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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
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Realistic Historical Fiction, or Just Another Made Up Genre

Realistic historical fiction: novels that read like present day with relatable and lovable characters but are actually set in the past. And these characters are what push RED, WHITE, AND WHOLE and FINDING CLEM into the Newbery possible category.

Flashback Friday: Never Won a Newbery

As part of our monthly look at the Newbery’s 100th Anniversary, we’re asking readers to weigh in on the books and authors that have never been awarded the Newbery Medal. Cast your vote in three polls, then let us know why you believe your choices might have deserved Newbery recognition.

Reader-Character-Author Connections: Autiobiographical Possibilities for the Newbery Medal

Three excellent authors revisit events from their own childhoods, which include the complications of 8th grade in the 1980s, a young artist’s life in the USSR, and a combustible case of sibling rivalry. All three books could be worthy additions to this year’s Mock Newbery discussion.

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.

October Nomination Results

36 Heavy Medal readers nominated a total of 36 titles for the Mock Newbery in October. Red, White and Whole leads the way, closely followed by Amber and Clay.

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…

Picture Book Palooza

In recent years, picture books received Newbery action. Do any 2021 titles have what it takes to win the medal?

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.