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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Kirkus Prize Shortlist


The third Kirkus Prize shortlist has been announced and like its predecessors it’s chock full of Newbery possibilities.  Yes, the shortlist always includes two picture books, two middle grade titles, and two young adult titles, but you know how we feel about the Newbery committee embracing the full breadth of its charge.  The winner gets […]



PAX has already figured prominently in our discussions on previous threads. Since I get the feeling it’s one of those books we’ll have a running conversation about all season long, I’m not going to present a comprehensive treatment of the book here but rather explore some of the issues that have already been raised, tossing […]

Wild Robot


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 […]

NBA Longlist


                We’re really pleased with the range of the National Book Award longlist!  These are excellent choices with lots of possibilities for Newbery overlap.  Sharon and I decided to divvy up the early spring titles for September discussions, so look for posts on BOOKED, RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE, and PAX […]

I am Here!

Here I am, hanging out with some books in the library in Oakland (CA) where I work.

Hi everyone.  Do not fear – Jonathan is not stuck flying solo this year.  I am here!   You may or may not recognize me, but if we take a little trip back in time,  you’ll find that I’ve been here before.  In fact, Jonathan replaced me when life commitments took me away from this […]

Ten Picture Books That Can Win the 2017 Newbery Medal



The End


It’s been a privilege to co-blog with Nina these past several years at Heavy Medal.  I would like to think that we’ve elevated the conversation about the Newbery Medal on a national level, and that we have constantly pushed each other and our audience to consider what we mean by literary excellence. This past season, […]

2017 Newbery Reading List


The 2016 winners have been announced.  Hope you had time to catch your breath.  Let’s start reading again! FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE by Carole Boston Weatherford . . . Fresh on the heels of the first Newbery Medal picture book, I offer you this one to consider.  It’s got three starred reviews so far, and […]

Last Stop for Nina


Jonathan will be closing out our season shortly with a preview for 2016; but first I’d like to say goodbye.  As I warned at the beginning of the season, this is my last hurrah with Heavy Medal. In that post in September, I’d mentioned I’d been doing this “long enough.”  Although the books change each year, […]

Last Stop On Market Street


CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him.  CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom.  Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ […]