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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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November Nomination & The Heavy Medal Committee

In November, we are asking our readers to Nominate TWO more titles (and two in December as well) following the actual Newbery Committee schedule and procedure.

If you already nominated three titles in October, nominate two now — Do not duplicate your own titles but you are free to nominate titles already put in by others.

If you did not submit any nominations in October, you might want to nominate five titles this week.  Examine the last round of nomination results below carefully and strategize — are the books that you love already receiving a lot of support?  Should you add your voice to those?  How about the ones that receive only 2 or 3 nominations but perhaps should receive more support?  Is there one that would serve as a good counter point for a title that you wish to win (or vice versa) that should be pushed to the top?

After our December round of Nominations, we will announce the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finals List.  This list will contain FIFTEEN titles that Steven, Sharon, and I select based on many factors, including reader nominations, end-of-year lists, starred reviews, and discussability (a word?).

At this time, we would also like to remind our readers that you are all invited to “serve” on the Official Heavy Medal Committee to discuss and ballot for our own winning titles.  In order to be the Official HMC member, you will have to finish all 15 titles, be able and ready to participate fully in the HMC discussion from January 2nd to the actual 2019 Newbery Award announcement on January 28, 2019.

Hare are the list of nominated titles as compiled by Steven in October:

 

Five books received 4 or more Nominations

FRONT DESK – 10

THE BOOK OF BOY – 9

JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE – 6

JUST LIKE JACKIE – 5

THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE – 4

 

Five books have 3 Nominations

THE ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE

HARBOR ME

THE PARKER INHERITANCE

REBOUND

SNOW LANE

 

Eighteen books have 2 Nominations

THE ADVENTURES OF A GIRL CALLED BICYCLE

BE PREPARED

BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS

BOB

CARDBOARD KINGDOM

CHECKED

ECHO’S SISTER

GHOST BOYS

THE GIRL WHO DREW BUTTERFLIES

HOPE IN THE HOLLER

HURRICANE CHILD

IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD

LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME

OUT OF LEFT FIELD

PENDERWICKS AT LAST

THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER

SEASON OF STYX MALONE

TWO ROADS

 

Eleven books have 1 Nomination

THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER

BETTY BEFORE X

BOOTS ON THE GROUND

FAITHFUL SPY

LAST

MAD WOLF’S DAUGHTER

NOWHERE BOY

PETER & ERNESTO

THE POET X

SUNNY

THUNDERHEAD

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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 roxannefeldman@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Melody Allen says:

    Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood
    A novel in verse with lots of documented back matter about British children sent away from the Blitz to Canada on a ship that was torpedoed.
    Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
    A strong voice and vivid characterizations. Real middle grade book that is heartwarming because it feels so real. Louisiana fantasizes book characters who end up existing as ordinary people who help her.

  2. 1. ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE
    2. GHOST BOYS

  3. Kate Todd says:

    My next two nominations:
    AMAL UNBOUND by Aisha Saeed
    THE NIGHT DIARY by Veera Hiranandani

  4. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
    Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

  5. THE ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE
    GHOST BOYS

  6. Eric Carpenter says:

    Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose
    The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix

  7. Poet X
    Hey, Kiddo

  8. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
    The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

  9. So I’m going to pick a bone here… are there plans to devote upcoming posts or conversations to titles like JUST LIKE JACKIE, THE PARKER INHERITANCE, REBOUND, and SNOW LANE? These titles led others in nominations on this site after early voting but haven’t had posts devoted to them. With a second round of voting now underway, I see some of them getting lost in the tallies and I don’t know that that’s fair to them or an accurate model of the Newbery process.

    I have to admit, I’m sour because one of my favorites of the year is JUST LIKE JACKIE but I’ve gotten the sense that no one wants to take it seriously as a contender. It received 5 separate nominations after early voting and STILL it’s not been discussed, despite being in 4th place according to vote tallies on here. That doesn’t exactly seem fair. I would guess fans of REBOUND, PARKER INHERITANCE, or SNOW LANE feel the same.

    • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

      Mr. H. asks why some titles haven’t been discussed yet, and it’s a good question with a vague answer. We three bloggers take the selection process pretty seriously, and weigh a lot of factors, including reader nominations, starred reviews, discussibility, variety (age level, format, theme, etc.), and our individual reactions. So yes, it’s subjective to a degree, and we won’t get to every discussion-worthy book. We keep a rough list of planned posts that changes a lot. Right now it
      includes a lot of TBDs, partly because we want to see what rises during this November nomination period. As for the 3+ nomination books you mention, SNOW LANE will happen this week. The others are still in the “maybe” list. I read JUST LIKE JACKIE a while ago and though I liked it a lot, it didn’t stand out for me. The five October nominations made me think I should take another look, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. So it’s still a maybe for me, though another nomination this round would make it a yes.

