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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Grand Knowing You

It’s been grand knowing you
Grand knowing you
Grand being your friend.
You’ve been kind, loyal, and so generous
Right down to the end.
Please don’t grieve watching me leave
That would be much too painful to stand.
It’s been fun
Now I must run
But it’s been grand, perfectly grand!

After much careful thought and consideration, I have decided to make this past year on Heavy Medal my last one.  When Nina decided to move on last year, I thought I would probably blog for two more years, and then do the same.  However, I now feel that I have used this particular bully pulpit to say pretty much everything I could wish to say, and I find that while the books tend to change from year to year many of the overriding issues in the conversation remain the same.  I think an infusion of new voices with new insights would do this blog some good, but I’ll leave it to Sharon and the good folks at SLJ to figure those things out.  I’ll still drop by in the comments from time to time, depending on what’s being discussed, and perhaps I’ll be invited to do a guest post now and then, but I’ll be focusing on other things.  I’d like to especially thank Nina, Sharon, School Library Journal, and the many participants over the years that have made this blog such a success.  Thank you all!

Though I hate leaving you,
Hate leaving your warm intimate club.
It’s a small pleasure but I’ll treasure
Each warm intimate snub.
It’s been grand let me say
And let me say “Au revoir” not goodbye . . .

Jonathan Hunt About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the Coordinator of Library Media Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. You can reach him at


  1. sam leopold says

    I will miss your conversations and analysis. You are wonderful. Thank you.

  2. Totally agree with Sam – you are wonderful. your wise words will be missed but hope to see you often in the comments! Thanks especially for bringing nonfiction to more consideration here!

  3. What platform is next for you? Be sure your voice is still out there!

  4. Thanks for all your hard work!

  5. Thank you Jonathan for the many insights you provided on here and for helping me personally, get out of my comfort zone of reading (I read more nonfiction and pay attention to early readers probably solely because of conversations you instigated here. Thank you!

  6. Jonathan Hunt Jonathan Hunt says

    Thanks to all for your kind words.

    Just found this Kwame Alexander piece unexpectedly on ESPN today. Good stuff.

    • Safranit Molly says

      This is brilliant. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. I shared it with my colleagues this afternoon. Credits to you, of course.

  7. Leonard Kim says

    Jonathan, you may feel you’ve said what you want to say, but lots of people could still benefit from hearing it. For years you’ve done an amazing job hosting what I think is the best discussion for these books out there. You’ll be greatly missed. Leonard

  8. DaNae C Leu says

    Oh, I don’t know what to say. Jonathan, you have helped me look at the process of critique and analysis with sharper eyes and less bias. You’ve shown us how to argue like a mouse with a lion. (You can pick the persona you chose). I’ve marveled at the time you’ve given, even while serving on other committees. All that is left, is to thank you. I’m better at presenting all this to my students because of you.

  9. I can’t tell you much how much I look forward to the discussions every year! These discussions have made me think harder about the books I read, and the books I share with kids everyday. Your insight has always been greatly appreciated by me – and so many others who I see on this blog every year. I truly hope we do see you amidst our conversations in the coming years, because your perspective has always been enlightening. Good luck with your future endeavors!

  10. Safranit Molly says

    Let me add my voice to the others who are so sorry to see you depart. I have appreciated your wise insight on books. I appreciate the way you present your arguments in a logical, respectful voice. You engage with your fellow readers without dictating to them. Though I may not always agree with your conclusions, I see books differently when I see them through from point of view. Thank you for taking the time to explain and share you thoughts on so many of the books we’ve read over the decade or so you’ve been doing this. Heavy Medal is such a helpful gathering of serious readers. I hope we will all continue to congregate here, even when our longtime leader steps away. Thank you for what you have created in Heavy Medal, Jonathan. May it continue to sail the seas of children’s literature with a following wind.

  11. Oh, I’m sorry to see you go, Jonathan! Thanks so much for all you’ve done! I hope to still see you around at ALA conferences and hear from you…

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