Newbery Home Stretch: Pre-Announcement Predictions!
Newbery season is in its final week! On Heavy Medal, we’ll continue discussion of the Heavy Medal Finalists through Wednesday. Then the Heavy Medal Award Committee will submit ballots and the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Winner will be announced towards the end of the week. Heavy Medal readers will also have a chance to vote for your top choices from our 18 finalists in a separate general poll.
Meanwhile, the real Newbery Committee meets this Friday and Saturday, and, depending on how their ballots go, possibly past midnight and into Sunday morning. Once their vote is final, they will keep absolutely silent about the results, which will not be announced until Monday morning. The only people who learn the result outside the committee of 15 are selected ALA staff, who need to produce the press packet and slide show for the big Monday morning announcement. During my year as Chair, I vividly remember walking several blocks from my hotel on Sunday to the ALA office carrying a copy of each of the honored books in a nondescript bag, knowing that the seals we had placed on those four books were about to have huge impacts on the lives of their creators and on countless readers once the secret was revealed. And only the 15 of us knew…at least for a while.
The winning authors are notified early Monday morning. Here’s a video of last year’s committee notifying Erin Entrada Kelly that she won the 2018 Newbery Medal. The public announcement of the Youth Media Awards begins at 8:00 am PST. Many ALA awards are announced at this time, in a convention center filled with thousands of people. You can watch the ceremonies live via webcast. I haven’t been since the announcement of my last committee (The One and Only Ivan in 2013), so I’m excited to be attending this year. The Newbery is typically the last award announced.
With eight days to go, it’s a good time for speculation. Betsy Bird’s annual predictions, which she updates quarterly, are always fun. She recently revealed her final predictions for Newbery and Caldecott on Fuse #8. Our Heavy Medal Mock Election is all about what we think should win. But what do you think will win?
I’ll start: My prediction (and keep in mind, I’m almost always wrong) is SWEEP: history, mythology, social issues, and a really engaging protagonist. Not quite at the top of my personal list, but I would have no problem an all with that choice. Please share your own predictions in the comments below:
Filed under: Process
About Steven Engelfried
Steven Engelfried was the Library Services Manager at the Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon until he retired in 2022 after 35 years as a full-time librarian. He served on the 2010 Newbery committee, chaired the 2013 Newbery Committee, and also served on the 2002 Caldecott committee. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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