Looking Ahead to the Heavy Medal Award Committee, Final Book List, and Mock Winner
Every year on Heavy Medal we finish up the Newbery season with multiple mock votes for the Heavy Medal Newbery Winner (because that’s the fun of mocks).
One is an online poll that is open to everyone, the other is during our live Zoom event for all viewers. The third and final vote is that of the Heavy Medal Award Committee, our best attempt to mirror the work of the real Newbery Committee.
In mid-December we will form a volunteer committee of 10-15 committed readers: the Heavy Medal Award Committee (HMAC). This group commits to reading every book on our Heavy Medal Book List (HMBL), which will be set in early December. Then participate in online discussions of each title, culminating in a final live discussion on Zoom where the winning title is selected. Although we won’t form the HMAC for another six weeks or so, now’s a good time to consider if you might be interested. Here’s a rough timeline of the HMAC’s process.
November Nominations: Readers will have the chance to nominate two more top titles during the first week of November. This will be round two of three. October nomination results are here.
The Early Six: Ultimately, we’ll put together a list of 12-15 titles for our Heavy Medal Book List (see below). Before that, we’ll choose six titles that will definitely be on that list. That way, you can get started early on reading if you’re planning to participate in our Mock Newbery.
December Nominations: Last chance for readers to nominate two more Newbery-worth books from 2022.
Early December: The Rest of the HMBL
Nine more titles will be added to complete the list of 15 finalists. This will happen right after our third and final round of nominations. The nominations list will impact the choices, and we’ll probably do a final poll, but we’ll also consider variety in formats, styles, length, age level, etc. in order to have a nicely balanced list.
Early-Mid December: Forming the HMAC
Here’s when we make the official call for volunteers to take part in the HMAC. We hope for a list of 10-15 members with a mix of past HMAC participants, first-timers, and even past Newbery committee members.
Late December: Book Discussion Starts
We’ll hold online discussions of about one book per day over 2-3 weeks, covering all 15 titles on the HMBL. We’ll expect heavy participation from the HMAC members, but other readers are welcome to join in as well.
Mid-January: Zoom Discussion and Ballot
HMAC members will take part in a live Zoom event. Based on the online discussions, we’ll narrow down the HMBL from 15 to about 6 of the strongest contenders. Zoom participants will re-discuss each title, then cast ballots, following real Committee procedures, to select a Medal and Honor books. Viewers will take part with live polls. We’ll announce the date for the Zoom event and provide a link to registration later in the fall.
Mid-January: Reader’s Poll
All Heavy Medal readers will be invited to cast votes on our online poll, which will also end with a Medal and Honor books. Sometimes these match the HMAC choices…sometimes they don’t.
January 22nd: Real Newbery Announcement
The winner of the Newbery Medal, along with many other ALA-sponsored awards, will be announced on the morning of January 22nd in Baltimore, MD as part of LibLearnX (formerly ALA’s Midwinter Meeting). We’ll post the link to the free live webcast of this event once it’s available.This is what they call “the most exciting powerpoint of the year!” And yes, Steven and I will post our live reactions.
For those involved in past years, the process is basically the same (why mess with a good system) and we’re always welcoming new participants. And of course, we’ll have lots of our regular posts in the meantime. Any questions, just ask!
Filed under: Heavy Medal Mock
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 email@example.com.
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