

    • I enjoyed THE VANDERBEEKERS OF !4!ST STREET, but I agree that it is wishful thinking.
      I wouldn’t mind seeing it receive an Honor.

  15. Sharon McKellar Sharon McKellar says:

    I’m so terrible at predictions! Let me try, though.

    Medal: The War I Finally Won
    Honors: Beyond the Bright Sea
    Orphan Island
    Real Friends

  16. Want to win: First Rule of Punk
    Think: Beyond the Bright Sea or The War I Finally Won ( and I’m good with that)
    Honors: Wish Tree, Refugee
    Long shot that I’d love: The Vanderbeekers, The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, One Amazing Elephant, and The Some Day Birds

  17. SAMUEL LEOPOLD says:

    The book that I have gained a lot of appreciation for over these past few weeks is THE WAR I FINALLY WON. I have it down as an honor pick, but would not be shocked to see it get gold.

    • Mother Lydia says:

      I actually love The War I finally Won better than the first book. I think it even stands on its own okay.

  18. SAMUEL LEOPOLD says:

    I have it on my list getting a silver medal, but would not be disappointed to see TWIFW get the top award on Monday.

  19. SAMUEL LEOPOLD says:

    Sorry for the duplicate post……..all the snow here in Ohio must be giving me a brain freeze.
    Besides A DIFFERENT POND, does anyone see any picture books sneaking onto the Newbery medal stand on Monday?

    • Crown and Her Right Foot seem possibilities to me.

      • To my shame, I’m never good about thinking of picture books this way, but on GoodREads, Monica put THE ROOSTER WHO WOULD NOT BE SILENT down as a choice earlier in the year. My endorsement is: I would read that book aloud every day of my life, given the opportunity. It’s not just the message, which is stunning, but the way words connect with each other, like music as it is read aloud. Kee-kee-ree-KEE!

  20. In my past ten years as a librarian, I have *never* predicted the winner. But here goes…

    MEDAL:
    THE WAR I FINALLY WON

    HONORS:
    CROWN (pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease)
    LONG WAY DOWN (it’s in my bag to read on the flight to Denver – I just know it’s gonna be great)
    ORPHAN ISLAND
    HER RIGHT FOOT (even though I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated it)

  21. Tess in the Classroom says:

    Never underestimate the power of the zeitgeist to influence people’s thinking.

    What will win the Medal: A LONG WAY DOWN

    What should win the Medal, but which I don’t think will even get an Honor: REFUGEE

  22. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    Here’s a Mock Newbery result from a Middle School group. We’d love to hear other Mock results, so please post if you have them:

    The Mock Newbery Club from Andover Elementary/Middle School in Andover, NH have met, debated and voted on their final predictions. These 6th-8th graders will be sipping tea and eating scones as we livestream the awards this Monday. Our final predictions are…

    Winner: Beyond the Bright Sea

    Honor: The Ethan I Was Before
    Honor: Orphan Island
    Honor: Scar Island

    Thank you!
    Molly Kidane
    6th grade ELA teacher

    • Steven, Roxanne told me there would be a separate post for Mocks. Should we continue to post here, or wait?

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        I think maybe I jumped the gun on that, but since we’ve started, let’s keep posting results here. Sorry for the confusion….

  23. Hannah Mermelstein says:

    Results from 4th-6th graders at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY:

    Winner: REFUGEE

    Honor: FORGET ME NOT
    Honor: THE WAR I FINALLY WON

  24. Mary Lou White says:

    I did well with predictions last year, awful the year before. I am going to go with:

    First Rule of Punk, gold
    Refugee, silver
    Clayton Bird Goes Underground, silver
    The War I Finally Won, silver

  25. Eric Carpenter says:

    A group of Atlanta librarians (school and public) as well as teachers and authors met a couple a few weeks ago for our deliberation.
    Our winner was A DIFFERENT POND
    we ended up with two honors:
    CLAYTON BYRD GOES UNDERGROUND and UNDEFEATED
    (Her Right Foot just missed the honor cutoff)
    Our discussion list which we developed over the course of the year is below
    1. Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case
    2. Me and Marvin Gardens
    3. Undefeated : Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
    4. Amina’s Voice
    5. Beyond the Bright Sea
    6. Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
    7. Midnight Without the Moon
    8. Real Friends
    9. The Hate U Give
    10. Patina
    11. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
    12. Rise of the Jumbies
    13. Her Right Foot
    14. A Different Pond

  26. Meredith Burton says:

    My predictions are:

    Newbery: I’m Just no Good at Rhyming, (just recently read it, and it captures the humor and pathos of growing up).
    Honor: Hello, Universe, (the multiple POV’S and the inclusion of folklore and diverse characters made this one stand out to me. It deserves recognition of some kind).
    Honor: Beyond the Bright Sea, (the main character’s quest to find out about her family and the love of the islanders bring the theme of family to life).
    Honor: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, (the writing style is lyrical, and exploring Clayton’s grief as well as his mother’s make this novel affective).

