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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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The Newbery Search Continues

The world has changed quite a bit in the five weeks since we solicited our first round of Suggestions for the 2021 Heavy Medal Mock Newbery. Book award forecasting may seem trivial compared to everything else that’s going on…but it might also serve as a welcome distraction, as well as a reminder of the power and importance of high quality literature for children. Speaking for myself, I take some comfort in engaging in a long-term process like this and choose to believe that by the time we get to the actual Newbery announcement next January, the worst will be well behind us.

With that in mind, we invite readers to submit April suggestions for our 2021 Mock Newbery. Please include title and author, with a maximum limit of 5 titles (all must be published). More detailed guidelines can be found in last month’s post and the list of suggestions so far is here.

With libraries closed, I’ve fallen behind some in the past month. I’ve placed holds on as many e-book versions as I can, though, and hope to catch up soon. I suspect others may be in the same boat, but still look forward to learning what everyone’s reading and rating highly. Suggestions for April are open from today through Sunday, April 12th. Please add yours in the comments below:

Steven Engelfried About Steven Engelfried

Steven Engelfried is the Library Services Manager at the Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon. He served on the 2010 Newbery committee, chaired the 2013 Newbery Committee, and also served on the 2002 Caldecott committee. You can reach him at


  1. Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
    An Almost American Girl by Robin Ha
    Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

  2. Mary Lou White says:

    Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker

  3. Meredith Burton says:

    1. Prairie Lotus, by Linda Sue Parks.
    2. The List of Things that Will Not Change, by Rebecca Stead.
    3. Mananaland, by Pam Munoz Ryan.

  4. ESE Librarian Bob says:

    Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
    Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare Lezotte
    A Voice Named Aretha by Katheryn Russell-Brown

    Thanks for keeping this going—it is a welcome distraction

  5. Katrina says:

    The Thief Knot by Kate Milford

  6. Kate Todd says:

    Show Me a Sign by Ann Claire LeZotte

  7. Prairie Lotus – Linda Sue Park

  8. I’ll add my voice to Mananaland and The List of Things….
    I’d add The Great Upending by Beth Kephart

  9. Lorie Bonapfel says:

    • Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
    • Leaving Lymon by Lesa Cline-Ransome
    • When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

  10. KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES by Kacen Callender

  11. Danielle J says:

    I didn’t get any in in time last month, so I am going to use all five:
    PRAIRIE LOTUS by Linda Sue Park
    MA˜NANALAND by Pam Munoz Ryan
    AN ORDINARY DAY by Elana K. Arnold
    THE ONLY BLACK GIRLS IN TOWN by Brandy Colbert
    WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER by Kae Teller

  12. I think A HOME FOR GODDESSES AND DOGS by Leslie Connor is worth discussing, though it may not be the best of the best.
    And I’ll add another voice for KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES by Kacen Callendar

  13. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    BLACK BROTHER, BLACK BROTHER by Jewell Parker Rhodes
    SNAPDRAGON by Kat Leyh

  14. Sam Leopold says:

    The list of things that will not change
    Prairie Lotus
    When stars are scattered