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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Into the final weeks!

As Jonathan and I head into our Mock Discussion weekend, you can expect to hear our discussion results soon, and we’ll invite others to post their results and thoughts as well (Sam already shared some here, for instance). The actual award announcements are on Monday January 27, in Philadelphia.  Between our Mock results and the [...]

Boiling it down

I’m enjoying the back and forth at Jonathan’s TRUE BLUE SCOUTS post and don’t really want to slow it down, but thought to offer this conversation on the side. In the comments, there seem to be two different assessments of Appelt’s writing style/p.o.v. choice going on.  One is: Is it appropriate for readers? The other [...]



You’ve probably all caught the news by now, that Kate DiCamillo has been named the next Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She is the fourth such Ambassador to be named for a two-year term, following Jon Scieszka, Katherine Paterson, and Walter Dean Myers.  I was struck by something she said that was quoted in the New [...]


Christmas 1972, I just couldn't get enough of Tom Kitten

Hoping you all had some peaceful time off this week.  Did you do any reading? Read something new, or something you read before?  I always have that tug-of-war over the holidays…  I want the excitement of a new read, but I don’t want to risk a bad one.  So I often end up turning to [...]

Meet Jen J of the Spreadsheets


Those of you who’ve followed us for a while may anticipate, as I do, commenter Jen J piping in to point us to her spreadsheet where she tracks starred reviews and best books.   Many of us watch this data in some form or another…Jonathan has always been good at summarizing starred reviews in posts. [...]

More things about luck


We’ve all had plenty to say about THE THING ABOUT LUCK from out of the gate this season, from Jonathan’s first post, all the way through the NBA announcements and our nominations.  We’ve talked about the strength of the characters, setting, and prose; how these all support a theme that hangs on a light plot, [...]

It’s an Honor


Jonathan goaded me in the last paragraph of his P.S. Be Eleven post:  ”it has the kind of broad support necessary to go far, but I’m not sure that it’s anything more than . . . wait for it, Nina . . . an Honor book.”  He knows I bristle when anyone categorizes a contender [...]



Jonathan made a statement by giving this his first October nomination.  When we pick a nonfiction title for our shortlist (cause we always do), it’s easier to tend to the longer, historical narrative nonfiction offerings, which read more like novels and so seem easier to compare with other contenders.  And we had several of that sort [...]

Mock Newbery Discussions

Amy Martin Comics

It’s December, and finally feeling like award season!  If you’ve ever read through the Newbery manual, you have an idea of what the actual Newbery committee has in store for themselves the next couple of months. Shortly, they’ll complete their final round of nominations, and will be busy re-reading those several dozen titles in preparation [...]

Discussion Shortlist


Thanksgiving is nigh, and that means it’s time for me and Jonathan to settle on and announce a shortlist for our live discussion.  The Oakland Mock discussion and voting will be held on Sunday, January 12th, in Oakland CA.  More details to come. Our shortlist is designed to create a good Mock discussion, with a [...]