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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

March Suggestions

Book of BoyHeavy Medal is on hiatus until September 2018…well, mostly.  This year we’re going to try something different between now and Fall.  Around the 1st of each month we’ll solicit “Suggestions” from Heavy Medal readers.  This is similar to the process followed by the real Newbery Committee.  It’s a way for members to share what they’re reading and liking through the year, long before official Nominations (Oct – Dec) and Discussions/Ballots (Jan or Feb).   For Heavy Medal, it will help us three bloggers, and readers, as we read and think about what to post.   Here’s how we’ll try it for this blog:

–  Suggest books that you think could be possible Newbery contenders.  By suggesting, you’re not saying:  “this is a Newbery favorite,” but rather:  “this could be a possible contender.”

–  Suggest only eligible books.  Check the Terms and Criteria for details.  If you’re not sure, err on the side of inclusion.  .

– Suggest up to 5 titles per month.  The real Committee likely won’t have a limit, but we will have one here just to keep numbers manageable.  Less than 5 is always okay.

– Suggestions are just title and author.  No description or justifications (we’ll do plenty of that starting in September).

– Suggest only books that you’ve read and have been published.  If you’ve read a pre-publication version, please save the Suggestion for its actual month of publication.  Most readers (and bloggers) don’t get these, so this keeps us all generally on the same time line.

–  Suggesting a book that’s been suggested already is fine.  Total number of Suggestions will not be used in decisions about short-lists….it just helps everyone see what books are on the most people’s radar.

–  Suggestions are due on the 5th of each month.  On the 6th (or shortly after) we’ll post a cumulated list.

I hope all this makes sense, but if you have questions about the process, just ask below.  And if you have any Suggestions to start us off, post below (title and author only, remember).  

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


  1. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    I’ll start us off with a couple Suggestions:

    The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
    Chasing King’s Killer by James L. Swanson

  2. Yay, that will be really helpful for me!

  3. Jill Keller says:

    The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

  4. Leonard Kim says:

    Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters

  5. One of the delights of being a bookseller is going to the regional trade show where small and regional presses are a strong presence. I see really terrific work, particularly by indigenous authors, that are published regionally but not on the national radar. It would be great to have somebody particularly looking for regional titles. I’m happy to do it for the northwest but I wonder if we have members in other regions that could bring these titles to our attention. My regional trade show is in mid October.

    • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

      Yes, that would be excellent Rosanne, if folks can identify high quality writing that might otherwise be missed….

  6. The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
    Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney

    And I would second the suggestion for Chasing King’s Killer by James Swanson

  7. Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles
    Catherine Gilbert Murdock’ The Book of Boy
    Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious

  8. Eric Carpenter says:

    I’ll second both The Journey of Little Charlie and Martin Rising

  9. Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard

  10. sam leopold says:

    GRANTED by Anderson

    A SKY FULL OF STARS by Jackson



  11. Nothing to add right now, but wanted to say that I think this is an excellent plan!

  12. Julie Corsaro says:

    Ditto for Veera Hiranandani’s The Night Diary, which is set during the partition of India.

  13. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions. March Suggestions are closed now, and we’ll have a new post soliciting more Suggestions around April 1st.

  14. Most definitely the Journey of Little Charlie.
    On a side-note, I just finished The Hazel Wood. This was on this blog’s watch list. However, I find the book very inappropriate for the age group at/under 14 years old, so I don’t see it having a chance at the Newbery. Just warning potential future readers.


  1. […] For a more directed list of titles to consider, check in with Heavy Medal. They are running a new feature this year where readers can nominate titles to consider each month. You can see the March list and […]