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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Hey Kiddo

hey kiddo

Last week, Roxanne talked about a couple of graphic novels that have Newbery potential.  She talked through how we can “read pictures” and where that fits into Newbery Criteria. Another graphic title I want to discuss is HEY, KIDDO, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.  It came out just about a week ago, so many may not […]

You Go First


Maybe you’ve heard of Erin Entrada Kelly?  She won a little award called The Newbery last year.  And although the winner of last year’s Newbery doesn’t factor at all into this year’s decision, of course it means people are going to pay attention to her newest novel.  We, here at Heavy Medal, included. Ultimately YOU […]

Boy / Monster / Angel / Boy


When Heavy Medal readers gave monthly “Suggestions” of likely Newbery contenders from March through August, Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s THE BOOK OF BOY was at the top of the list (tied with THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE) with eight suggestions.  It was an early 2018 publication, which is obviously an advantage in that process…but also: a […]

The Hockey Kid and the Boy in the Stoopid Shirt


I read THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE and CHECKED a while ago and what really stuck with me weeks later was the distinctive voices of the two first person narrators. The Newbery Terms and Criteria mention “appropriateness of style” as a key consideration, and that’s where I think these two books shine. Style isn’t enough […]

Past Winners and Trend Bucking


Remember that year when the Caldecott winner was a significantly longer book than the Newbery winner?  It was 2008 and Brian Selznick got the Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret while Laura Amy Schlitz got the Newbery for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village.   That felt like a big deal […]

We’re Back!


This year, unlike years past, we didn’t *really* go anywhere, since we’ve been checking in every month to see what everyone has been reading.  Here we are, though, in September, ready to get the Heavy Medal year officially underway. We are so excited to be here!  We’ve been reading and reading and know you have […]

Heavy Medal Finalist – Beyond the Bright Sea


Long List Title:  BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA (Titles on our long list will be included in our online conversation and balloting, alongside the short list titles.) Lauren Wolk’s BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA seems to be one title that pops up almost every time I see or hear a list of likely Newbery contenders.  Not necessarily on […]

Heavy Medal Finalist – Real Friends


Short List Title:  REAL FRIENDS (Titles on our short list will be included in the live Mock Newbery in Oakland.) In our earlier discussion of REAL FRIENDS, I mentioned that I struggled to evaluate the book using Newbery criteria.  I was stuck on: “The committee is to make its decision primarily on the text.”  With my recent […]

Heavy Medal Finalist – All’s Faire in Middle School


Long List Title:  ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL (Titles on our long list will be included in our online conversation and balloting, alongside the short list titles.) I’ve been a strong supporter of ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL from the start. I found the plot more compelling, emotionally, than that of REAL FRIENDS, our other […]

Heavy Medal Finalist – Orphan Island


Short List Title:  ORPHAN ISLAND (Titles on our short list will be included in the live Mock Newbery in Oakland.) There is maybe no more controversial title on our list, and I really look forward to the discussion of this title, here, and in person in Oakland.  For the purposes of this post, I’m going to […]