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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Moving On Up: Princesses, Capers, and Crocodiles

dark shadows chicken

What do you call these books in your library?  Here, in Oakland, we call them “Moving Up” books.  More advanced than easy readers, but not as sophisticated as chapter books.  Featuring lots of pictures, but integrating more complex language.  In any case – they don’t tend to get a lot of Newbery love.  There are […]

Give Riordan a Chance? Popularity IS “Quality Presentation”

magnuschase

At the end of the Newbery Criteria document, there is a Note: “The committee should keep in mind that the award is for literary quality and quality presentation for children. The award is not for didactic content or popularity.” (I have always wondered what propelled the addition of this particular statement to the Manual.) We […]

November Nominations: Only Two This Time!

Glass Town Game

The real Newbery Committee members will submit two more Nominations in November.  They each select three books in October, then two each in November and December for a total of seven.  We collected nominations from 22 people in October, and the results are here.  Now it’s time to think about two for November. We’re also working […]

Novels in Verse: Two Out of Three Isn’t Bad

514UQFha0qL

This week Roxanne and Sharon both introduced books for older readers with thoughtful arguments for why they should be considered possible Newbery contenders.  I’ll start this post on novels in verse with a title that falls clearly on the other side of the line for me.  David Elliott’s BULL is one of my favorite books […]

The Awards U Win

hate u give

Indulge me a little bit with this one, friends, and follow me into this thought experiment.  Let’s pretend that the quick arguement I’m about to give in terms of age range of Newbery and this book fully convinces you that the book is eligible.  I’m open to arguements that it’s not, but I’d love to […]

A Newbery Dream… in the Sky

strangethedreamer

This week, all three of us will be posting about titles that are probably considered “too old” to even dream about being nominated for, let alone winning, the Newbery. And yet, when a book features a godly dreamer, a citadel floating in the sky, and characters accomplishing the impossible, its contribution to the young reader’s […]

The Message of Ms. Liberty’s Foot

Her Right Foot

My county library system catalog lists 34 nonfiction books about the Statue of Liberty.  I think I’ve actually only read one (Lynn Curlee’s, which was excellent), but I’m pretty confident that none of them resembles HER RIGHT FOOT in terms of style, presentation of information, or interpretation of theme.  It starts out light and conversational:   […]

Sometimes a Tree isn’t Just a Tree

wishtree

Katherine Applegate is the master of a certain kind of quiet novel.  I’ll resist comparisons to her previous Newbery winning title, though, and stick to just this book and this year.  WISHTREE whispers its message of tolerance and hope With such slight text, Applegate manages to make characters that are real, believable, flawed, and honest.  […]

Sequels, Prequels, and Companions

War I Finally Won

There’s plenty of precedent for sequels getting Newbery recognition.  A YEAR DOWN YONDER won the medal in this century; earlier Dicey Tillerman, Will Stanton, and Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper, among others, all debuted in earlier books before winning the gold. The Terms and Criteria state that “The committee’s decision is to be made following deliberation about the books […]

YA? Why Not?

american street

So, what about YA?  We talked about this quite a bit in the comments of our post about the National Book Award Longlist, which was heavily Young Adult.  It’s come up in other places too, including in one of our very first posts this year, about VINCENT AND THEO.  There are quite a few titles […]