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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Growing the Mock Newbery Reading List: May suggestions are now open

Our list of possible Newbery contenders looks good so far, but the good books keep coming. It’s time to add May suggestions to the list. The real Newbery Committee members typically share title suggestions with each other on a monthly basis, and we follow that practice here on Heavy Medal. Our guidelines for suggestions vary a bit: we limit suggestions to 5 per month per person, for instance, and ask that only titles that have been published in print form be suggested. More details can be found on this earlier post from March.

If you have any titles that you think should be considered, please provide titles and authors in the comments below. It’s fine to include books that others have suggested already in previous months. May suggestions are open from now through May 9th, and we’ll share the results on the blog shortly after that.

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. Julie Corsaro says:


  2. Jenn H. says:

    Red White and Whole by Ranjani LaRocca
    Delicates by Brenna Thummler
    Ancestor Approved edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith

  3. Kate Todd says:


  4. Laura Carlin says:

    The Fabulous Zed Watson! by Basil Sylvester & Kevin Sylvester

  5. Tom Wittmann says:

    365 DAYS TO ALASKA by Cathy Carr

  6. Chana Stiefel says:

    RED, WHITE, & WHOLE by Rajani LaRocca

  7. Candy Garner says:

    Saving American Beach by Heidi Tyline King , is a powerful historical picture book sure to ignite curiosity and empathy in all who read it. A perfect read aloud for classroom teachers of all ages, providing great prompts for discussion and projects such as, but not limited to, racism, Earth Day, and cultural diversity.

  8. Amanda Bishop says:

    Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh
    Starfish by Lisa Fipps
    One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu
    Amber and Clay by Laura Amy Schlitz
    Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

  9. Leonard Kim says:

    THE ROCK FROM THE SKY by Jon Klassen

  10. Katrina says:

    I would love to see either, The Boy from Berlin or One Boy’s War, both by author Nancy McDonald, on the list. Both considered historical fiction, the books take readers on breathless journeys through the events of WWII and one boy’s quest to thwart the Nazis.

    • Cherylynn says:

      Neither book was published in 2021 and Nancy McDonald is Canadian so they may be excellent books but not eligible.

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        Thanks for catching, Cherylynn. The 2021 publication date and “citizens or residents of the US” are requirements. No worries if someone suggests an ineligible title here;’ that happens on the real Committee too, and someone will catch it. Also, every year I seem to read at least one book that I’m excited about, then realize afterwards that it’s ineligible…last year it was EELS by Rachel Poliquin (from Canada).

  11. Aud Hogan says:

    TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff
    AMBER AND CLAY by Laura Amy Schlitz
    STARFISH by Lisa Fipps
    WAY OF THE HIVE by Jay S. Hosler – I’m not done with it yet, but so far, it’s really cool, and very different.

    It’s gearing up to be a strong year! My TBR just keeps getting longer!

    • Aud Hogan says:

      So it looks like THE WAY OF THE HIVE was previously published in another format, so I don’t think it’s eligible. But it’s still very good and I urge people to check it out!

      • Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

        Thanks for catching, Aud. From one catalog record: “This book was previously published as Clan Apis .. originally published in 2000 by Active Synapse.”

  12. Lisa Castellano says:

    Root Magic by Eden Royce
    Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
    Ground Zero by Alan Gratz
    Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

  13. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD by Matt de la Pena
    THE SEVENTH RAVEN by David Elliott
    STARFISH by Lisa Fipps

  14. Becky Petrin says:

    ALONE by Megan Freeman
    GONE TO THE WOODS by Gary Paulsen

  15. Finding Junie Kim

  16. Amy Hon says:

    The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan
    Strarfish by Lisa Fipps
    The Lion of Mars by Jennifer Holms

  17. Meredith says:

    1. Red, White and WHole, by Rajani LaRocca.
    2. Leonard (My Life as a Cat), by Carlie Sorosiak.

  18. Root Magic by Eden Royce

  19. Julie Ann Corsaro says:

    TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff
    THE LION OF MARS by Jennifer L. Holm

  20. Sally Engelfried says:

    One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu
    The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan

  21. Steven Engelfried Steven Engelfried says:

    May suggestions are now closed. Next chance to suggest: June 7th – 13th.