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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 Best Man

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We are heading towards picking our final list and I’m feeling the pressure.  There are just so many amazing books, and so little time!  So for today,  THE BEST MAN.  It came up in a couple of people’s lists, and I think it has a deserved place in our conversation. Richard Peck is pretty much the […]

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

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This blog may be as divided as our nation is when it comes to this book, but I gave MS. BIXBY’S LAST DAY a read and it just doesn’t rise to the top for me.   Don’t get me wrong, I like this book very much, but it doesn’t scream Newbery to me.  It is […]

When the Sea Turned to Silver

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First, a confession.  I haven’t read the previous Grace Lin books in this series!  Unforgivable, maybe, but I think that makes it easier for me to try to read and evaluate her new novel without letting my feelings about her other work get in the way.  I don’t have to worry about it standing alone, about […]

PW’s Best Books of 2016

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As the end of the year approaches, Best Of lists appear!  Publisher Weekly’s list came out today and it shares a lot of titles in common with this blog.  Their list is divided into Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult and books from any of these lists could potentially be Newbery contenders.  So, what’s not […]

Wolf Hollow

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***SPOILER WARNING*** This review and subsequent comments are sure to spoil the ending of this book as well as various plot points throughout.  If you don’t like spoilers and haven’t read it yet, read it and then come back and join the discussion.   “The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie.” This […]

Jason Reynolds and Comparing Author’s Works

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Jason Reynolds has two books this year that I think are worth discussing.  Usually we talk about not comparing a book to an author’s previous work.  Well, in this case we absolutely can compare as they are both eligible titles and both quite wonderful. Of course, we still have to compare them to all of the […]

Ghosts

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Let’s dig into GHOSTS a bit, as promised in my last post.  There is a lot to discuss here. First, let’s start with the easy stuff.  Did I like the book?  Yes.  I really liked the book.  Raina Telgemeier writes relatable, lovable characters.  The relationship between sisters Catrina and Maya feels so genuine that it is almost […]

Graphic Novel Roundup

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Well, if there was ever a doubt that graphic novels can have what it takes to get a shiny sticker, the last couple of years have proven that they can!  It is easy to imagine the conversations that might happen around art and graphic novels at an award committee discussion, but it is harder, for […]

Booked

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Booked is a spring title that has gotten a lot of buzz, and the reasons are plentiful and obvious.  First of all, for those who missed this, this is Kwame Alexander’s follow-up to his Newbery winning The Crossover, and it, like the predecessor, is a novel in verse about sports, but not *really* about sports. Of […]

Wild Robot

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Oh, those pictures!  Wait!  Sorry…wrong blog, wrong medal! So, let’s get into our first book discussion – Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot.  Starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and Booklist.  Adam Rubin praised it in the New York Times.  Is it a Newbery contender?  Well, this is a great chance to pull out […]