    • Leonard Kim says:

      Steven, it is admirably crazy that you revisit books that you might have to post about here. Here’s a thought (for next year). Part of the “real” Newbery process is that committee members submit justifications along with their nominations. Maybe you could ask us to provide brief justifications along with our nominations in order for them to “count.” If a title you weren’t really planning to post about unexpectedly gets a lot of nominations, you could quote those many justifications as the “post” for that book, and maybe this eases the burden of our indefatigable hosts.

  10. Julie Corsaro says:

    Merci Suarez Changes Gears
    Finding Langston

  11. Jennifer Hartley says:

    I missed the October Nominations, so here are 5:

    1. The Parker Inheritance by Variian Johnson
    2. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
    3. Cardboard Kingdom by various authors
    4. Front Desk by Kelly Yang
    5. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

  12. Martha Parravano says:

    One of my favorite books of the year is Jonathan Auxier’s SWEEP. The author is Canadian but lives in Pittsburgh, so isn’t the book eligible for the Newbery? I am surprised not to see it on more lists.

    I did not nominate titles last time, so here are my current five:
    1. SWEEP
    2. JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE
    3. BOOTS ON THE GROUND
    4. MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS
    5. LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME

    So hard to leave REBOUND, PARKER INHERITANCE, BOOK OF BOY, and others off…

  13. The Unforgettable Guinevere St Clair, by Amy Makechnie

  14. Kim Makechnie says:

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie!

  15. The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair absolutely needs to be on your radar.

  16. The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair, by Amy Makechnie. Loved it as an adult, read outloud to my children. You will not be dissapointed.

  17. Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

    Nightbooks by J. A. White

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie

  18. Leonard Kim says:

    SNOW LANE – to help it onto the finals list
    ROAD TRIP WITH MAX AND HIS MOM – since none of the top nomination-getters are skewing that young, and I think those who like this book can argue that it is distinguished for its age group. I actually prefer Urban’s MABEL AND SAM AT HOME, but I think this could get more support.

    Jordan, I am not sure I agree with your comment about modeling the Newbery process. The actual committee doesn’t discuss any of the books until the midwinter meeting, well after nominations. Obviously this blog needs to discuss something throughout the season, but I actually felt it was tougher when a book gets discussed here, then discussed again when it makes the final list, and (last year) got discussed again by the mock committee. I actually prefer higher level posts early on, where groups of books are thrown out as possibilities and are culled down to help inform people’s nominations, rather than starting off right away with in-depth discussions of specific books. To me, that feels more in the spirit of the actual process, and it seemed like things started off with that intent this year but have been sliding back into single book discussions (maybe because of lack of comments early on?)

    • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

      Leonard, your comment is correct. We did start out thinking we’d do 2+ books per post, but were surprised by the low participation compared to last year. That made me think maybe we needed to dig deeper into individual titles to get more response…and results are inconclusive so far. We’ll likely do a little of both the rest of the way, but it’s always helpful to hear preferences and suggestions from readers (even if we can’t always meet everyone’s wishes…)

      • I wonder if lower than expected participation might have something to do with the (new) requirement that mock award voting is restricted to only those participants who have read all 15 books on the final list. I have read 13 of the books that have received (multiple) blog nominations to date (and my favorite by far is THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE!), but I don’t know whether I will be able to keep up with all the new books being mentioned in this round….

        (I’m agreeing a bit with the following comment by Mr. H.)

    • But books that are nominated by the committee are added to the discussion list at the midwinter meeting. Meaning, committee members will read them thoroughly and come to the meeting ready to discuss them, especially a title that’s been nominated multiple times. I suppose this could hurt a book’s chance as much as it could help a book’s chance but at least it’s getting that chance through a discussion of its merits.

      Since we don’t probably read as widely as the committee, the only way to really simulate that on this website is to highlight those nominated books and encourage them to be read. If a book like JUST LIKE JACKIE isn’t going to be highlighted on here despite receiving five October nominations, no one is really going to be encouraged to read it because they’re going to be reading other titles that are being discussed and highlighted on this website just to keep up with the conversation.

      Some of the titles being nominated this second time around are titles that have been highlighted on here despite not receiving many nominations the first time around. That’s not a surprise to me. Unlike JUST LIKE JACKIE, which hasn’t been discussed therefore, has received no additional votes. I realize this may be natural selection as more titles are released and read, but without a post and discussion, we’ll never really know.

