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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

The List of Books That Will Be Discussed: Six titles that will definitely appear on our final Mock Newbery book list

In a couple of weeks we’ll announce the Heavy Medal Book List (HMBL): 12-15 likely Newbery Medal contenders that will be discussed and voted upon as part of our Mock Newbery process during January. That list will be finalized after our December nomination process (which actually starts on November 27th). For now, though, we’ve come up with our “Early 6.” These titles have generated enough positive praise from Heavy Medal readers and from review journals that they seem like a sure bet to make our final list. We reveal these ahead of the full list so you can get a head start on the reading. Folks who volunteer for the HMAC are required to read all of the books on the list, so an early start can be helpful.  

I appreciate the input readers provided in deciding on these six titles. In the end, the list does match our current nominations list pretty closely. Five of the top six nominated titles are on the list, plus one more recent book that’s gotten some especially enthusiastic praise from some readers (including me). If your favorites aren’t among this first half dozen, remember that we’ll have the full list soon…and it will still leave out many excellent titles…that’s what happens when there are so many great books in one year.

The Heavy Medal Early 6

  • ECHO MOUNTAIN  by Lauren Wolk
  • EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE  by Daniel Nayeri
  • FIGHTING WORDS  by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • SHOW ME A SIGN  by Ann Clare LeZotte
  • WHEN STARS ARE SCATTERED  by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
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. Excellent list!
    Now I am in rather a quandary as to what to nominate in December, but I think I have it narrowed down. I do hope another favorite of mine makes the final list, but regardless, it’s fun to see what will ultimately be chosen. Keep up the excellent work.

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