Mock Newbery Kick-Off: Share your early suggestions for the 2023 Newbery Medal
We’re now officially in the beginning of the second century of the Newbery Award. On Heavy Medal, we’ll do our best to identify some of the best books of 2022. We’ll discuss many of these titles in the fall, then hold a couple of Mock Elections in January 2023, just before the real Newbery winners are announced.
To start things off, we’ll build our list of “suggestions.” Every month between now and September we will invite readers to submit title of books that they feel should be considered during our Mock Newbery year. The real Newbery Committee does something similar to identify books that all members should read during the year. Their suggestion lists are completely confidential, so we never know how our Mock lists compare to the real thing. Here are the guidelines we use for suggestions on Heavy Medal:
- “Suggestions” are books that could be possible Newbery contenders. They don’t have to be clear front-runners, but should have enough strengths to merit consideration.
- Suggestions must be eligible for the 2023 Newbery Medal. Eligibility is addressed in the Newbery Terms and Criteria. If you’re not sure if a book is eligible, go ahead and include it and we can take it off if it becomes clear that it doesn’t meet the qualifications.
- Suggest up to 5 titles per month. The real Committee typically does not limit suggestions, but we do this to keep our list at a manageable length.
- Just include title and author with your suggestions.
- Only submit books you have read. A book may have a lot of buzz, or maybe kids, reviews, or colleagues have praised it, but you cannot submit it as a suggestion until you read it on your own.
- Limit suggestions to books that are already published. If you read an advance copy, just hold off until the month of it’s publication date. That keeps Heavy Medal readers on the same time line to some degree.
- You can suggest books that are already on the list. It’s interesting to see which books get multiple nominations as we share the cumulated results every month. That list is not necessarily an indicator of true Newbery favorites, though, since early-year publications tend to lead the suggestion list.
If you have any questions about our suggestion process, just ask below. If you’re ready with suggestions, just post them below (title and author only). We’ll accept suggestions through the end of the day on Saturday, March 12th, then post the results on the following Monday.
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 email@example.com.
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