How are we doing? What are we missing?
It’s mid-September and Heavy Medal suggestions are officially closed. But don’t worry we still have nominations and unlike my tenure on the committee, we are allowed to nominate un-suggested (not a word, I know) books. Especially because this is the time of year that I like to freak out about missing something.
59 books have been suggested so far and it’s no surprise that most titles are middle grade. Here’s a look at Heavy Medal suggestions by the numbers and my Heavy Medal bookshelf at the moment.
If my counting is off (which it probably is), I apologize- but I am not editing these pi graphs in Microsoft Word ever again.
My observations are:
- Surprise, surprise a ton of middle grade realistic, historical fiction and fantasy. Same story (but actual really well-done stories), different year.
- Where’s my sports books at? Seriously. Do any exist this year?
- Is historical fiction/ magical realism a new sub genre? I guess I’m here for it.
- Where are the easy readers??!
What did we miss?
I did a very casual look at other Mock Newbery sites, AKA Goodreads, Northport-East Northport PL, Osaga Beach Library, and Rhode Island OLIS and there’s actually many many titles not on our suggestion list but I will highlight only a few:
- WHILE I WAS AWAY- By Waka T. Brown Number one on the Goodreads Mock Newbery rating list.
- GENIUS UNDER THE TABLE: GROWING UP BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN By Eugene Yelchin (past Newbery Honor Winner) On multiple lists.
- RESCUE By Jennifer Nielsen On multiple lists.
I will finish with the classification break down because I know someone (cough Steven cough) will ask for it. Think something is actually a different category? Put it in the comments. I am definitely not the queen of the Mock Newberies (though that does sound like a fun title). And just saying, I’m really not sure how to categorize the thriller/ ghost story/ horror genre. So thriller it is! Also what is the line between fantasy and magical realism? Great question.
|STARFISH (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Verse)||Fipps|
|RED, WHITE, AND WHOLE (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||LaRocca|
|AMBER AND CLAY (Upper Middle Grade, Fantasy, Verse, Historical Fiction)||Schlitz|
|TOO BRIGHT TO SEE (Middle Grade, Thriller, Realistic Fiction)||Lukoff|
|OPHIE’S GHOSTS (Middle Grade, Thriller, Historical Fiction)||Ireland|
|LION OF MARS (Middle grade, Science Fiction)||Holm|
|MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF AIDAN S. (Middle Grade, Fantasy)||Levithan|
|SHAPE OF THUNDER (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Warga|
|DA VINCI’S CAT (Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical Fiction)||Murdock|
|MAYBE MARISOL RAINEY (Chapter Book, Realistic Fiction)||Kelly|
|DEAD WEDNESDAY (Middle Grade, Thriller)||Spinelli|
|GONE TO THE WOODS (Middle Grade, Nonfiction, Memoir)||Paulsen|
|JUST LIKE THAT (Middle Grade, Historical Fiction)||Schmidt|
|SEA IN WINTER (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Day|
|UNSPEAKABLE (Non fiction, picture book)||Weatherford|
|CHANCE TO FLY (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Stroker|
|ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Sloan|
|MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD (Picture Book)||de la Pena|
|ONE JAR OF MAGIC (Middle grade, Fantasy)||Haydu|
|PITY PARTY (Middle Grade, realistic fiction)||Lane|
|PLACE TO HANG THE MOON (Middle Grade, Historical Fiction)||Albus|
|RACONTEUR’S COMMONPLACE BOOK (Middle grade, fantasy)||Milford|
|ROOT MAGIC (Middle grade, Fantasy)||Royce|
|SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA (Middle Grade, Fantasy)||Smith|
|SUNSHINE (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Bauer|
|ALONE (Middle Grade, Adventure)||Freeman|
|AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS (Middle Grade, Fantasy)||Alston|
|ANCESTOR APPROVED (Middle Grade, Short Stories, Realistic Fiction)||Smith|
|BILLY MILLER MAKES A WISH (Middle grade, realistic fiction, humor)||Henkes|
|FINDING JUNIE KIM (Middle grade, realistic fiction, historical fiction)||Oh|
|GROUND ZERO (Middle Grade, Historical Fiction)||Gratz|
|365 TO ALASKA (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Carr|
|ALMOST THERE AND ALMOST NOT (Middle Grade, Fantasy)||Urban|
|BEING CLEM (Middle Grade, Historical Fiction)||Cline-Ransome|
|BOY WHO FAILED SHOW AND TELL (Middle Grade, Nonfiction, Biography)||Sonnenblick|
|CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS (Middle Grade, Fantasy)||Rivera|
|DELICATES (Graphic Novel, Thriller)||Thumler|
|FABULOUS ZEB WATSON! (Middle grade, realistic fiction)||Sylvester|
|HARRY VS. THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF SCHOOL (Middle Grade, Historical Fiction)||Jenkins|
|HOLLOW CHEST (Middle Grade, Historical Fiction)||Sandstrom|
|IT DOESN’T TAKE A GENIUS (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Rhuday-Perkovich|
|LEGACY: WOMEN POETS OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE (Upper Middle Grade, Verse)||Grimes|
|LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO (Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism)||Khor|
|MR. SUMMERLING’S SECRET CODE (Chapter book, mystery)||Butler|
|PEACEMAKER (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Magical Realism)||Bruchac|
|PIECE BY PIECE (Nonfiction)||Huq|
|RACE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE EARTH (Nonfiction)||Barrone|
|ROCK FROM THE SKY (Picture Book)||Klassen|
|SAVING AMERICAN BEACH (Nonfiction)||King|
|SEVENTH RAVEN (YA, verse, fantasy)||Elliott|
|SITTING AT ST. JAMES (YA/ Historical Fiction)||Williams-Garcia|
|TOOTH FAIRY DAY CELEBRATION (Chapter book, Fantasy)||Ditto|
|TWENTY-ONE STEPS (Nonfiction)||Gottesfeld|
|UNPLUGGED (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Humor)||Korman|
|UNSETTLED (Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction)||Faruqi|
|WATERCRESS (Picture Book)||Wang|
|WE ARE ALL UNDER ONE WIDE SKY (Picture Book)||Wiles|
|WE BECAME JAGUARS (Picture Book)||Eggers|
|YEAR I FLEW AWAY (Historical Fiction, Magical Realism)||Arnold|
When it’s all said and done- Here are some fun statistics. What gaps are in our list and how can we rectify that? Let us know!
About Emily Mroczek-Bayci
Emily Mroczek (Bayci) is a freelance children’s librarian in the Chicago suburbs. She served on the 2019 Newbery committee. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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