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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Heavy Medal Finalist – Refugee


Long List Title: REFUGEE (Titles on our long list will be included in our online conversation and balloting, alongside the short list titles.) Alan Gratz’s novel received six nominations on this blog, which puts in up near the leaders.  I find it especially strong in “presentation of themes.”  The three separate, but related stories all […]

Heavy Medal Finalist – The Hate U Give

hate u give

Short List Title:  THE HATE U GIVE (Titles on our short list will be included in the live Mock Newbery in Oakland.) We started our posts on the Heavy Medal Short List and Long List titles on Wednesday; now we’ve decided to tweak the process a little bit.  Instead of discussing two books per post, we’re going to […]

Heavy Medal Finalists – Clayton Byrd Goes Underground and The First Rule of Punk

clayton byrd

As Roxanne explained yesterday, we are going to start discussing our final long list of titles in a way as similar as possible to the way the real Newbery Committee discusses titles.  This is a great time to compare books to each other, and is also an opportunity for everyone to express both the things […]

Let the Discussion Begin…Again…Soon!


Now that we are ready to discuss and compare the 18 Heavy Medal 2018 Mock Newbery candidates, it seems to be the optimal time to go over some basic meeting procedures and discussion guidelines. On Heavy Medal, bloggers and readers have the luxury of getting into detailed and sometimes lengthy explanation of our opinions. In the actual Newbery committee meeting, time […]

At Long Last — the 2018 Heavy Medal Long List for Balloting


Given that each year more than 3,000 children’s books eligible for the Newbery are published, each of the 70 titles receiving even a single nomination from the Heavy Medal readers already signifies certain distinctive qualities.  We thank you all for sharing with us what you have loved this year. After compiling reader nominations and considering discussion potentials, we […]

What’s Missing?


The year’s almost over and the 2017 Heavy Medal has been going for three and a half months.   We’ll announce our “Long List” on Friday, which will include roughly 18 titles that we’ll use for our on-line voting in early February.  You’d think by now we’d have covered every book with a decent shot at […]

Alligators, Curses, A Swamp – Oh My!


In 19th century England, a fictional child reader asked, “and what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?” In 20th century Taiwan, a non-fictional child reader pondered, “and what is the use of a book without magic or something completely made up?”  Indeed, when this Taiwanese young reader grew up and studied Children’s Literature in the United States, she […]

December Nominations

57 Bus

In December, the real committee submits two more nominations and this is crunch time.  It’s the committee’s last chance to nominate titles (unless things come out later in the year) and each member’s last chance to ensure that their choices are on the table for discussion. Here at Heavy Medal we did nominations in October […]

First Time a Charm?

Train I Ride

In a comment from an earlier post, Genevieve said:  “I wish there was a Morris equivalent for children’s books.”  It’s an interesting idea.  YALSA started the Morris Award in 2009 to honor a “first time author writing for teens.”  ALSC doesn’t have a similar award at this point, and the Newbery Terms and Criteria tell […]

Disastrous Journey, but the Book’s Sure Good

Bound by Ice

BOUND BY ICE  by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace has a lot of qualities that I look for in narrative nonfiction.  It’s a highly absorbing survival story with lots of suspense.  The historical figures have distinct and engaging personalities.  And it’s a piece of history that most readers won’t know about already.  With a compelling true […]