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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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Ghostly Appearances in the Newbery Conversation

2021 may be the year of the ghost in children’s literature. Several of the year’s best books prominently feature supernatural elements that are employed in highly original ways that lead to fresh explorations of racism, gender identity, self esteem and other topics that we don’t often play a part in ghost stories…though we might expect them in Newbery Medal contenders.

Nice, But Not For Newbery…or Are They?

In every Newbery year there are a handful of books that I thoroughly enjoy, yet don’t consider award-worthy. It’s possible that some or all of these deserve a closer look…

October Mock Newbery Nominations: Share your top three

It’s time to nominate! Select your top three children’s books of the year and add them to our October nominations list. The nominations list will reveal which books Heavy Medal readers support most strongly as Newbery Medal contenders. We’ll add to the list in November and December, but for now, submit your October three by October 9th.

War and Conflict in Fact and Fiction: FALLOUT and GROUND ZERO

FALLOUT traces the key events of the beginning of the Cold War with a wide cast of historical figures. GROUND ZERO presents two suspenseful fictional stories, one from 9/11/01 and the other in Afghanistan eighteen years later. Both titles have earned a place in our 2022 Mock Newbery discussion. Will either rise to the top?

HARRY, BILLY, and MARISOL: Can these early chapter books contend for the Newbery Medal?

Short chapter books don’t often fare well in the Newbery, but this year might be different. Here are three books for younger readers that may have all of the literary qualities required to emerge as the most distinguished children’s book of the year.

Standing Up to Bullies and Racism: three possible Newbery contenders

Join our Mock Newbery discussion as we look at three middle school novels explore themes of racism and bullying, utilizing a variety of forms including free verse, dual narratives, and an eclectic collection of short stories.

Sokrates, Leonardo, Greek Gods, and a Time-Traveling Cat: Historical Fiction Newbery Contenders

The Mock Newbery discussion begins with two unusual historical fiction novels whose characters include Sokrates, a time-traveling cat, the ghost of a young girl, Renaissance painters, and several Greek gods. Do AMBER AND CLAY and DA VINCI’S CAT have the qualities of true Newbery contenders?

Early Favorites: the Mock Newbery contenders we’re most excited about

As we start our Mock Newbery discussion on Heavy Medal, we have some early favorites we’re keeping an eye on. Let us know what you’re thinking about the top contenders so far.

Heavy Medal 2022 – A Look Ahead to the Mock Newbery season

The Mock Newbery season is here on Heavy Medal. The next few months will be filled with book discussions, nominations, a Mock election, and occasional conversations about the 100 years of the Medal’s history.

Suggestions updated: Heavy Medal’s current list of possible Newbery contenders

Our list of possible Newbery Medal contenders has reached 59 titles through the end of August. In September we’ll begin discussing this year’s best books, ultimately leading to our annual Mock Newbery Election in January.