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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Boy / Monster / Angel / Boy

When Heavy Medal readers gave monthly “Suggestions” of likely Newbery contenders from March through August, Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s THE BOOK OF BOY was at the top of the list (tied with THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE) with eight suggestions.  It was an early 2018 publication, which is obviously an advantage in that process…but also: a […]

Dead Mothers and Diaries

It’s almost like we deliberately tried to start our book discussion this year on the darkest notes.  Two novels Steven discussed both feature dead mothers/parents.  The two titles I’m going to present in this post also have dead mothers — not only that, both mothers died giving birth to our protagonists.  Even more, both books […]

The Hockey Kid and the Boy in the Stoopid Shirt

I read THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE and CHECKED a while ago and what really stuck with me weeks later was the distinctive voices of the two first person narrators. The Newbery Terms and Criteria mention “appropriateness of style” as a key consideration, and that’s where I think these two books shine. Style isn’t enough […]

National Book Awards Long List

A few days ago, the long listed titles for this year’s National Book Award Young People’s Literature category were unveiled.  How does our monthly suggestions list compare?  What are some common threads that you see? Here’s a quick recap and description: Out of the ten titles, Heavy Medal readers have strongly supported Boots on the Ground (nonfiction), Truth as Told by […]

Past Winners and Trend Bucking

Remember that year when the Caldecott winner was a significantly longer book than the Newbery winner?  It was 2008 and Brian Selznick got the Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret while Laura Amy Schlitz got the Newbery for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village.   That felt like a big deal […]

Martians, Butterflies, and the Depths of the Ocean

When Roxanne, Sharon, and I  looked ahead to this year’s Heavy Medal season we discussed how deeply we should dig into each book in the early days. When you read a book you’re really enthusiastic about, it’s tempting to explore every possible example of qualities that might make it “the most distinguished contribution to American […]

An Invitation – To Go Wild (with your recommendations!)

Starting in March, we asked our readers to make monthly suggestions with the strict rule on only including books already published.  So far, more than 80 titles have been put forth by our readers and 27 of them have 3 or more reader support.  We will definitely discuss all 27 and many more from the suggestion pool.  You can see the […]

We’re Back!

This year, unlike years past, we didn’t *really* go anywhere, since we’ve been checking in every month to see what everyone has been reading.  Here we are, though, in September, ready to get the Heavy Medal year officially underway. We are so excited to be here!  We’ve been reading and reading and know you have […]