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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Announcing the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Winner

The Heavy Medal Award Committee (HMAC) met earlier today on a live Zoom broadcast to select the Mock Newbery winner. After more than an hour of in-depth discussion of our five finalists, HMAC members finally cast their ballots. Here are the results:

  • Mock Newbery Winner: EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE by Daniel Nayeri
  • Mock Newbery Honor: FIGHTING WORDS by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We used the same weighted balloting procedure that the Newbery Committee uses, where each member ranks the top three titles and 4 points go to each 1st place vote, 3 points for 2nd place, and 2 points for 3rd. Here’s how the votes sorted out, with twelve members casting ballots:

  • EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE – 39 points (7 first place)
  • FIGHTING WORDS – 29 points (4 first place)
  • ECHO MOUNTAIN – 16 points (1 first place)
  • WHEN STARS ARE SCATTERED – 16 points (0 first place)
  • KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES – 8 points (0 first place)

The Newbery procedures require that the Medal book must receive more than half of the first place votes and lead the runner-up by at least eight points. So in this case, those requirements were met on the first ballot. Since there was a clear gap between FIGHTING WORDS and the other three titles, we also clearly had a single Honor book.

During the live broadcast of this discussion, we also conducted a Viewer’s Poll. For this one, each participant submitted just one vote, and we did not use the weighted ballot system. The results of the Viewer’s Poll were different:

  • 1st Place: FIGHTING WORDS
  • 4th Place: ECHO MOUNTAIN

And don’t forget, our Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Reader’s Poll is still active. You can cast a vote for your Mock Newbery choice from among the fifteen titles on the Heavy Medal Book List by clicking here. The Reader’s Poll closes on Saturday, January 23rd at Midnight EST.

If you missed the broadcast of our Live Zoom Discussion and would like to view the recording, you can see it here.

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. Mary Lou White says

    I really enjoyed tuning in yesterday. Thank you so much for making this process accessible to us. And I am SUPER happy about the winner!!!

  2. Leonard Kim says

    I only now watched the recording (I hadn’t realized the link was posted) and I am a little sad there aren’t more comments saying what an amazing job the HMAC did and how completely successful the whole Zoom meeting idea was (well, maybe a way could be found to tabulate the scores faster next year 🙂 Great job everyone!

    • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says

      Thanks Leonard, and thanks again to the HMAC. I don’t know what I was thinking with that ballot tabulation plan. In my mind it would be simple, and I would not only gather the ballots and quickly pass them to my daughter (who tabulated), but also dispersing little nuggets of Newbery trivia. Didn’t quite work out that way. We’ll fix that next year for sure….and have the Final Jeopardy music queued up just in case.

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