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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

June Suggestions

It’s time for the fourth round of Suggestions on Heavy Medal. Meanwhile, the real Newbery Committee will be meeting soon at the Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The group typically engages in “practice” discussions of books from the first half of the year, using a list established by the Committee Chair. These discussions are informal and meant to give members practice with the group discussion format and with applying Newbery Criteria. But “all formal discussion leading to choice of award books takes place at Midwinter” [Newbery Award Committee Manual]. In other words, the discussions held in June carry no weight when the actual selection takes place in January, 2020. Here on Heavy Medal, though, we won’t be discussing, just suggesting, until September. Here’s a reminder of our guidelines for Suggestions:

– Suggest books that might have a chance to contend for the Newbery.  A Suggestion means: “this could be a contender, maybe…”, but doesn’t have to mean: “This is definitely a top Newbery possibility.”

– Please only suggest eligible books. The Newbery Terms and Criteria cover this. If you’re not sure if a title’s eligible, suggest it anyway and we can confirm or deny later.

– We just need title and author for Suggestions. No descriptions or justifications….that’s what will start up in September.

– Suggest up to 5 titles per month.  Less than 5 is fine. The real Committee typically does not limit Suggestions, but there’s only 15 members. We’ll limit so that our list doesn’t get too long.

– Suggest only books that you’ve read.  Or listened to…audiobooks are okay for Suggestions.

– Suggest books that have been officially published. If you read a pre-publication copy, you’ll need to wait until its publication date before putting it forward as a Suggestion.

– If someone’s already suggested a book that you think is worthy, go ahead and include it. We’ll post an update every month listing titles and numbers of Suggestions.  Those rankings aren’t necessarily that meaningful…they definitely favor early-year publications, for one thing. But it can be helpful to see what’s on the radar of multiple readers.

– You’ll have several days to submit Suggestions…we’ll give a deadline each month.

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). We’ll take suggestions through the end of the day on Wednesday, June 12th.

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. Katrina says:

    To Night Owl from Dogfish

  2. Rising Above Shepherdsville

  3. Kate Todd says:

    FAR AWAY by Lisa Graff

  4. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    SPY RUNNER by Yelchin

  5. SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Lynda Mulally Hunt

  6. Monica Edinger says:


  7. Theresa says:

    A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee

  8. The Line Tender by Kate Allen

  9. Beth Rosen says:

    Ruby In The Sky by Jeanne Ferruolo
    The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd
    A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Ramee

  10. Leonard Kim says:

    Ha, for the second month in a row, this month’s Suggestions post opened with my not having anything to Suggest, and then, just as it’s about to close, I read something Worthy.


  11. Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc By David Elliot
    Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

  12. Spy Runner by Yelchin
    Sweeping Up the Heart by Henkes
    Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

  13. Jody Winchester says:

    Where the Heart Is by Jo Knowles
    A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore
    Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
    The Door at the End of the World by Caroline Carlson
    The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

    I feel that looking at exceptional series books for consideration is worthwhile, past Newbery Winner, A Wrinkle in Time, became part of a quintet.

    • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

      Hi Jody,
      Thanks for the suggestions! They weren’t included in the “Suggestion Totals Through June” post. My bad, because I forgot to disable the comments box once I totaled them up. But we will add these titles to the next round of totals, along with other suggestions when we open them up again in early July.

      – steven engelfried, Heavy Medal