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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Interview with Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy

THIS IS PROMISE OF CHANGE was an early 2019 publication with many nominations, but we haven’t discussed it much on Heavy Medal (it was part of Roxanne’s post on poetry).  We interviewed the authors to learn more about how the book happened: Heavy Medal: Debbie, why did you decide to write about Jo Ann’s memoir in […]

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.

“Planet Earth Is Blue” the “Wonder” of 2019? – Newbery Criteria: Vastly Good vs Individually Distinct

Reviewers have called Planet Earth Is Blue poignant, intricate, masterful, authentic, and exceptional — does it have a shot at the 2020 Newbery?

Infinite Hope by Ashley Bryan, or How I Failed to Evaluate a Masterpiece for the Newbery

Have we found the most distinguished book for children this year? Presenting “Infinite Hope” by Ashley Bryan.

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.

Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger

Author, Sarah Scheerger has written a timely relatable story told in diary form with eight diverse students writing their experiences as the school year advances. That story begins at White Oak Elementary School. Ms. Graham is a teacher with unconventional teaching methods; one of them involves having a class frog named Kermit. The pacing is […]

The Toll! The Toll! The Toll!

The highly anticipated final installment of the Arc of a Scythe series, The Toll, hit the street just two weeks ago and delivers a strong finish of a stellar series. Will Heavy Medal readers support it for our own Mock Newbery selection? Read the analysis and the comments!

Music, Race, and the American Dream: Female voices will not be silenced.

Who knew that when THE HATE U GIVE debuted two years ago, it will generate a film and numerous accolades to be on the New York Times Bestsellers List for more than 80 weeks. After I finished reading THUG, the first words out of my mouth was, what’s next? And watching many interviews with Ms. […]

Last, Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles.

What does a platypus, a bendy man, a camera that freezes time, golden hours, and Mrs. Nedra have in common? They are infiltrating the town of Logan County, Virginia, and our heroes the Alston Boys, Otto, and Sheed are on the case to solve a mystery in their city. Is this the end of summer as […]