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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal
Nina Lindsay

About Nina Lindsay

Nina Lindsay is the Children's Services Coordinator at the Oakland Public Library, CA. She chaired the 2008 Newbery Committee, and served on the 2004 and 1998 committees. You can reach her at

Last Stop for Nina

Jonathan will be closing out our season shortly with a preview for 2016; but first I’d like to say goodbye.  As I warned at the beginning of the season, this is my last hurrah with Heavy Medal. In that post in September, I’d mentioned I’d been doing this “long enough.”  Although the books change each year, […]

When it Rains

It’s drizzling in Boston, and various award committee members are peppering social media with “we’re done!”  They’re turning in their draft press releases, and the ALA Press office takes over until the unveling tomorrow morning. So we wait.  This afternoon I’ll be sitting in again on the Notable Children’s Book Discussions, where I hear they […]

Oakland Mock Results!

We had a wonderful Mock Newbery discussion Sunday afternoon, with 20 in attendance, and 15 voting (who had read all nine titles).  Yet…we ran short of time to come to a conclusive consensus.  We took 3 ballots over the course of 45 minutes, and then just called time.  Here’s how it went. Ballot 1 All […]


As I get ready for the Oakland Mock Newbery this coming Sunday, I’m thinking of the members of the many actual award committees, also doing some final re-reading and considering before they head to Boston to huddle in.  They meet for two full days, as many hours as they can squeeze in, and deliver their […]


I’m still desperately plowing through other Newbery contenders before we reach ALA Midwinter and the Youth Media Awards announcement. I just finished THE JUMBIES by Tracey Baptiste…cannot remember who mentioned this to me but it was on my hold list.  While I don’t know this would make it into my top 10, I would have certainly […]

Consider the margins

As some of you get ready, with Jonathan, for the San Diego mock Newbery tomorrow, the actual Newbery committee members are in the midst of their own re-reading, and many of all of us are approaching the “apples to oranges” dilemma.   How, considering the Newbery criteria, and the nominated books (for the committee, a […]

The Hired Girl, Nina’s Take

Well I can’t say I’ve been looking forward to this post, but I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether to do it at all, and what it’s about.   Jonathan and I decided we wanted this book on our shortlist, despite my own reservations about it, because it is such a […]

Echo, Nina’s Take

After our earlier discussion of ECHO, I’m sure there were some audible groans when Jonathan and I revealed our shortlist.  Much of the previous discussion was around the story structure and manipulation of the reader.  I think we all recognize “manipulation” as something inherent to novel writing, it’s just that many readers prefer not to clearly […]

Roller Girl

ROLLER GIRL is not a flashy book in Newbery terms, and that is part of its charm. Stripped down just to its bare text, sentence by sentence, it wouldn’t wow me.  But ROLLER GIRL is a great example of a story presented in exactly the right format.   From the pre-title/title page/post-title page drama in […]

Most Dangerous and Drowned City

Because of the shortened season and early mock discussions, Jonathan and I may not have a chance to do our usual redux of every title on our shortlist, but we’ll attempt to make space for each one that hasn’t got as much discussion as others.  While people are still reading and commenting on RHYTHM RIDE, I […]