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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal
Sharon McKellar

About Sharon McKellar

Sharon McKellar is the Community Relations Librarian for the Oakland Public Library in California. She has served on the Rainbow List Committee, the Notable Children's Recordings Committee as well as the 2015 Caldecott Committee. You can reach her at sharon@mckellar.org.

The First Rule of Middle Grade Fiction: Be Yourselves

first rule of punk

The first rule of punk, according to Malú’s dad, is to be yourself – as if yourself is a single, easy-to-define, tangible something.   But when you’re in middle school, figuring out who you are is a lot more complicated than that.   The First Rule of Punk has starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library […]

Eye on the Prize: The National Book Award Longlist

what girls are made of

The 2017 National Book Award longlist of nominees was announced this week, and the Young People’s Literature list is exciting!                             Elana K. Arnold, What Girls Are Made Of (Carolrhoda Lab / Lerner Publishing Group) Robin Benway, Far from the Tree (HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers) Samantha Mabry, All the Wind in the World (Algonquin Young Readers / Workman […]

The People We Were Before

Ethan

Well, I told you I would surely be back and talking about grief, and here I am.  Just the title of this book spoke to me, personally, as I’ve thought a lot recently about the time before vs the time after in terms of my own grieving process and all the changes that death has […]

It’s September!

It’s September, and that means it’s time for Heavy Medal to get started up again, and we could not be more excited to be here.  Roxanne, Steven, and I have been hard at work behind the scenes talking and organizing and learning about each other and most of all READING AND READING AND READING. It’s […]

I’m Still Here, and I’m Not Alone

hate u give

Happy July!  Can you even believe it’s already approaching the end of July?  Well, I’m interupting your regularly scheduled summer of ignoring this blog to give you a little bit of an update about what’s happening with us. As you know, Jonathan has moved on from Heavy Medal and we will miss him dearly.  I’m happy, […]

Results!

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I’m up at 5am watching!  Did you watch, in person, or online? Honor Books:     Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk Winner: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by […]

Oakland Mock Newbery Results

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What a nice day I had discussing this batch of outstanding books with this gang of outstanding people!  Thanks to all who came out and thanks, especially, to those who helped to organize.  Look at this awesome crew!  I’m really sorry I jumped right in front of Melissa and blocked her face as my self-timer […]

Pax, Wolf Hollow and When the Sea Turned Silver

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Well, today is the Oakland Mock Newbery, and as I’m looking over my notes I’m thinking a lot about all of the books I’ve read this year, and particularly about the books on our shortlist.  It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Pax, Wolf Hollow or When the Sea Turned Silver – not since before we settled […]

How does a book Win? Part 3: Balloting

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So, we’ve nominated our books and we’ve discussed them and discussed them and discussed them. Now, it’s time to vote!  But how does that voting work?  And how does the Committee decide what books are honor books? Let’s start with our Newbery winner.  In order to be selected as the Newbery winner, a book must […]

How does a book Win? Part 2: Discussion

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We finished off with nominations over in Part 1 of this series, and now we find ourselves at Part 2, the discussion.  This is the biggest piece of the puzzle of how a book wins.  Hours and hours (and hours and hours) of discussion.  All day and into the night for two days, until a […]