Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Crazy About Gone Crazy

9780062215871_p0_v1_s192x300

UNPACKING BAGGAGE As you well know, if you’ve followed this blog long enough, I am an unabashed plot-driven reader.  I most enjoy those types of books where the plot drives the action of the book and where I can anticipate the events to come.  For example, even before I picked up HARRY POTTER AND THE […]

Echo, Nina’s Take

Echo

After our earlier discussion of ECHO, I’m sure there were some audible groans when Jonathan and I revealed our shortlist.  Much of the previous discussion was around the story structure and manipulation of the reader.  I think we all recognize “manipulation” as something inherent to novel writing, it’s just that many readers prefer not to clearly […]

Roller Girl

9780803740167_p0_v2_s118x184

ROLLER GIRL is not a flashy book in Newbery terms, and that is part of its charm. Stripped down just to its bare text, sentence by sentence, it wouldn’t wow me.  But ROLLER GIRL is a great example of a story presented in exactly the right format.   From the pre-title/title page/post-title page drama in […]

Orbiting Jupiter

img1257995

Then Pastor Ballou prayed again, and he said that Joseph had put himself in danger to save others, and then he said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.” And that’s when I started crying.  Crying like a kindergarten kid in front of everyone.  Crying […]

What’s Wrong With the Printz?

Debbie Reese recently noted that ALSC had added language in support of diversity to their committee manuals, but YALSA has had that language in the Policies and Procedures since the inception of the Printz Award: “Librarianship focuses on individuals, in all their diversity, and that focus is a fundamental value of the Young Adult Library […]

Most Dangerous and Drowned City

9781596439528_p0_v2_s118x184

Because of the shortened season and early mock discussions, Jonathan and I may not have a chance to do our usual redux of every title on our shortlist, but we’ll attempt to make space for each one that hasn’t got as much discussion as others.  While people are still reading and commenting on RHYTHM RIDE, I […]

Curse of the Three Star Book, Part 2

613ByauOpUL._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_

On Friday, we talked about a pair of three star books that I’ve read.  Here are a whole heap–seven!–that have either languished in my to-be-read-pile or I’ve started them but not finished them (not for lack of interest, but lack of time).  So I present them here, leaning on the reviews to provide some insights […]

Curse of the Three Star Book, Part 1

9781250043238_p0_v1_s118x184

We don’t necessarily create our shortlist with the intention of predicting the winners, but it’s nice when that works out.  I’ve noticed that we’ve been especially prone to missing or underestimating the winner if the book has three starred reviews.  We missed MOON OVER MANIFEST and DEAD END IN NORVELT entirely and while THE ONE […]

Rhythm Ride

9781596439733_p0_v2_s118x184

No one’s commented in surprise to the presence of RHYTHM RIDE on our shortlist, but it is rare that we include a title that we haven’t posted on yet. This year’s early schedule and the intensity of recent discussion threw some things a little out of whack, so let’s get back on track. It’s hard […]

Top Five

In the past couple years we’ve checked in with our readers at various points in the year to see what they would nominate.  Due to the shorter timetable this year–the YMAs are on January 11th–we’re consolidating those into a single post.  I’ll go first.  In alphabetical order . . . DROWNED CITY ECHO THE HIRED […]