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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

The Madman of Piney Woods

madman

Our final book to reconsider is THE MADMAN OF PINEY WOODS.  The first time around Nina rightly noted that despite a leisurely pace, the storytelling elements–plot, character, setting–make this a worthy book to discuss.  We only had three comments, but they were all packed with good insights. Is this book too heavy-handed or didactic? Are [...]

West of the Moon

West of the Moon

There is a myth that spring books don’t win awards, and several theories about the myth…that it is a  self-fulfilling prophecy because publishers save their better books for the fall, or is because committee members have time to get disillusioned with early books and don’t with late ones.  I find the reverse of the latter however: [...]

Brown Girl Dreaming

woodson

BROWN GIRL DREAMING has six starred reviews, presumably six best of the year lists (where are you Bulletin?), the National Book Award, and it’s placed the highest through our two rounds of unofficial nominations.  It’s a shoo-in for the Newbery Medal, right?  I’d like to think it has a very good chance.  Personally, I find [...]

Getting ready, whether real or mock

AmyNewbery

We are nearly done with our “redux” posts of our shortlisted titles, and as you each finish your reading, I encourage you to go back to those posts and add your thoughts. The ALA youth media awards this year are happening a little later than usual, and that gives us the whole month of January [...]

Crossover Redux

alexander

Josh Bell   is my name. But Filthy McNasty is my claim to fame. Folks call me that ‘cause my game’s acclaimed, so downright dirty, it’ll put you to shame. My hair is long, my height’s tall. See, I’m the next Kevin Durant, Lebron, and Chris Paul.   On our Top Five post, THE CROSSOVER [...]

Top Seven

Because of the holidays, this is traditionally a slow week here at Heavy Medal.  And that makes it a perfect time for us to trade our final set of nominations, which is a thread that typically has a longer life.  The real committee trades three in October, two in November, and two in December–but since [...]

The Family Romanov Redux

fleming

In the original post on this title, Jonathan and Leonard Kim got into a little back and forth comparing it to REVOLUTION, so it seems apt to take this one up next.   How does it compare in prose, in structure and context setting?  Each book of course has a different ultimate goal:  Wiles’s is [...]

Revolution Redux

revolution

First of all, you should know that I am simply not the audience for this book.  I find the plot too slow and the characters uninteresting, and the whole thing was kind of a slog to get through–and I always feel that way about Deborah Wiles’s books.  For me, the history in this story was [...]

Off the radar?

MatterofSouls

We’ll continue over the next few weeks to review books from our shortlist and talk about the Newbery process as we ramp up to our Mock Newberies on January 11th (Oakland) and 15th (San Diego), but I wanted to take a moment to address Rosanne’s recent comment about whether we’ve noticed small/indie press Newbery contenders [...]

Transitional Chapter Books

dory

Since traditional chapter books have spot illustrations, and since some people might consider them picture books instead of illustrated books, I’m going to quote from some of the reviews and read your comments below about their literary merit. DORY FANTASMAGORY by Abby Hanlon Kirkus;  Often just on the edge of out of control, this inventive child [...]