Heavy Medal 2022 – A Look Ahead to the Mock Newbery season
It’s finally time to start our Mock Newbery discussion on Heavy Medal! We’ve been compiling suggestions through August, but September’s our month to jump in and start evaluating potential Newbery contenders. Here’s a rough schedule of what’s in store on this blog for the next five months:
About Heavy Medal
This is the 14th year of Heavy Medal. The blog was started by Nina Lindsay and Sharon McKellar in 2008. Every year since then, various bloggers and countless readers have engaged in in-depth discussions of the current year’s Newbery contenders. As much as possible, the process follows the process of the real Newbery Committee, though that can never be exactly replicated.
About the Bloggers
This is my fifth year of blogging with Heavy Medal, and I’m very pleased to be joined this year by Emily Mroczek. Emily served on the 2019 Newbery Committee and has participated in the Mock Committee here on Heavy Medal. She’ll introduce herself in a separate post later this week.
We’ll discuss dozens of books on this blog in the next few months. Many will be from our current list of suggestions, but we’ll also be sure to add new titles as we get into the fall. Emily and I will introduce titles in posts (usually three posts per week) and also invite readers to share their favorites. For the most part, we’ll build discussions around the same Newbery Terms and Criteria that the real Committee uses.
Suggestions and Nominations
The real Newbery Committee typically collects “suggestions” from Committee members through the end of the year, and we mirrored that practice on Heavy Medal. Instead of continuing with monthly suggestions, though, we will move on to “nominations,” which also follows real Committee practice. In October, November, and December, we’ll ask readers to put forward their top seven titles of the year. This will help us build our Heavy Medal Mock Newbery list, which will be finalized in December.
Heavy Medal Award Committee & Choosing the Mock Newbery Winner
We’ll form the Heavy Medal Award Committee in December. This consists of volunteers who commit to reading and discussing all of the books on our Mock Newbery List. Members will lead online discussions of the titles, then participate in a live Zoom event in which the HMAC will take one more close look at the finalists and vote for a winner, following the Newbery procedures.
Looking Back at 100 Years
Since this year is the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Newbery Medal, we’ll mix in a few retrospective discussions here on Heavy Medal. Towards the end of each month, we’ll ask for reader responses to a question about Newbery winners (or maybe non-winners) from any years between 1922 and the present.
But for now, we’re looking at this year only. Emily and I will share our early favorites next Monday and look forward to hearing what books are near the top of everyone else’s list so far…
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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