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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Oakland Mock Newbery Results

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What a nice day I had discussing this batch of outstanding books with this gang of outstanding people!  Thanks to all who came out and thanks, especially, to those who helped to organize.  Look at this awesome crew!  I’m really sorry I jumped right in front of Melissa and blocked her face as my self-timer […]

Pax, Wolf Hollow and When the Sea Turned Silver

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Well, today is the Oakland Mock Newbery, and as I’m looking over my notes I’m thinking a lot about all of the books I’ve read this year, and particularly about the books on our shortlist.  It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Pax, Wolf Hollow or When the Sea Turned Silver – not since before we settled […]

Gallery: One More Batch

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Here’s one final group of books with multiple starred reviews.  It just goes to show that we can really only scratch the surface here on this blog in terms of covering the breadth of books that the committee is likely to read.                           […]

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading

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Leveraging the Elephant & Piggie brand, Mo Willems has extended the reach of the magical spell that he has cast over emergent readers with Elephant & Piggie Like Reading.  The first two entries–WE ARE GROWING by Laurie Keller and THE COOKIE FIASCO by Dan Santat–were published this past year, and while I think very highly of […]

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 […]