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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

The Funniest, Saddest, and Most Unusual Book of the Year? EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE and its prospects for the Newbery Medal

EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE is “a beautiful testament to the power of memory and the stories we choose to tell,” writes Guest Blogger Amanda Bishop. Daniel Nayeri tells this (mostly) true story of his life as a refugee with a unique and highly effective style that could earn serious Newbery Medal consideration.

Is Ryan Hart a Ramona Quimby for the 2020’s? WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE enters the Mock Newbery discussion

In WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE, Renee Watson “has created a world for young readers that feels both fresh and familiar,” according to Guest Blogger Abbie Digel. Ms. Watson won a Newbery Honor three years ago with a book about a high school student; will she match that achievement with this novel about 4th grader Ryan Clark?

Hero, Celebrity, and Nazi Supporter: The Newbery Medal Prospects of a Lindbergh Biography

Guest Blogger Olivia Tompkins describes Candace Fleming’s latest biography as “a slow descent into the darkness of Lindbergh’s legacy.” The skilled writing and the insightful perspectives about a fascinating historical figure could lift THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH into Newbery Medal contention.

A Heroine’s Journey Home: Squirrels, a fox, and a broken family enter the Newbery Medal conversation

“A GAME OF FOX & SQUIRRELS explores the journey of a heroine, one who must learn the true meaning of the word home.” Guest Blogger Meredith Leigh Burton introduces Jenn Reese’s unique novel into our Mock Newbery discussion of the year’s most distinguished children’s books.

Show Me a…Newbery Medal? A unique #ownvoices historical novel might have a chance to win

SHOW ME A SIGN “offers offers a beautiful #ownvoice examination of the Deaf community, discussion over the controversy of Native American land disputes, and a touching picture of a young girl finding her place in the world,” writes Guest Blogger Alissa. Will this historical novel set in 1805 emerge as a possible choice for the 2021 Newbery Medal?

A Different Kind of Pioneer Story: Racism and Empathy in PRAIRIE LOTUS

In Linda Sue Park’s latest novel, set in the 1880s Dakota Territory, “characters exhibit empathy instead of contempt for the American Indians who were the original pioneers.” Guest Blogger Michelle introduces the Newbery-worthy merits of PRAIRIE LOTUS, an “excellently crafted” children’s book.

First Time a Charm?: A debut novel that could be a Newbery contender

A MANY FEATHERED THING “is a spot-on depiction of the utter middle-ness of adolescence.” Guest Blogger Sara Beth explains why even though Lisa Gerlits’ book is a “debut novel from an unknown author,” it just might have a chance at a Newbery Award.

A Graphic Novel Repeat? Could SNAPDRAGON become the second consecutive Newbery winner in this popular format?

The title character in Kate Leyh’s SNAPDRAGON is “smart, strong, brash, independent, and aware of her outsider status: it gets to her, but she refuses to be someone she’s not, and that takes guts.” Guest blogger Aud explores the distinguished qualities of this engaging graphic novel, which could be a contender for the 2021 Newbery Medal.

Guest Blogger Post: KENT STATE

In his introduction to KENT STATE, Guest Blogger Leonard writes: “the book is beautiful. It is powerful. It directly and continually involves the reader from the very first line.” Join the Mock-Newbery discussion of Deborah Wiles’ innovative book.


Guest blogger Lynette notes that In KING AND THE DRAGONFLIES, “Grief can…reside in the
conversations that we have and the words, both said and unsaid, the dead leave behind…” Join our Mock Newbery discussion of Kacen Callender’s powerful novel.