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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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Guest Blogger Post: WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER

Guest Blogger Cheryl introduces WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER, stating that the book leads readers to feel “like we were grabbing points of light and hope in a world of darkness.” Join our discussion of Tae Keller’s excellent novel.

Fencing, Hoops, and a Family Wedding: Distinguished Writing Styles

Authors Jewell Parker Rhodes, Rebecca Stead, and Gene Luen Yang use distinctly different writing techniques in their recently published Newbery-eligible titles. Join our discussion of how excellence in the area of “appropriateness of style” can contribute to a distinguished children’s book.

Condors, Honeybees, and Women in Space: Distinguished Informational Books

“Presentation of information” can be a key element of distinguished writing according the Newbery Terms and Criteria. ASTRONAUTS, HONEYBEE, and CONDOR COMEBACK are fine examples of excellent informational books for children from 2020. Is that enough to make them Newbery contenders?


“Serious books are not always funny, and funny books don’t always incorporate serious topics, but when it is done right a book can really shine.” Guest Blogger Courtney kicks off our discussion of FROM THE DESK OF ZOE WASHINGTON by Janae Marks.

A Mountain in Maine, a City of Light and the USSR: Distinguished Settings

Our Mock-Newbery discussion continues with a look at distinguished settings from this year’s children’s books. We’ll examine the ways in which authors create memorable worlds that include the tenuous environment of the post-Chernobyl Soviet Union, a mountaintop in Depression-era Maine, and a mysterious city filled with magical light.

Guest Blogger Schedule

13 Guest Bloggers will be introducing some of the best children’s books of the year on Heavy Medal. Here’s the schedule with titles and dates for all Guest Blogger posts.

Speaking Up, Choosing Lanes, and World War II Reflections: Distinguished Themes

Distinguished books for children often convey powerful themes in innovative ways. Stellar examples from this year include books that explore peer pressure, child abuse, and the impacts of war. Do any of these books have Newbery Medal potential?

Della, Ware, and Bob the Dog: Distinguished Characters

An outspoken girl, and introverted boy, and a dog with “swagger” are among the most memorable characters from the pages of 2020’s children’s books. Are they distinguished enough to merit consideration for the Newbery Medal?

Share Your Newbery Favorites So Far

Heavy Medal readers have created to a long list of possible Newbery contenders over several months. Now’s a chance to rank your early favorites. What tops your list of the best children’s books of 2020 so far?

Guest Bloggers: All Spots Filled

We’re looking for “guest bloggers” to contribute book introductions on the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery blog this fall. Check out the details and fill out a volunteer form if you’re interested. UPDATE: ALL GUEST BLOGGER SPOTS HAVE BEEN FILLED.