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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

81 Suggestions So Far

We’ve been compiling reader Suggestions for possible Newbery contenders since March. Totals are below.

A few things to note about the Suggestions on Heavy Medal:

  • The totals can be misleading. A just-published book like Jacqueline Woodson’s BEFORE THE EVER AFTER doesn’t have many Suggestions because it just came out few days ago, but could be a strong contender. And there are other highly anticipated titles due out soon (CLASS ACT by Jerry Craft is one month away…).
  • Suggestions include any books we feel should be in the Newbery conversation. When we get to Nominations (starting in October), we’ll have to narrow down our choices and we’ll have a shorter, and maybe very different-looking list.
  • We’ve only been collecting titles and authors to this point. Next Monday we’ll ask readers to share a bit about their top choices so far, which is always enlightening.

Here’s our list through September 6th, including 11 titles in red that are appearing for the first time:

Show Me a SignLezotte17
When You Trap a TigerKeller15
List of Things That Will Not ChangeStead13
Prairie LotusPark13
Echo MountainWolk12
King and the DragonfliesCallender11
From the Desk of Zoe WashingtonMarks10
Efrén DividedCisneros9
When Stars are ScatteredJamieson9
Wish in the DarkSoontornvat8
One and Only BobApplegate6
Rise and Fall of Charles LindberghFleming6
We Dream of SpaceKelly6
Almost American Girl: A MemoirHa5
Black Brother, Black BrotherRhodes5
Blackbird GirlsBlankman5
Dragon HoopsYang5
Fighting WordsBradley5
Game of Fox and SquirrelsReese5
On the HorizonLowry5
Ways to Make SunshineWatson5
Clean GetawayStone4
Here in the Real WorldPennypacker4
Home for Godesses and DogsConnor4
Leaving LymonCline-Ransome3
Only Black Girls in TownColbert3
Stand Up, Yumi Chung!Kim3
What LaneMaldonado3
All the Days Past, All the Days to ComeTaylor2
Any Day with YouRespicio2
Before the Ever AfterWoodson2
Black is a Rainbow ColorJoy2
High Five for Glenn BurkeBildner2
One Last ShotAnderson2
Sal and Gabi Fix the UniverseHernandez2
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and YouReynold & Kendi2
Thief KnotMilford2
Things You Can’t SayBishop2
Turtle BoyWolkenstein2
Village of ScoundrelsPreus2
Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of DoomSachar2
American as Paneer PieKelkar1
Brave Like ThatStoddard1
Brother’s KeeperLee1
Cast AwayNye1
Ceiling Made of EggshellsLevine1
Clap When You LandAcevedo1
Dress CodedStone1
Eagle HuntressNurgaiv1
Everything Sad is UntrueNayrei1
Field Guide to Getting LostMcCullough1
Go with the FlowWilliams & Schneemann1
Great UpendingKephart1
How to Make Friends with the SeaGuerrero1
How Women Won the VoteBartoletti1
Into the Tall, Tall GrassRyon1
Kent StateWiles1
Kingdom of BackLu1
Many Feathered ThingGerlits1
Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward GoreyMortensen1
Not Your All-American GirlRosenberg & Shang1
Once Upon an EidAli, et al1
Ordinary DayArnold1
Our Friend Hedgehog: the Story of UsCastillo1
Place at the TableFaruqi1
Something to SayRamee1
They Went LeftHessne1
Things Seen from AbovePearsall1
Voice Named ArethaRussell-Brown1
We are Water ProtectorsLindstrom1
What Stars are Made ofAllen1
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. The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh, while it does tell some of this destructive xenophobe and antisemite’s story, equivocates about his motives and impact. It’s really disturbing that many reviewers have drawn the conclusion that he was somehow a “flawed” hero:

    • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

      Good points for discussion about that book, Emily. We’ll never get to discuss all 81 books on our list, of course, but TRAFOCL will definitely get some closer attention here fairly soon…

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