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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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Condors, Honeybees, and Women in Space: Distinguished Informational Books

“Presentation of information” can be a key element of distinguished writing according the Newbery Terms and Criteria. ASTRONAUTS, HONEYBEE, and CONDOR COMEBACK are fine examples of excellent informational books for children from 2020. Is that enough to make them Newbery contenders?


“Serious books are not always funny, and funny books don’t always incorporate serious topics, but when it is done right a book can really shine.” Guest Blogger Courtney kicks off our discussion of FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON by Janae Marks.

A Mountain in Maine, a City of Light and the USSR: Distinguished Settings

Our Mock-Newbery discussion continues with a look at distinguished settings from this year’s children’s books. We’ll examine the ways in which authors create memorable worlds that include the tenuous environment of the post-Chernobyl Soviet Union, a mountaintop in Depression-era Maine, and a mysterious city filled with magical light.

Speaking Up, Choosing Lanes, and World War II Reflections: Distinguished Themes

Distinguished books for children often convey powerful themes in innovative ways. Stellar examples from this year include books that explore peer pressure, child abuse, and the impacts of war. Do any of these books have Newbery Medal potential?

Della, Ware, and Bob the Dog: Distinguished Characters

An outspoken girl, and introverted boy, and a dog with “swagger” are among the most memorable characters from the pages of 2020’s children’s books. Are they distinguished enough to merit consideration for the Newbery Medal?

Share Your Newbery Favorites So Far

Heavy Medal readers have created to a long list of possible Newbery contenders over several months. Now’s a chance to rank your early favorites. What tops your list of the best children’s books of 2020 so far?

Newbery Suggestions: A Tight Early Race

After two months of reader suggestions, the list of potential Newbery contenders features a couple of dozen 2020 titles, but no clear leader. Check out the list so far and keep reading.

Mock Newbery Early Leaders Revealed

Heavy Medal readers submitted their first lists of potential 2021 Newbery contenders. The early leaders feature a the true story of a famous pilot and a novel about a girl trying to connect with her imprisoned father.

The Search for the 2021 Newbery Winner Begins

The 2021 Newbery winners won’t be announced for 10 months, but on Heavy Medal we’re asking readers to “suggest” early 2020 titles that might just have a shot at being named “the most distinguished” book of the year.

Live from Philadelphia, it’s the Youth Media Awards!

The winners have been announced. It was fun and wonderful to see how HMC were in sync with the Newbery Committee. Great job everyone!