      As I said above, I was a fan of JUST LIKE JACKIE and was happy to see it nominated as much as it was the first time around. So some of this is just sour grapes on my part… I suppose it’s nothing to get riled up about, despite the impression I might be giving, just something I felt was worth discussing.

  19. I have not nominated before, so … 1. LOVE, PENELOPE by Joanne Rocklin. 2. IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD by Ashley Herring Blake. 3. YOU GO FIRST by Erin Entrada Kelly. 4. THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS by Ann Braden. 5. HEY, KIDDO by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

  20. 1. Louisiana’s Way Home
    2. Journey of Little Charlie

  21. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    November Nominations:
    BOOTS ON THE GROUND
    THE FAITHFUL SPY

  22. I didn’t nominate last time, so here are five:

    Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell
    Snow Lane by Josie Angelini
    Granted by John David Anderson
    The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller
    Checked by Cynthia Kadohata

  23. Kelly Farnsworth says:

    I haven’t voted on here before so here are my nominations:
    1. The Unforgettabke Guinevere St Clair by Amy Makechnie.
    2. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor.
    3. The Benefits of Being An Octopus bun ann Braden
    4. Rebound by Kwame Alexander
    5. Harbor Me but jacqueline Woodson

  24. Mindy Bicknell says:

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St.Claire by Amy Makechnie was by far my favorite book this summer.It is currently my go to present for both young and adult readers.I can’t wait to read more from Ms Makechnie.

  25. THE REMEMBER BALLOONS by Jessie Oliveros. I read this picture book out loud to a group of fourth graders who loved it. The story is nuanced. The language is lyrical, and the balloon analogy works magically, even without illustrations. It’s worth a conversation for sure.

    Amal Unbound by Saeed. I was really surprised not to see this one on the first round of nominations. Though it’s not my favorite to win, I think it deserves consideration.

  26. I would like to nominate The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie.

    Thank you!

  27. 1. Breakout by Kate Messner
    2. Front Desk by Kelly Yang
    3. The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie
    4. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
    5. The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

    • Genevieve says:

      If I’d had one more vote available, I would’ve voted for Breakout – glad to see it get some love.

    • Leonard Kim says:

      I was really impressed by the homages to Woodson, Grimes, et al. in BREAKOUT, though I feel funny about that too, because I think I liked Elidee’s versions better than their models in Brown Girl Dreaming and One Last Word.

  28. Matthew Bowers says:

    MARCUS VEGA DOESN’T SPEAK SPANISH by Cartaya
    JAZZ OWLS by Engle

  29. November Nominations
    Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate Di Camilo
    Hey,Kiddo by Jarrett J Krosoczka
    Also loved The Faithful Spy, but I nominated three books in October.

  30. I have a question about process since clearly there’s something going on with all these nominations for GUINEVERE. I don’t want to cast aspersions, but it’s a little suspicious: they all seem to be coming out of the blue by people who perhaps haven’t participated in this blog before (and, if I’m being conspiratorial, maybe know the author?). Additionally, a majority of the votes don’t have follow-up nominations.

    My question is this: will all these votes for GUINEVERE count as first place – making it a clear frontrunner – or will the participants’ votes be discounted because the nomination process has not been followed?

    • Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing …

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        Thanks for noting this Joe and Katrina. We had noticed that too and are looking into it…

    • This will be addressed in a future post regarding “conflict of interest” or even the appearance of “conflict of interest.” Stay tuned.

      • Yeah, I think this has been outed. I have feeling if you were to go to Goodreads the fanclub would all be connected. Kind of creepy.

      • To be fair, I believe the title in question has received some legit votes. So I wouldn’t recommend tossing out all nominations for it. It also has an avg rating of 4.23 out of 175 ratings on Goodreads, FWIW.

      • Jordan, I noticed that, too. I also noticed that a lot of people who follow/are friends with the author posted here. There’s too much coincidence.

      • I should clarify: those who voted for that title – and that title alone – meet the description I posted above.

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong… something was TOTALLY suspicious… I just thought I’d throw out that the book seemed to get some legit votes as well.

  31. 1. THE GIRL WHO DREW BUTTERFLIES by Sidman
    2. THE DAY YOU BEGIN by Woodson

  32. 1. Bob by Wendy Mass
    2. Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney

  33. Hey Kiddo
    Poet X

  34. 1. Just Like Jackie
    2. Harbor Me

  35. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
    Loved this, right behind Book of Boy for my favorite! Very atmospheric—great sense of place. Good prose, well-developed characters, surprising amount of depth without getting in the way of the story.

    Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard, for Jordan, because I do think it should be in the mix.

