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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal
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.

The Heavy Medal Reader’s Poll is Open

The 2022 Heavy Medal Reader’s Poll is now open. Choose your top three titles from our list of 15 finalists. You can also write-in your top choice. Cast your ballot by Saturday, June 22nd.

Last Chance for Comments on the 15 Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Books

Our discussion of the 15 books on our Heavy Medal Book List winds up this week. Now’s your chance to add any final thoughts to our Mock Newbery discussion before our Final 5 is decided this weekend.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff

Next up in our Mock Newbery discussion: TOO BRIGHT TO SEE by Kyle Lukoff, described by Heavy Medal Award Committee member Amanda Bishop as “a tender and beautiful book about identity, grief, and growing up.”

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: STARFISH by Lisa Fipps

Lisa Fipp’s STARFISH is an “incredible novel in verse,” says Heavy Medal Award Committee member Aryssa Damon in her introduction. Join our Mock Newbery discussion of this debut novel.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist – OPHIE’S GHOSTS by Justina Ireland

Heavy Medal Award Committee member Emily Joan Smith Introduces OPHIE’S GHOSTS by Justina Ireland, noting the “vivid settings” and “universal themes” that help to make it a contender in our Heavy Medal Mock Newbery discussions.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD by Matt de la Peña

In MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD, Matt de la Peña’s writing “excels with beautiful imagery, metaphors, and alliteration,” says Heavy Medal Award Committee member Megan Howes. Could this be one of the rare picture books to earn Newbery recognition?

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: THE LAST CUENTISTA by Donna Barba Higuera

THE LAST CUENTISTA is “an incredible novel that underscores the power of storytelling,” says Heavy Medal Award Committee Christy Brennen. Join our discussion of the latest title in our Mock Newbery.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: HARRY VS. THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL by Emily Jenkins

Now up for discussion in our Heavy Medal Mock Newbery: HARRY VERSUS THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL by Emilyl Jenkins, who brings readers into “a classroom with first graders each day, using children’s daily conversations.”

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: THE GENIUS UNDER THE TABLE by Eugene Yelchin

In THE GENIUS UNDER THE TABLE, Eugene Yelchin’s “carefully crafted descriptions, along with his illustrations, paint a vivid picture of a mundane yet harrowing life,” according to Heavy Medal Award Committee member Dawn Dvorak. This unique memoir is now up for discussion as part of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery.

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: THE BEATRYCE PROPHECY by Kate DiCamillo

Our Mock Newbery discussion turns to THE BEATRYCE PROPHECY, in which two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo “weaves a strong moment in history with almost magical moments and stories within stories.” Heavy Medal Award Committee member Aryssa Damron introduces this engaging novel and we invite readers to join in.