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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal
Roxanne Hsu Feldman

About Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Roxanne Hsu Feldman is the Middle School (4th to 8th grade) Librarian at the Dalton School in New York City. She served on the 2002 and 2013 Newbery Committees. Roxanne was also a member of 2008-2009 Notable Books for Children, 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults, and the 2017 Odyssey Award Committees. In 2016 Roxanne was one of the three judges for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. You can reach her at at

From Half-Asleep to Wide-Awake: Little Charlie’s Journey


The moment I opened this book and started reading, I knew it would be a book that divides readers’ reactions.  The southern dialect spelled as spoken could throw some readers off, even though I appreciate it quite a bit: being able to “hear” Little Charlie’s and other characters’ voices more vividly due to spellings such as “seent,” […]

Reading the Pictures


Scott McCloud, a well respected expert about Comics and Graphic Novels, declares, “Pictures ARE text” and “Pictures ARE meaning” in an interview (17:45) and that they are not just illustrations in a novel of words.  I already cited these words in a comment about Shannon Hale’s Real Friends in January and urged Heavy Medal readers to expand the meaning […]

Thoughts on October 8, 2018, Indigenous Peoples Day


First off, we’d like to thank all of you who have nominated titles for our future discussion.  The number of comments is robust! That leads us to express our puzzlement: why so few of you have joined the book discussion?  Too busy? Not inspired? Book discussion seems trivial compared to what’s transpiring on the national […]

Dead Mothers and Diaries


It’s almost like we deliberately tried to start our book discussion this year on the darkest notes.  Two novels Steven discussed both feature dead mothers/parents.  The two titles I’m going to present in this post also have dead mothers — not only that, both mothers died giving birth to our protagonists.  Even more, both books […]

National Book Awards Long List

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A few days ago, the long listed titles for this year’s National Book Award Young People’s Literature category were unveiled.  How does our monthly suggestions list compare?  What are some common threads that you see? Here’s a quick recap and description: Out of the ten titles, Heavy Medal readers have strongly supported Boots on the Ground (nonfiction), Truth as Told by […]

An Invitation – To Go Wild (with your recommendations!)


Starting in March, we asked our readers to make monthly suggestions with the strict rule on only including books already published.  So far, more than 80 titles have been put forth by our readers and 27 of them have 3 or more reader support.  We will definitely discuss all 27 and many more from the suggestion pool.  You can see the […]

2019 Heavy Medal: Suggestions to Date – March to August


Here it is, our final cumulative reader suggestion list before we start up our book discussion in early September.  More than forty (40) readers have contributed to the list.  Thank you so much! Plenty of titles to read in preparation for us and Heavy Medal readers.  Please continue to recommend worthy titles for us to […]

2019 Heavy Medal: August Suggestions


Although members of the Newbery Committee would continue to make monthly suggestions throughout the year, at Heavy Medal, this is our last monthly official suggestion post.  In September, we will start our book discussions and readers can suggest titles in comments during the last few months of 2018. For now, the rules are the same as […]

2019 Heavy Medal: Suggestions to Date – March to July

We must thank long-time and new Heavy Medal participants (there are quite a few of you this month) for suggesting titles! Please also actively read these titles in preparation for the September 2019 Heavy Medal official launch.  Of course we will discuss those with multiple suggestions but we also urge everyone to read those with one […]

2019 Heavy Medal: July Suggestions


It is July! By this time, member of the real 2019 Newbery committee must be feeling a bit more pressure: half of 2018 has gone by — did they catch all the worthy titles in their suggestions so far?  Many books are yet to be published in the coming months — will they be able to […]