Mock Newbery Discussion Starts Tomorrow!
Our discussion of the fifteen titles on the Heavy Medal Book List (HBML) begins tomorrow! Members of the Heavy Medal Award Committee (HMAC) will introduce one book almost every day (except holidays and Sundays) over the next couple weeks. Here’s the schedule showing when each book discussion begins. The HMAC members will discuss how each book might (or might not) deserve to be considered the most distinguished book of the year, based on the Newbery Terms and Criteria. Readers who are not on the HMAC are welcome to chime in as well. Here’s the schedule of when each book discussion begins. Here’s a bit more about how the discussions will work:
Start with positives: With each new post, we will “make positive comments first.” It’s also helpful to look for the strengths of a book initially, so that discussion doesn’t get immediately jump into complaints and criticism. Committees I’ve been on have followed this practice, which comes from the invaluable CCBC Book Discussion Guidelines. For practical purposes on Heavy Medal, we will stick to positives until either three positive comments have been posted or it’s 1:00 pm EST. Once either of those things happen, comments are open to any and all opinions.
Books are discussed over several days: Although we’ll post one new book almost every day through January 12th, that doesn’t mean discussion ends that first day. It’s fine to jump back to an earlier post and add your opinions several days later. You can keep up on who’s been commenting on which books by checking the “Recent Comments” box on the right side of the page.
Zoom Discussion on January 21st: Shortly after all fifteen books have been discussed online, the HMAC will select the top five contenders, based on those discussions. The final five will be announced on Heavy Medal on January 14th or 15th. Then the HMAC will look even closer at those titles, discuss them live, and select the Mock Newbery winner. Zoom registrants will also vote in a separate ballot. Register now (if you haven’t already) for the free Zoom event on SLJ.com.
Reader’s Poll: While the Zoom ballot will be limited to five titles, with ballots cast by the HMAC, all Heavy Medal reader’s are invited to cast votes in the Reader’s Poll, which will open on or around January 19th. That poll will include all 15 titles on our Heavy Medal Book List.
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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