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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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Final Nomination Results: a ranked list of the 69 titles nominated by Heavy Medal readers

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Our final round of nominations is closed, and we’ve got quite a list. A total of 69 books were named by readers, each of whom was allowed to nominate 7 titles (not everyone named the full 7). About 60% of the titles received 1 or 2 nominations. 10 books were nominated at least 8 times (that’s about 14%). And the rest were in the middle.

Besides being a great reading list of 2021 children’s books, the list of nominations will help Emily and I to determine the 12-15 titles that will go on our Heavy Medal Book List (HMBL). We won’t necessarily select only the most frequently nominated titles, because we’ll also want to balance the list in terms of genres, formats, and styles. But we’ll definitely be looking at these numbers.

The HMBL will be announced next week. We’ll use that list for our Heavy Medal Mock Newbery election, which includes these components:

  • The Heavy Medal Award Committee (HMAC) members will discuss each book on the blog during late December and January. We’ll share more about the HMAC later this week.
  • Readers who are not on the HMAC can also chime in with these discussions.
  • The HMAC will vote on a Mock Newbery winner in late January.
  • All Heavy Medal readers will do a separate vote around the same time.

Meanwhile, here is our nomination list. The 16 titles nominated for the first time in December appear in red. And the 6 books with asterisks are the “Early Six“: titles we pre-selected for inclusion on the HMBL:

TitleAuthorTotal
* RED, WHITE, AND WHOLERajani LaRocca19
THE BEATRYCE PROPHECYKate DiCamillo16
* AMBER AND CLAYLaura Amy Schlitz14
STARFISHLisa Fipps14
THE GENIUS UNDER THE TABLEEugene Yelchin14
* JUST LIKE THATGary Schmidt13
THE SHAPE OF THUNDERJasmine Warga9
A PLACE TO HANG THE MOONKate Albus8
LION OF MARSJennifer L. Holm8
TOO BRIGHT TOO SEEKyle Lukoff8
WATERCRESSAndrea Wang6
AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERSB.B. Alston5
DAVINCI’S CATCatherine Gilbert Murdock5
* FALLOUTSteve Sheinkin5
MILO IMAGINES THE WORLDMatt de la Peña5
* PITY PARTYKathleen Lane5
BEING CLEMLesa-Cline Ransome4
FRANKIE & BUGGayle Forman4
* HARRY VS. THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOLEmily Jenkins4
ONE JAR OF MAGICCorey Ann Haydu4
UNSPEAKABLE: THE TULSA RACE MASSACRECarole Boston Weatherford4
FINDING JUNIE KIMEllen Oh3
GROUND ZEROAlan Gratz3
PONYR.J. Palacio3
RACONTEUR’S COMMONPLACE BOOKKate Milford3
THE LAST CUENTISTADonna Barba Higuera3
THE TROUBLED GIRLS OF DRAGOMIR ACADEMYAnne Ursu3
BILLY MILLER MAKES A WISHKevin Henkes2
FLIGHT OF THE PUFFINAnn Braden2
GONE TO THE WOODSGary Paulsen2
OPHIE’S GHOSTSJustina Ireland2
ROOT MAGICEden Royce2
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOMHolly Sloan2
THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE POShing Yin Khor2
THE LIST OF UNSPEAKABLE FEARSJ. Kasper Kramer2
THE PEOPLE REMEMBERIbi Zoboi2
UNSETTLEDReem Faruqi2
WHILE I WAS AWAYWaka T. Brown2
365 DAYS TO ALASKACathy Carr1
A SHOT IN THE ARMDon Brown1
ALMOST THERE AND ALMOST NOTLinda Urban1
ALONEMegan E. Freeman1
AMOS MCGEE MISSES THE BUSPhilip Stead1
BLACK BOY JOYKwame Mbalia (ed)1
BLOOD LIKE MAGICLiselle Sambury1
CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULSKaela Rivera1
DELICATESBrenna Thummler1
HEALER OF THE WATER MONSTERBrian Young1
HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU’RE NOT LOOKING FORVeera Hiranandani1
KALEIDOSCOPEBrian Selznick1
KATIE THE CATSITTERColleen Venable1
LEGACYNikki Grimes1
MANY POINTS OF MECaroline Gertler1
MAYA AND THE ROBOTEve Ewing1
MAYBE MAYBE MARISOL RAINEYErin Entrada Kelly1
MERCI SUÀREZ CAN’T DANCEMeg Medina1
PAX: JOURNEY HOMESara Pennypacker1
PLAYING THE CARDS YOU’RE DEALTVarian Johnson1
RESCUEJennifer A. Nielsen1
RUNAWAY: THE DARING ESCAPE OF ONA JUDGERay Anthony Shepard1
SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEACynthia Leitich Smith1
STAMPED (FOR KIDS)Sonja Cherry Paul1
SURVIVOR TREEMarcie Colleen1
THE CURSE OF THE MUMMYCandice Fleming1
THE ONE THING YOU’D SAVELinda Sue Park1
THE WOLF’S CURSEJessica Vitalis1
WE ARE STILL HERETraci Sorell1
WE MUST NOT FORGETDeborah Hopkinson1
WILLODEENKatherine Applegate1
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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 sengelfried@yahoo.com.

Comments

  1. Still hoping for Ground Zero to get a Newbery nod Such a compelling story with an amazing plot twist

  2. I just want to say thank you!! So many great books I have read this year that I would not have noticed except for being mentioned or nominated on this site. It has become a place to look for book suggestions!

    • Emily Mroczek says

      You’re welcome Cherylynn and I agree. This is such an awesome community and I’m looking forward to the deeper discussions to come!

  3. Lisa Levin says

    What a fabulous list. I can’t wait to see how this all ends up. Thank you for creating this community to give us all the opportunity to continue to find fabulous books for our students and patrons.

  4. Rox Anne Close says

    I want to give a ‘shout out to author Sharon Draper and her book OUT OF MY HEART. I know this book did not make the list, and many people perhaps did not have a chance to read it yet as it was just published. (I just finished it this week, too late to nominate it). It is a sequel to OUT OF MY MIND, and follows Melody, who has Cerebral Palsy, as she navigates summer camp. The book is strong both in characterization and setting. The strength of the book is how completely the reader experiences the world of summer camp through Melody’s emotions, thoughts and perspective. It was truly a heartwarming story.

    Also thank you to Steven and Emily for the wonderful book list that you compiled. I enjoyed reading so many of the books on this list, and still have a pile to read.

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