“Heavy Medal” Goes Live! Join the Mock Newbery Committee Via Zoom.

Ever wonder about the closed-door workings of the Newbery committee? Now's your chance. Join the mock Newbery committee of “Heavy Medal” on January 22 and weigh in on the big decision.

The inner workings of the committee that decides the annual winner of the Newbery Medal—always top secret—remain an ongoing subject of speculation in the children’s literature world.

Just what goes on behind those closed doors?

Well, you’ll have a chance to find out as the mock Newbery committee formed under the auspices of the SLJ blog “Heavy Medal” will host its consideration of five top books on Zoom. It all takes place on Friday, January 22, from 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST. Registration for the event is free and open to all.

Attendees are welcome to join in the debate, ask questions of the committee, and cast your own vote in this year’s mock Newbery, hosted by “Heavy Medal,” blogger Steven Engelfried.

The proceedings will follow the practice of the real Newbery committee, according to Engelfried. And he should know. The library services manager at Wilsonville Public Library in Oregon, Engelfried served on the 2010 Newbery committee and chaired the 2013 Newbery committee.

“We’ll continue our discussions of the 15 titles on the Heavy Medal book list through January 14,” reads the blog post. “On January 15-16 we’ll announce the five finalists, selected by the Heavy Medal Award Committee (HMAC).” The Zoom discussion will culminate in live balloting to name the winning book, which receives the Mock Newbery Medal.

Sign up on the registration page.


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Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

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