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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

About Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Emily Mroczek (Bayci) is a freelance children’s librarian in the Chicago suburbs. She served on the 2019 Newbery committee. You can reach her at

Heavy Medal Award Committee Live Zoom Results

There were more than 400 attendees at Heavy Medal’s live Zoom Mock Newbery webcast where STARFISH won the Heavy Medal Mock Award and AMBER and CLAY claimed an honor.

Newbery 2022 Predictions

There are so many strong titles and possibilities for the 2022 Newbery. Here are some predictions in many different categories.

THE FINAL FIVE: Heavy Medal Mock Newbery 2022 Contenders

The votes were tight and the discussion was strong, but we finally have a final five Heavy Medal Book List. They are, in alphabetical order: AMBER AND CLAY JUST LIKE THAT OPHIE’S GHOSTS STARFISH WATERCRESS These are the five we will discuss in our live Zoom conversation on Friday, January 21 at 1 p.m. EST. […]

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist- Watercress by Andrea Wang

Andrea Wang’s WATERCRESS is a gorgeous picture book with exemplary prose and juxtaposition says Heavy Medal Award Committee member Stephanie Saggione in her introduction. Join our Mock Newbery discussion of this picture book.

Sign Up Now for the 2022 Mock Newbery Live!

Don’t forget to sign up for our live discussion and voting for the 2022 Heavy Medal Mock Newbery on Friday January 21st at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist- RED, WHITE, and WHOLE by Rajani LaRocca

One of the most loved books on Heavy Medal this season was Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca. Heavy Medal committee member Andrea Tyler introduces its’ strengths.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist- PITY PARTY by Kathleen Lane

PITY PARTY is the quintessential story for middle school students. It’s a party no one wants to go to, but we have all been there. The interpretation of the theme is well done throughout the book and presented in different ways.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO by Shing Yin Khor

Let’s talk about the one graphic novel on our Heavy Medal Mock Newbery list this year. THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO by Shing Yin Khor is a historical graphic novel with a bit of a reimagining of the Paul Bunyan tall tale thrown in.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: JUST LIKE THAT by Gary Schmidt

Our second week of Heavy Medal Mock Newbery discussion opens up with Just Like That by Gary Schmidt, introduced by Heavy Medal Award Committee member Louie Lauer.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: FALLOUT by Steve Sheinkin

On our third day of discussion we feature a long form non fiction title, Fallout by Steve Sheinkin, a look at the Cold War.