    Wishful Thinking: The Language of Thorns, (for an honor).
    Flying Lessons and Other Stories, (for an honor).

  27. My hopeful predictions…..

    Winner: Beyond the Bright Sea
    Honors: Vincent and Theo, A Long Way Down, Refugee

    Wishful Thinking: Train I Ride

    The one book I haven’t read because I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet: The War I Finally Won – so that would probably mix my predictions up a bit by the sounds of it.

    I’ll be tallying my students’ votes tomorrow. The winner will be very close between Beyond the Bright Sea and Refugee.

  28. Results from a 5th grade Mock Newbery in Denver, CO that just decided today:

    Winner—The Ethan I Was Before
    Honor—Walking with Miss Millie
    Honor—Scar Island
    Honor—I’m Just No Good At Rhyming

  29. Leonard Kim says:

    Medal prediction: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA
    Honors predictions: WISHTREE, TWIFW, REAL FRIENDS
    Wishful Thinking: VINCENT AND THEO, I’M JUST NO GOOD, WELCOME

  30. Hot off the presses! After a rousing 2 Ballot hullabaloo! Portland Jewish Academy has awarded the medal to: BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA!
    Honors were awarded to: The War I Finally Won, Real Friends, Scar Island and Brave

    Note: This Newbery Club was composed of 15 5th graders. They didn’t consider Long Way Down, The Hate U Give or Refugee due to the age of the intended audience of those books. My adult club meets on Sunday night and we have considered those books as well so I will post an 11th hour result for the PJA adult readers Sunday night.

    The 5th graders also wanted me to tell you that if I’m Just No Good At Rhyming wins they will be “outraged.” Their word, not mine.

  31. Hi Molly, the fifth and sixth grade Newbery Club also just finished at Snow Horse Elementary, in Kaysville, Utah. We stayed and discussed every book, every student had a passion for, including ME AND MARVIN GARDENS, which one boy would like you to know is the best book ever.

    I will not tell them how their votes shook out until Monday morning, when they come for breakfast and the announcements. But will share with you all:

    Medal: THE WAR I FINALLY WON
    Honors: WISHTREE & SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS

  32. Our adult Mock met, weekend before last. Unlike my students we had a short list based on a nomination process from Oct to Dec, that paralleled the Newbery Committee’s.

    We had nine books this year:

    Patina by Jason Reynolds
    Thick as Thieves by Turner
    The War I Finally Won by Bradley
    Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
    Beyond the Bright Sea by Laure Wolk
    Undefeated by Steve Shienken
    Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
    Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz
    Her Right Foot by Dave Eggars

    We came to consensus after deliberate discussions, but just one vote:

    Medal: THE WAR I FINALLY WON

    Honors: PRINCESS CORA AND THE CROCODILE, & BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA

    • Also, I’ve been tallying up the votes for our mock Giesel, Caldecott, and Sibert. if you are interested, but I suppose I should find the correct venue to share those results. Mostly I’m tired of math.

      Steven, I still use the template in Excel that you created for the Mock package, sold through ALSC.

  33. I have no idea! But I’ll go with:

    Medal: The War I Finally Won
    Honors: Princess Cora and the Crocodile, Beyond the Bright Sea, Long Way Down, Wishtree, Real Friends

  34. Teresa Easterling says:

    Medal: The War I Finally Won
    Honors: Wish Tree, Patina

    THUG and Long Way Down are incredible, but a bit mature for his award, IMHO.

  35. In Columbus, Ohio a group of teachers/ librarians chose The War I Finally Won with Beyond The Bright Sea as an honor.

  36. Mary Clare O’Grady says:

    Medal: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

    Honors: Long Way Down, War I Finally Won, I’m Just No Good at Rhyming

    Wishful Thinking: Piecing Me Together

    • Mary Clare O’Grady says:

      Gah! I left off Beyond the Bright Sea which has Newbery written all over it. Drop Long Way down for BBtS

  37. Medal Prediction: ORPHAN ISLAND

    Honor Prediction: WISHTREE

    Honor Prediction: THE ETHAN I WAS BEFORE

    Honor Prediction: HELLO UNIVERSE

    Wishful Thinking: SCAR ISLAND

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