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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Major Impossible

This action-packed adventure graphic novel is book 9 in the series. It revolves around adventurer John Wesley Powell, who would come to be known as one of the most heroic adventurers in American History. As a young man, he wandered all over the United States exploring. In 1869 he organized the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, […]

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

When I found out bestselling author Rick Riordan was creating his unique imprint for middle-grade readers; I was very excited. Since the imprint’s launch, one of these latest debut novels: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, is such a fantastic, remarkable story. It is a blend of African folklore, African […]

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. […]

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?

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 […]

Pet by akwaeke emezi

Do monsters exist? Jam’s mom, Bitter, convinces her no such things live, particularly following the revolution from long ago, now life is peaceful and safe in the Utopian city of Lucille. When Jam goes into her mom’s art studio with and accidentally cuts her hand on her mother’s razor blade saturated canvas, a few drops […]

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Have you read Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut fantasy? If the answer is no, do yourself a favor and read it. Kelly’s novel is inspired by Filipino folklore that resonates as a memorable coming-of-age story about loyalty, friendship, individuality, beauty, and heroism of twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita’s mother falls ill with an incurable illness, Lalani begins on […]

Graphic Novels are here to stay.

Graphic Novels have become an integral part of children’s literature.2015, the Newbery Honor Book was awarded to  El Deafo by Cece Bell, and the following year, the Honor Book went to, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. After these books received the accolades merited, graphic novels, for teens and middle-grade readers, have been embraced as a true mark of distinguished work of […]

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.

Introduction to the Newbery

Today’s guest blogger is Lan Gao. Lan currently works as the Senior Librarian in the Youth Services Department at the Cleveland Public Library downtown branch. I asked if she would share how she was introduced to the Newbery Award. I first came across the Newbery Medal only seven years ago. So I am rather new […]