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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Short and Graphic?


We haven’t given quite as much play to “outlier” formats this year as others, with exception for EL DEAFO.  I posted briefly on Picture Books back in November (and am still wildly emphatic about IVAN; check it out if you have not yet), and Jonathan on Transitional Chapter Books in December.   Given that we’ve […]

El Deafo


As Jonathan tallies up your Online Mock votes, I’d love to give some more discussion to EL DEAFO, since it didn’t make our shortlist this year but deserves more exploration. Many of you are stumping for it, Anderson’s Bookshop has it on their Mock Newbery list, and For Those About to Mock hopes it gets a fair shot. […]

The Night Gardener and Rain Reign

The Night Gardener

As you all vote, and as we await the results of Jonathan’s San Diego Mock Newbery, I wanted to invite discussion on two contenders that did not make our shortlist, but did many others, and which I expect to see (yup, there they are!) in your online Mock Ballots.  Neither Jonathan nor I could quite […]

Results for the Oakland Mock Newbery


Our Winner:  THE FAMILY ROMANOV  (11 1st place votes; 1 2nd; 2 3rd) Our  Two Honor Books:  THE CROSSOVER (4 1st; 4 2nd; 2 3rd) and BROWN GIRL DREAMING (2 1st; 6 2nd; 4 3rd). I’m posting our whiteboard so that you can see (sort of) the three ballots that it took to get to […]

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


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


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?


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


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 […]