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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

West of the Moon

West of the Moon

There is a myth that spring books don’t win awards, and several theories about the myth…that it is a  self-fulfilling prophecy because publishers save their better books for the fall, or is because committee members have time to get disillusioned with early books and don’t with late ones.  I find the reverse of the latter however: [...]

Getting ready, whether real or mock

AmyNewbery

We are nearly done with our “redux” posts of our shortlisted titles, and as you each finish your reading, I encourage you to go back to those posts and add your thoughts. The ALA youth media awards this year are happening a little later than usual, and that gives us the whole month of January [...]

The Family Romanov Redux

fleming

In the original post on this title, Jonathan and Leonard Kim got into a little back and forth comparing it to REVOLUTION, so it seems apt to take this one up next.   How does it compare in prose, in structure and context setting?  Each book of course has a different ultimate goal:  Wiles’s is [...]

Off the radar?

MatterofSouls

We’ll continue over the next few weeks to review books from our shortlist and talk about the Newbery process as we ramp up to our Mock Newberies on January 11th (Oakland) and 15th (San Diego), but I wanted to take a moment to address Rosanne’s recent comment about whether we’ve noticed small/indie press Newbery contenders [...]

Port Chicago 50 Redux

Port Chicago 50

As Jonathan and I start revisiting each of the titles on our mock discussion shortlist (and please do keep commenting on JOEY PIGZA), it seems time to jump back to one of the first titles we introduced this season, Steve Sheinkin’s THE PORT CHICAGO 50: DISASTER, MUTINY, AND THE FIGHT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, which has since made [...]

How we think we read

knock-knock

Over the course of last week, my mind was mostly occupied with the Ferguson decision, and some of the resulting protests here in Oakland. Between that and Tamir Rice, I purposefully limited my exposure to the fallout over Handler’s remarks at the National Book Award, but I took some time over this weekend to catch [...]

Our Shortlist!

brown

The genesis of this blog was as a discussion platform to build a shortlist for the Mock Newbery discussion I’ve held in Oakland CA for the past (gulp) 11 years.This year we will get together on Sunday January 11th, from 12:30-5pm.  Email me if you’d like further details. (Jonathan will hold a Mock Discussion in [...]

The Witch’s Boy

Witch's Boy

Several of you have mentioned Barnhill’s THE WITCH’S BOY, and our library copies finally hit the shelves recently.  I wasn’t a fan of Barnhill’s starred debut THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK, and was underwhelmed by IRON HEARTED VIOLET….so I’m having a hard time parsing my appreciation of THE WITCH’S BOY.  Did it simply exceed [...]

Picture Books

Josephine

There is no stipulation that the Newbery be fiction, nor that it be long, though it tends to happen that way. Some exceptions from the lengthy category include a 1973 Honor for FROG AND TOAD TOGETHER, a 1983 Honor for DOCTOR DE SOTO, the 1989 winner for JOYFUL NOISE, and the 1982 Medal for A VISIT [...]

The Madman of the Piney Woods and How it Went Down

Madman

Curtis’ companion novel to ELIJAH OF BUXTON is an equally excellent stand alone, which shares much of what made its predecessor distinguished: unique voices that take their time, building deep familiarity with character and setting so that–in this case–a fairly simple but highly dramatic plot line supports a complex coming-of-age in the two main characters. [...]