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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

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…

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?

Magical Realism/ Historical Fiction: The New IT GENRE

It seems like historical fiction/ magical realism is a big sub genre this year. Today we look at THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO, THE YEAR I FLEW AWAY and ALMOST THERE AND ALMOST NOT.

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.

How are we doing? What are we missing?

59 books have been suggested so far and it’s no surprise that most titles are middle grade. Here we take a look at Heavy Medal suggestions by the numbers.

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.

Bored in the woods, raconteur’s something something, just like sadness? Books I didn’t finish

In acceptance that one cannot read every book published in 2021, here are a few titles Emily put down. Can you convince her to revisit any?