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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

2019 Heavy Medal: Suggestions to Date – March, April & May

Our list is getting so long and exciting!  Enjoy!

(updated with corrections on May 8th)

Single Suggestion:

  • All the Animals Where I Live by Philip Stead
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
  • The Burning Maze: Trials of Appollo, Book 3 by Rick Riordan
  • Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
  • Checked by Cynthia Kadohata
  • Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart
  • The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens
  • Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
  • In the Past by David Elliott
  • Islandborn by Junot Díaz
  • The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras
  • Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable
  • A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson
  • Snow Lane by Josie Angelini
  • Sunny by Jason Reynolds
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
  • United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Barhan-Quallen
  • The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
  • Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
  • You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

2 Suggestions:

  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  • Chasing King’s Killer by James L. Swanson
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman
  • Granted by John David Anderson
  • Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  • They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki
  • The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
  • Voices in the Air by Naomi Shihab Nye

3 Suggestions

  • The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
  • The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

4 Suggestions

  • Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard

5 Suggestions

  • The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

7 Suggestions

  • The Journey of Little Charlie, The by Christopher Paul Curtis
Sharon McKellar About Sharon McKellar

Sharon McKellar is the Supervising Librarian for Teen Services at the Oakland Public Library in California. She has served on the Rainbow List Committee, the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee, The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee, and the 2015 Caldecott Committee. You can reach her at


  1. Jenn H. says:

    Night Diary is on two different lists, Single Suggestion and 2 Suggestions.

  2. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    Another great way to track Newbery possibilities is “Jen J’s Starred Reviews.” It’s always been a great resource, but this year it’s even better for mock-Newberys! In addition to the big list of all starred titles, Jen is now doing separate posts that just includes the books most likely to fit with Newbery criteria ( So she’s pre-weeded out most of the “too olds” and “ineligible author,” etc. She also has one for Printz too! The link to her page is always on the right side of this blog under “Resources.”

    • Julie Corsaro says:

      While I commend Jen J’s efforts (and love her compilations), I think weeding for ” too old” is very tricky, as each committee might arrive at very different conclusions as to what stands out as the most distinguished for 13-and-14-year-olds (or, per the expanded definitions in the Newbery manual: “If a book is challenging, and suitable for 13-14-year-olds but not for younger readers, is it eligible? Yes; but it can be given an award only if it does what it sets out to do as well as or better than other, younger books that are also eligible …”).

  3. The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle is by Leslie Connor (her name was omitted)–and it is superb!

  4. Thank you so much — this is a very helpful feature, especially as we work to build Mock Newbery lists for our schools. I really enjoyed Aru Shah, and would like to recommend that. My students particularly are asking for us to have a wider variety of genres within middle grade (I build a list for 4th and 5th graders). In particular, they’re asking for us to include fantasy and humor books. While I know that the Newbery is not for popularity, I also want to read widely and look for the best books in a wide range of genres–there is so much fantasy and humor that is not well written, that it can become difficult to find the real standouts.

    I’m also interested in reading Front Desk, by Kelly Yang — it’s getting good previews on Goodreads & very good reviews (4 starred reviews). Does anyone know if this will be Newbery eligible? It looks like Kelly Yang lives in both Hong Kong & San Francisco.

    Finally, I’d recommend adding Amal Unbound to your list. A very interesting, touching story that has stayed with me.

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