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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

Finally, the Finalists!


After many emailed, texted, and phoned conversations, we finally made our choices. In compiling the list, we try to balance between reader support: many of the titles have received strong HM reader support; critical success: winning other awards, making multiple end-of-the-year best lists, etc.; and the HM bloggers’ personal picks: since even one nomination could put a book on the table during the […]

Heavy Medal Committee: Official Call for Participants


Let the excitement mount! As our final nomination round winds down and the discussion of the many”Best Of” lists of the year comes to an end, it’s time to officially call for the Heavy Medal Committee members.  These will be HM readers who are committed to: Read (and re-read) all the 15 (fifteen) titles on our […]

Your Favorite Unlikelies & Ineligibles?


It’s that time of the year (almost December!) that avid readers start to realize that some 2018 books we adore are probably either not likely to get much support from the Newbery Committee or they are simply not eligible for consideration.  Here are a few of mine: Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert Why I love it […]

Louisiana Finds Her Way


Louisiana, a supporting character from DiCamillo’s well loved Raymie Nightingale, tells her stand-alone story from a first person account of the days after she is taken from her Florida home by her granny, losing contact with friends and pets, and discovering that her entire life’s story is a giant lie.She writes in a blend of […]

Powerful, Gripping, Important, and Timely — but Is It Distinguished?


Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes has 8 nominations from Heavy Medal readers and is described by reviewers as powerful, gripping, important, and timely.  It is definitely all that, and then some: disturbing, harsh, emotionally challenging, and improbable (?). From the first page when readers see through Jerome’s eyes his small, dead, blood stained body, with all the details (eyes wide […]

Connecting the Ancient to the Future and Far Away to the Near By


Has a short story collection contributed by more than a dozen authors ever appeared on the Newbery roster?  I don’t believe so. There have been some gold and silver stickers affixed to the covers of  folk story collections. For example, 1925 winner Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (of South American folk tales,) 1948 honor The Cow-Tail Switch, and […]

November Nomination & The Heavy Medal Committee

In November, we are asking our readers to Nominate TWO more titles (and two in December as well) following the actual Newbery Committee schedule and procedure. If you already nominated three titles in October, nominate two now — Do not duplicate your own titles but you are free to nominate titles already put in by others. If you did not […]

X Marks the Spot (In My Heart)


As verse novel goes — The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is near perfection.  So many high caliber poems one after another with surprising, haunting, beautiful, raw, and revealing lines. If I were to present it at a Newbery Committee meeting, I would definitely recite some of the following: p. 24 Maybe because I can’t keep the […]

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 […]