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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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The Port Chicago 50

Port Chicago 50

I’m in the midst of the ALSC Institute here in Oakland, where we just listened to Steve Sheinkin give the opening session talk about his approach to writing history, with The Port Chicago 50 story as his centerpiece.  My Boston Globe Horn Book committee awarded it this May, and it just showed up on the NBA [...]

NBA Longlist

This is old news, but worth sharing.  For those of you who may have missed it last year, the National Book Award began announcing a longlist of 10 books before announcing the shortlist and eventual winner.  The reason being to shine the spotlight on even more worthy books.  The NBA typically skews older with 2/3 [...]

West of the Moon and The Night Gardener

West of the Moon

I’m trying to re-read A SNICKER OF MAGIC again to participate in that discussion, which has gotten very interesting. Meanwhile, Julie Corsaro mentioned in that comment thread a couple of spring titles I’m more interested in talking about. Recalling Vicky Smith’s guest post this time last year, Reader Know Thyself, I had to recognize that [...]

A Snicker of Magic


I haven’t read this one yet, so I’m going to quote its three starred reviews below and let you weigh in on the strengths and weaknesses in the comments below.  Maybe you’ll convince me to read it sooner rather than later. KIRKUS: The protagonist of this debut joins a growing list of endearing young girls from [...]



This seems the spring book to talk about, based on comments from our first post, with raves from many, and a few of us voicing qualms. Rachel Stein offers a nice synopsis of the book at For Those About to Mock, though she mentions she hesitates to comment on its Newbery chances because she listened [...]

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing


THREE TIMES LUCKY was a very mild surprise as a Newbery Honor book a couple of years ago. While I enjoyed Turnage’s debut, I did have some reservations about it (and I think Nina did, too).  I acknowledged that I needed a second reading to sort out my feelings, but I just didn’t have the [...]

Welcome Back


It is the day after Labor Day, and time to getting rolling on a new season of Heavy Medal!   Jonathan signed us off in January with a list to look forward to, and you’ve all been adding to it as the months have trickled by. Danae is excited about THE CROSSOVER, THE FAMILY ROMANOV, [...]

Could Squirrels Be the New Zombies?

I spent Monday presenting a Common Core seminar to elementary school librarians in Knoxville, TN.  Our YMA feed stopped working properly during the Belpre Awards, so I had to wait until our morning break to see the full results.  While the Newbery picks surprised me, all the books did get great reviews, and will now [...]

The Real Winners!

Here we are folks, with a whole row of Heavy Medalers/BOBers. The room is smaller this year, and completely full…with an overflow room set up downstairs. We were here….early. There are many many amazing award winners being announced, and I won’t be able to get them all in, but here are some recognizing books we’ve [...]

Announcements Nigh

Don’t forget that you can watch the announcements live tomorrow morning. I’ll be putting up a very brief post as it goes, and publish right away so we all can start commenting.