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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Finalist: FIGHTING WORDS by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s FIGHTING WORDS introduces two sisters dealing with the aftermath of abuse. Join the Mock Newbery discussion of this powerful novel.

Newbery-ish: Do expectations limit the scope of a search for the most distinguished children’s book?

What do we think of when we think of a “Newbery book?” Do we jump to the most common and familiar qualities of past award winners? Or can we truly and fairly consider any form, style, content and age range, as long as they result in a truly distinguished children’s book?

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.

October Nominations Total

Heavy Medal readers have selected three titles to put forward as nominations in our Mock Newbery process. Check out the list of 34 of the best children’s books of 2020.


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.

Family Dynamics, New Friendships, and Political Intrigue: Distinguished Plots

In three excellent children’s book from this year, new friends solve a mystery from the past, a boy tries to find his place within his family, and a king’s attendant decides the fate of an empire. Are any of these creative plots worthy of consideration for the 2021 Newbery Medal?

NBA Longlist Announced

Ten intriguing books have been named on the National Book Award’s Longlist of Young People’s Literature. Could some of them also be contenders for the Newbery Medal?

It’s Time to Nominate!

Heavy Medal readers are invited to nominate three titles for consideration in our Mock Newbery process. This is the first of three monthly nominating periods between now and December.

Guest Blogger Post: WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER

Guest Blogger Cheryl introduces WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER, stating that the book leads readers to feel “like we were grabbing points of light and hope in a world of darkness.” Join our discussion of Tae Keller’s excellent novel.

Fencing, Hoops, and a Family Wedding: Distinguished Writing Styles

Authors Jewell Parker Rhodes, Rebecca Stead, and Gene Luen Yang use distinctly different writing techniques in their recently published Newbery-eligible titles. Join our discussion of how excellence in the area of “appropriateness of style” can contribute to a distinguished children’s book.