  36. Genevieve says:

    Two terrific books that I hadn’t read by the time of the last nominations:

    MARCUS VEGA DOESN’T SPEAK SPANISH by Pablo Cartaya

    LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME by Kate DiCamillo

  37. I’m usually more of a lurker/reader here, but wanted to join in this round of nominations (and hopefully continue to comment). Now that I’m finally starting to catch up with fall releases, these are my nominations:

    The Parker Inheritance – Varian Johnson
    Hey, Kiddo – Jarrett Krosoczka
    The Girl Who Drew Butterflies – Joyce Sidman
    Amal Unbound – Aisha Saeed
    Boots on the Ground – Elizabeth Partridge

  38. 1. Ghost Boys
    2. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World

  39. Amanda Foulk says:

    Only 4 of 5, because I’ve still got some reading to do, but presently on my nomination list:
    The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
    Front Desk (obviously doesn’t need it, but let’s say it was in my first round of Nominations) by Kelly Yang
    Ghost Boys by Jewel Parker Rhodes
    The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

  40. JUST LIKE JACKIE
    SNOW BOYS

  41. Just Like Jackie
    The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
    The Penderwick’s at Last
    Sunny (Reynolds)
    Hope in the Holler

  42. Didn’t nominate last month, so
    Hey Kiddo
    Night Diary
    Front Desk
    Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
    Rebound

  43. I voted last month.

    This time:
    *Rebound
    *The Parker Inheritance

  44. Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
    Merci Saurez Changes Gears
    The Girl who Drew Butterflies
    Night Diary
    Mad Wolf’s Daughter

  45. I get to do five. Here goes:

    THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE
    SWEEP: THE STORY OF A GIRL AND HER MONSTER
    SO TALL WITHIN
    PENDERWICKS AT LAST
    LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME

  46. Claudia Uccellani says:

    Haven’t voted before so here are my five:
    Book of Boy
    Parker Inheritance
    Night Diary
    Front Desk
    Just Like Jackie

  47. I haven’t nominated before so here are my five:
    The Journey of Little Charlie
    Sweep
    The Girl Who Drew Butterflies
    The Book of Boy
    Cardboard Kingdom

  48. Cassie Lombardi says:

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St Clair

  49. Amelia Seamons says:

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Claire

  50. Jenny Yergin says:

    I didn’t make it in time to nominate for October so here are my five.
    Cardboard Kingdom
    Front Desk
    Be Prepared
    Snow Lane
    The Benefits of Being an Octopus

  51. I hope it isn’t too late to nominate titles. I didn’t do any in October, so my five are as follows:
    1. Parker Inheritance
    2. Front Desk
    3. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
    4. Be Prepared
    5. Breakout

    I also truly loved Cardboard Kingdom and think it’s one of the best books of the year. I’m just not sure how the committee would handle a book with so many authors.

  52. Chris Mack says:

    I only get 2 this time:

    Just Like Jackie
    Snow Lane

  53. Where the Watermelons Grow
    The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
    Be Prepared
    Ghost Boys
    Rebound

  54. Sweep
    Front Desk
    The Book of Boy
    Hey, Kiddo
    Louisiana’s Way Home

  55. Mary Lou White says:

    I want to nominate Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier. There is a lot going on in this book, maybe too much. But the characterization of Nan Swallow was irresistible for me, as well as the Sweep himself, who remains a mysterious, haunting character long after his death. Not many books for kids deal with Jewish mysticism, and this book did a beautiful job of hinting at it.

    • I always thought Auxier was British. I guess it is a testament to the vivid characters and setting of The Night Gardener that I made that assumption. I just looked it up, and he lives in Pittsburgh!!

    • Hi. Since we’re following the Newbery procedure — we’re calling for two nominations for November — or five altogther for both October and November. Do you have another title to nominate?

  56. samuel leopold says:

    I have observed quietly until now, until I could finish reading all the nominated titles—and several not nominated. My nominations are more strategic at this time than truly reflective of my own “personal final five.”
    I nominate for October/November

    Mad Wolf’s Daughter
    Snow Lane
    The Book of Boy
    The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle
    Journey of Little Charlie

    I would, if a spot is still available, be humbly honored to again participate as part of the Official Heavy Medal Committee.

    • Yay. We don’t want to limit how many people participate this year. You’re definitely on the HMC! As long as you commit to finish reading all the titles (planned for 15) and could participate fully in the discussion thread!

  57. Ghost Boys
    Bob
    The Journey of Little Charlie
    Hope in the Holler
    Carmela Full of Wishes

  58. Thank you all for nominating. We will tabulate and present the updated nominations list next week. Now the comments for this post is officially closed.