This past fall, the Columbia Public Library hosted its sixth season of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Awards program. Youth in grades 4-8 were invited to join us twice per month to discuss possible Newbery Medal contenders for 2018. At these interactive sessions, we discussed six Newbery contender books, and participants were able to defend the book that they felt deserved the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award.
We read the following books:
- “Hello, Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly
- “Refugee” by Alan Gratz
- “Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d” by Mary Losure
- “The Shadow Cipher (York, #1)” by Laura Ruby
- “Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate
- “Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Our group looked at criteria similar to those used by the Newbery Medal selection committee when considering top book selections.
- Was the book well organized?
- Did it have a clear beginning, middle and end?
- Is the book well rounded?
- Are the characters well described? Are they 3D or flat?
- Are you able to imagine what they look like?
- Is the style of writing consistent throughout the book?
And the winner for the 2018 Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award is “Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan!
“Refugee” by by Alan Gratz and “Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate were our runners-up. “Hello, Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly, “Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d” by Mary Losure, and “The Shadow Cipher (York, #1)” by Laura Ruby were our 3rd place choices.