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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal
Steven Engelfried

About Steven Engelfried

Steven Engelfried is the Library Services Manager at the Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon. He served on the 2010 Newbery committee, chaired the 2013 Newbery Committee, and also served on the 2002 Caldecott committee. You can reach him at sengelfried@yahoo.com.

What Have We Missed?: “Best Books of the Year” lists

Several of the children’s literature review journals have announced their “Best Books of the Year” lists. We’ve discussed many of the most frequently cited titles on Heavy Medal…but what about the ones we missed?

Riveting True Stories About Sunken Ships, Bomber Planes, and Poisoned Food

The list of nonfiction Newbery contenders seems to be growing. Deborah Heiligman’s TORPEDOED is a recent standout, but it’s not the only one.

Picture Book Biographies and the Heavy Medal Early 6

A half dozen possible Newbery contenders are announced today as the Heavy Medal Early 6. These titles will definitely be on our full discussion list which will be announced in December. We also take a look at Picture Book Biographies that could make that list.

November Nominations – Choose Two More

It’s time for November Nominations! Heavy Medal readers are invited to submit two more Newbery-worthy titles to our list of nominated books.

Survival Stories: from a Middle School Playground to the Streets of India

Two very different novels explore the resilience of kids in challenging circumstances. Does either THE BRIDGE HOME or THE USUAL SUSPECTS (or both) warrant consideration for the 2020 Newbery Medal?

Possibly Distinguished “Page-Turners”

One of the scariest children’s books of the year features a deadly plague, fox who kills his children, and a villainous version of Beatrix Potter. Can a scary book win the Newbery?

Coming Soon: The 2020 Heavy Medal Award Committee

This season’s Heavy Medal blog will culminate with in-depth online book discussion and balloting by volunteer participants in the Heavy Medal Award Committee. The HMAC will form in December and here’s a preview of how it all works.

Where are the Nonfiction Newbery’s?

Nonfiction history books have not fared well in Newbery announcements in recent years. This year’s contenders to break that streak could include a history of the first cross-country women’s air race and a look at a year’s worth of major events from exactly one century ago.

Summer Camp, Sharks, and a School Bus Road Trip

Under consideration for Heavy Medal’s latest mock-Newbery discussion: A school bus road trip novel, a shark-themed coming of age story, and a friendship caper told through emails and texts.

The Newbery is Not For….

The official Newbery Terms and Criteria describe the elements that must be considered when selecting the “most distinguished book” of the year. Here’s a look at some key element that are in the Criteria…and some that are not.