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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Easy Reader Roundup

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To date, only one easy reader–FROG AND TOAD TOGETHER–has been recognized by the Newbery committee, so the chances of one breaking through seem improbable, if not downright impossible.  But if last year taught us anything it’s that miracles can and do happen, occasionally. One of the problems is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Easy readers […]

How does a book Win? Part 3: Balloting

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So, we’ve nominated our books and we’ve discussed them and discussed them and discussed them. Now, it’s time to vote!  But how does that voting work?  And how does the Committee decide what books are honor books? Let’s start with our Newbery winner.  In order to be selected as the Newbery winner, a book must […]

How does a book Win? Part 2: Discussion

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We finished off with nominations over in Part 1 of this series, and now we find ourselves at Part 2, the discussion.  This is the biggest piece of the puzzle of how a book wins.  Hours and hours (and hours and hours) of discussion.  All day and into the night for two days, until a […]

Gallery: More Underdogs?

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The following books–another baker’s dozen–have received starred reviews, but have not received any discussion, let alone mention, on the blog this year.  Are any of these strong Newbery contenders?                                                     […]

Best Books: The Final Edition

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I consulted the following lists: BOOKLIST, BULLETIN, HORN BOOK, KIRKUS REVIEWS, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL.  Please let me know if I have missed something.   Six lists– SOME WRITER!   Five lists– THE BEST MAN THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON THE INQUISITOR’S TALE THE LIE TREE MARCH, BOOK THREE SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF […]

Jason Reynolds Revisited

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Jason Reynolds has published five books in three years, bursting onto the scene in a big way.  It’s no overstatement to say that he may be the most significant new voice to debut during that time span.  His first book, WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST, won the CSK John Steptoe Award for New Talent.  Both […]

How does a book Win? Part 1: Nominations

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I’m going to end this year with a post that gets a little bit into process.  I know this will be review for a lot of you, but it’s nice to talk about and a reminder is always good!  So, how does a winner get picked?  And what about honor books?  What has the committee […]

Juana & Lucas

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  JUANA & LUCAS is pure delight.  I’m really excited to be able to discuss a heavily illustrated early chapter book that has lovely art, but certainly also has text worth consideration.  We didn’t find a graphic novel this year that we felt belonged on our shortlist, so for me this is the closest we get […]

Gallery: Curse of the Three Star Book

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Last year, I noted here and here that it’s very easy for books with three starred reviews to slip under our radar and earn Newbery recognition.  We can’t read everything, and what we do read, we can’t always read as carefully as the Newbery committee.  Here are thirteen books–a baker’s dozen–which earned three starred reviews. […]

Some Writer!

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  In October 1949, he wrote his publisher, Cass Canfield: “My next book is in sight.  I look at it every day.  I keep it in a carton, as you would a kitten.”  Andy spent the year studying spiders.  “In this,” he wrote, “I found the key to the story.”  Andy would not make his heroine, […]