It’s time for the fourth round of Suggestions on Heavy Medal. Meanwhile, the real Newbery Committee will be meeting soon at the Annual Conference in Washington, DC. The group typically engages in “practice” discussions of books from the first half of the year, using a list established by the Committee Chair. These discussions are informal and meant to give members practice with the group discussion format and with applying Newbery Criteria. But “all formal discussion leading to choice of award books takes place at Midwinter” [Newbery Award Committee Manual]. In other words, the discussions held in June carry no weight when the actual selection takes place in January, 2020. Here on Heavy Medal, though, we won’t be discussing, just suggesting, until September. Here’s a reminder of our guidelines for Suggestions:
– Suggest books that might have a chance to contend for the Newbery. A Suggestion means: “this could be a contender, maybe…”, but doesn’t have to mean: “This is definitely a top Newbery possibility.”
– Please only suggest eligible books. The Newbery Terms and Criteria cover this. If you’re not sure if a title’s eligible, suggest it anyway and we can confirm or deny later.
– We just need title and author for Suggestions. No descriptions or justifications….that’s what will start up in September.
– Suggest up to 5 titles per month. Less than 5 is fine. The real Committee typically does not limit Suggestions, but there’s only 15 members. We’ll limit so that our list doesn’t get too long.
– Suggest only books that you’ve read. Or listened to…audiobooks are okay for Suggestions.
– Suggest books that have been officially published. If you read a pre-publication copy, you’ll need to wait until its publication date before putting it forward as a Suggestion.
– If someone’s already suggested a book that you think is worthy, go ahead and include it. We’ll post an update every month listing titles and numbers of Suggestions. Those rankings aren’t necessarily that meaningful…they definitely favor early-year publications, for one thing. But it can be helpful to see what’s on the radar of multiple readers.
– You’ll have several days to submit Suggestions…we’ll give a deadline each month.
If you have questions about the process, just ask below. And if you have any Suggestions to start us off, post below (title and author only, remember). We’ll take suggestions through the end of the day on Wednesday, June 12th.
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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