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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Brown Girl Dreaming, and How I Discovered Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming

In another interesting pair of subject-matter-coincidences, we have two works in verse from African American female writers this year that are memoirs of their childhood experiences which prepared them for their writing careers.  (These both follow closely on last year’s Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes, for a triple coincidence.) Jacqueline Woodson’s BROWN GIRL DREAMING is [...]

Zane and the Hurricane, and Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere

Debbie made a plea back in Fall Favorites for ZANE AND THE HURRICANE, which I’m seeing on many Mock Newbery lists. But we have to talk about it alongside Julie Lamana’s UPSIDE DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, which is essentially the same story:  Katrina. Stranded in the Lower Ninth. Dog escaping causes trouble. Rescue. [...]

Stranger than Fiction?

Fourteenth Goldfish

I like quirky.   Yet Jenni Holm’s THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH and Jack Gantos’ THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA both put me pretty off-kilter, in that stomach-dropping “Whoa!” way of a roller-coaster.  I enjoyed both thoroughly, but am still trying to clear my head.  I do think that the oddball humor in both speak directly [...]

Fall Favorites?

We’re certainly not done talking about Spring and Summer titles, but as it’s now October, it’s time to get cracking: which are your fall release favorites? We’ve heard from fans of BROWN GIRL DREAMING, RAIN REIGN, EGG & SPOON…. This becomes the hard part of the season, as we try to read ahead and keep [...]

The Crossover

The Crossover

Speaking of the Present Tense…. I feel like everyone was talking about THE CROSSOVER as soon as the ARC came out, and I’ve been looking forward to talking about it here. I expected the biggest question would be “the age question”, so was tickled to see Eric comment here that he can’t remember why it [...]

The Port Chicago 50

Port Chicago 50

I’m in the midst of the ALSC Institute here in Oakland, where we just listened to Steve Sheinkin give the opening session talk about his approach to writing history, with The Port Chicago 50 story as his centerpiece.  My Boston Globe Horn Book committee awarded it this May, and it just showed up on the NBA [...]

West of the Moon and The Night Gardener

West of the Moon

I’m trying to re-read A SNICKER OF MAGIC again to participate in that discussion, which has gotten very interesting. Meanwhile, Julie Corsaro mentioned in that comment thread a couple of spring titles I’m more interested in talking about. Recalling Vicky Smith’s guest post this time last year, Reader Know Thyself, I had to recognize that [...]

Revolution

Revolution

This seems the spring book to talk about, based on comments from our first post, with raves from many, and a few of us voicing qualms. Rachel Stein offers a nice synopsis of the book at For Those About to Mock, though she mentions she hesitates to comment on its Newbery chances because she listened [...]

Welcome Back

Revolution

It is the day after Labor Day, and time to getting rolling on a new season of Heavy Medal!   Jonathan signed us off in January with a list to look forward to, and you’ve all been adding to it as the months have trickled by. Danae is excited about THE CROSSOVER, THE FAMILY ROMANOV, [...]

The Real Winners!

Here we are folks, with a whole row of Heavy Medalers/BOBers. The room is smaller this year, and completely full…with an overflow room set up downstairs. We were here….early. There are many many amazing award winners being announced, and I won’t be able to get them all in, but here are some recognizing books we’ve [...]