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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

The Best Man

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We are heading towards picking our final list and I’m feeling the pressure.  There are just so many amazing books, and so little time!  So for today,  THE BEST MAN.  It came up in a couple of people’s lists, and I think it has a deserved place in our conversation. Richard Peck is pretty much the […]

Black Power!

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“In the midst of the human ugliness of racism, there is the human beauty in the resistance to racism.” Ibram X. Kendi The National Book Awards had a bit of a 2015 ALA Midwinter moment with African Americans winning three of the four categories, and for decidedly political works, no less.  Joining John Lewis and […]

Top Five

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We used to check in with our readership several times a year about their top choices, mimicking the nomination process that the real committee experiences wherein they nominate three books in October, two in November, and a final two in December.  Since we don’t post quite as frequently now as we used to, we are […]

Chapter Book Roundup

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Now it’s time to discuss an underappreciated body of literature for children, what are often called chapter books.  Since I think that term is still fairly vague, I’d call them transitional chapter books.  That is, books that bridge the gap from the more challenging easy readers to the easiest novels.  On the younger side, these […]

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

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This blog may be as divided as our nation is when it comes to this book, but I gave MS. BIXBY’S LAST DAY a read and it just doesn’t rise to the top for me.   Don’t get me wrong, I like this book very much, but it doesn’t scream Newbery to me.  It is […]

The Inquisitor’s Tale

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I like this book very much, and I can easily see the committee discussing it very seriously.  It’s strong in virtually every single element that pertains to it–plot, character, setting, style, theme, and accuracy–and yet I’m feeling slightly underwhelmed on a personal level when it comes to plot and theme.  The characters in this book are […]

When the Sea Turned to Silver

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First, a confession.  I haven’t read the previous Grace Lin books in this series!  Unforgivable, maybe, but I think that makes it easier for me to try to read and evaluate her new novel without letting my feelings about her other work get in the way.  I don’t have to worry about it standing alone, about […]

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

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Yes. There is a witch in the woods.  There has always been a witch. Will you stop fidgeting for once?  My stars!  I have never seen such a fidgety child. No, sweetheart.  I have not seen her.  No one has.  Not for ages.  We’ve taken steps so that we will never see her. Terrible steps. […]

Verse Novel Roundup

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We’ve already said it’s been an exceptionally strong year for poetry, and if you include novels in verse (not to mention FREE VERSE, a novel that celebrates and incorporates poetry, but is not a verse novel), then it is a phenomenally strong year.  We’ve already discussed BOOKED, a fairly strong contender on its own merits, but […]

PW’s Best Books of 2016

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As the end of the year approaches, Best Of lists appear!  Publisher Weekly’s list came out today and it shares a lot of titles in common with this blog.  Their list is divided into Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult and books from any of these lists could potentially be Newbery contenders.  So, what’s not […]