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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

November Nominations – Choose Two More

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Nominations are now open for November. In October, 49 readers each put three titles forward. Totals from that first round are listed here. Following the procedure of the real Committee, we’re now calling for two Nominations in November, with two more to follow in December. If you weren’t able to Nominate here in October, you can go ahead and submit five at this time. That would never be allowed in the real Committee, of course: all members must submit 3 + 2 + 2 at the specified times.

In the Committee, the Nominations are the titles that will be discussed during the Midwinter discussions. The number of Nominations per title doesn’t have a direct impact on the discussions or balloting, but can give members an indication of which books might have the strongest support from their peers.

A few weeks ago I thought I had my November titles all ready to go, but two titles I read recently totally messed up those plans. My November nominations are: TORPEDOED by Deborah Heiligman and THE USUAL SUSPECTS by Maurice Broaddus. December is going to be tough…Please add your November Nominations (titles and authors) in the comments below between now and November 19th. We’ll share the cumulated totals shortly after that.

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. Mary Zdrojewski says:

    Song for a Whale by Lynn Kelly
    The Year We Fell From Space by Amy King

  2. 4. Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt
    5. Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

  3. Meredith Burton says:

    4. Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga.
    5. Pay Attention, Carter Jones, by Gary D. Schmidt.

  4. To Night Owl from Dogfish — Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
    Next Great Paulie Fink — Ali Benjamin

  5. Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly
    Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

  6. Leonard Kim says:

    I was going to nominate TORPEDOED this month, but since you already did, my nominations this month are:

    ANTHEM, by Wiles

  7. It’s important to nominate according to what you really want to be the top contenders — re-nominate other people’s titles is quite important, actually. And especially here at Heavy Medal since we can’t discuss all of them in depth so our finalists titles will rely quite a bit on the total number of nominations that each title has received. Just to clarify.

    • Leonard Kim says:

      Roxanne, I will probably nominate TORPEDOED in December. I was being a bit strategic in that, with Steven’s advocacy, I’m pretty sure now that TORPEDOED will get its own post and get on Heavy Medal readers’ radar such that my own nomination would add little. Also, I figure that TORPEDOED’s path to the HM finalist list is more likely as a list genre-balancing non-fiction pick from you guys rather than by popular vote (which would need many more people reading and nominating it.) This way I can boost SIMPLE ART OF FLYING (which I had been planning to nominate in December) earlier than later. It has a few nominations already and could be on the cusp of being a HM finalist so maybe my nominating it now might encourage others to see it as a possible contender and add their support.

  8. My November titles:

    This Promise of Change
    The Toll

    • Danielle J says:

      I am a third of the way into THE TOLL, and I am already blown away. It might make it on my Dec. nominations

  9. Cory Eckert says:

    The Post Oak Newbs nominate
    Rat Rule 79
    A Place to Belong

  10. LOOK BOTH WAYS – Reynolds
    THE BELL RANG – Ransome


  12. Beth Rosen says:

    Genesis Begins Again, Williams
    The Bridge Home, Venkatraman

  13. Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker
    Queen of the Sea

  14. THE BRIDGE HOME by Venkatraman
    THE MIRACULOUS by Redman

  15. I’ve only got one this time, and I am not totally sure it is eligible . . .

    THE UNDEFEATED by Kwame Alexander / illustrated by Kadir Nelson

    Does it matter that the text appeared in a different poem on the website The Undefeated before it was published in picture book form? Do we know how that affects eligibility?

    Usually I am the one saying that picture book text isn’t long enough for Newbery consideration but this book is one I’d love to see discussed here when the time comes.

    • “in a different poem” I meant IN A DIFFERENT FORM. hahaha.

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        The eligibility question for THE UNDEFEATED is a good one. The Newbery Manual states:

        “If a portion of a book was previously published elsewhere – for instance, in a magazine, a collection of short stories or in electronic format – then the amount of previously published material must be a minor portion of the entire work. The substantial majority of the book must be wholly new, original and previously unpublished.”

        I finally got around to looking at the original. There are some word changes, but it seems clear to me that it’s at least 95% the same thing, with no changes of major impact. Here are links to the original and the book version if you want to compare. Where I’m still unsure is what “published in electronic format” means. Does that mean words written down on a website? Or does it include words spoken aloud? With poetry in particular, the authors often present the words orally before writing them down, which you could argue is what KA is doing here. But then it’s an official assignment that he did for this website, which somehow makes it seem more final than say, a reading to a group that gets posted on social media or a blog.

        So the Committee, the Chair, and possibly ALSC’s Priority Chair, would need to discuss and decide on this before the Midwinter meetings. For our purposes on Heavy Medal, we’ll leave the decision to them, but go ahead and keep THE UNDEFEATED eligible. It’s a great book to discuss for sure…

      • I talked with him a few months ago about the book. The poem initially wasn’t written for ESPN. He wrote it when his first daughter was born.

    • When was the poem on the web punished?

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        It’s listed on The Undefeated website (the ESPN sports website that launched in May 2016) as being published in August 2016.

  16. Kari, I’m going with UNDEFEATED also.
    And Katrina I’m with you on SCARY STORIES FOR YOUNG 🦊 🦊 🦊

    And Leonard, Torpedo is high on my to read list.

    • 😁🐱

    • DaNae, are Undefeated and Scary Stories your actual nominations for November? I didn’t count them because it just felt like you’re responding to others’ comments. I also didn’t include Undefeated because as we have discovered, this title probably wouldn’t be eligible due to the fact that most of the text was published prior to 2019 in another form.

  17. Kate McCue-Day says:

    I thought I did October but don’t see my going to do 5
    Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
    Hurricane Season
    Dark Lord Clementine
    This Was Our Pact
    New Kid

  18. Torpedoed – Heiligman
    The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

  19. Danielle J says:

    I missed the October deadline to nominate then so my November nominations are:
    Let ‘er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
    Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

    If I can to the October list, they would have been:
    Lalani of the Distant Sea
    Genesis Begins Again
    Queen of the Sea

    I just finished Torpedoed, and that is top of my list for December.

  20. Danielle J says:

    I missed the October deadline to nominate, so my November nominations are:
    Let ‘er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
    Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

    If I can add to the October list… they would have been:
    Lalani of the Distant Sea
    Genesis Begins Again
    Queen of the Sea

    I just finished Torpedoed, and that is top of my list for December.


  22. Courtney Hague says:

    I have been having a slow year with reading Juvenile Fiction, so I’m only going to nominate one title this round. I am going to make an effort to read more on my list before December nominations open.

    My one nomination this round is “The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise”

  23. Julie Corsaro says:


  24. Matthew Bowers says:

    New Kid by Craft
    Lion of the Sky by Salas

  25. Deborah Hopkinson says:

    Infinite Hope by Ashley Bryan

  26. The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James-Blake

    The Toll

  27. Maria Ciccone says:

    Due to a slow reading month, only one nomination:

    Queen of the Sea – Meconis

  28. Hannah Mermelstein says:

    If I can give my students votes:
    Our 4th-6th graders just voted today for our finalists, and the clear top 4 so far are:

    To Night Owl from Dogfish
    White Bird
    A Wolf Called Wander
    The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

    (I didn’t put in any nominations for October.)

  29. Beverly, Right Here

    The Bridge Home

  30. I didn’t get to nominate last month, but I only have two:


  31. I didn’t get to nominate last month so I have four:


  32. These are my top 3
    To Night Owl from Dogfish
    Look Both Ways
    Pay Attention, Carter Jones