History, Presented By, Nominees

Newbery Medal

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a department of the American Library Affiliation (ALA), confers the “John Newbery Medal“, now and then known as the “Newbery”, to the creator of “the foremost surprising contributions to American writing for children.” The Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal are respected as the two most noteworthy respects in American children’s writing. The writers of the chosen books are interviewed on television, they are publicly available in bookstores and libraries, and master’s theses and doctorate dissertations are produced about them. The recipient of the Newbery is chosen by a fifteen-person committee at the ALA’s Midwinter Conference. The award is named for John Newbery, an 18th-century English distributor of children’s books. The Newbery was the world’s first children’s book award when it was proposed by Frederic G. Melcher in 1921. The winning author will get the actual bronze medal, which Rene Paul Chambellan created, at the upcoming ALA annual conference. The selection committee’s composition has undergone a number of changes since the organization’s inception, although the physical medal has not changed.

In addition to the Newbery Medal, the committee confers a changeable number of citations, known as Newbery Honors or Newbery Honor Books (up to 1971, these books were referred to as runners-up), on outstanding nominees. There have been as low as zero and as numerous as eight victors, but since 1938, there have only ever been one to five Respects or runners-up. A book must have been written by a citizen or resident of the United States and published in English first or simultaneously in the United States during the year prior to being eligible.

This award was presented by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.


At the American Library Association’s (ALA) yearly session on June 22, 1921, the Newbery Medal was made. Children’s librarians in participation warmly embraced the concept, which was put out by Distributers Weekly editor Frederic G. Melcher, and the ALA Official Board later acknowledged it. The ALA was mindful of overseeing the award from the start, although Melcher contributed cash to cover the cost of the medal’s creation and plan. Taking into consideration works discharged in 1921, the Newbery Medal was built in 1922. Melcher and the ALA Board have chosen to make the award, according to The Newbery and Caldecott Awards, for a number of reasons that included children’s custodians. They aimed to promote imaginative, high-quality books for children and show the general audience that such works are deserving of respect. An author may only win a second Newbery if the decision was a majority, as the committee decided in 1932 that it was essential to support emerging authors. The constraint was in impact until 1958. In 1960, Joseph Krumgold became the primary victor of the second Newbery. Another adjustment was made in 1963 to make it clear that co-authors of a work might get the award. In the 1970s and 1980s, numerous updates and explanations were made.


The physical medal was made by Rene Paul Chambellan and highlights the words “For the foremost surprising contribution to American writing for children” on one side and a picture of a creator conveying his or her creation, a book to a boy, and a young lady to study on the other. Despite the supporting committee changing personalities four times and currently comprising both school and open custodians, the bronze medal still goes by the name “Children’s Librarians’ Segment,” the initial group in charge of awarding the medal. Each medal winner receives a unique one with their name inscribed on it. The award is right now managed by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).


The original Newbery was determined by votes cast by a jury of officers from the Children’s Librarian Section, as Barbara Elleman described in The Newbery and Caldecott Awards. Any librarian was able to nominate a book, and the jury then voted for their best. The non-fiction history book The Story of Mankind by Hendrik van Loon took first put with 163 votes out of 212. In 1924, the procedure was altered, and it was determined that the winner would be chosen by a special award committee as opposed to by general voting.

The Caldecott Award, given to “the artist of the foremost extraordinary American picture book for children distributed within the United States,” was included by the American Library Association in 1937. The Medal and Honor books were chosen for both awards that year by a grant committee. The regulations were altered in 1978, and two committees comprised of fifteen individuals each were established, one for each award. Every year, a brand-new committee is established, consisting of “eight elected, six appointed, and one appointed Chair.”

Selection process

Individuals on the committee are chosen to represent a extend of libraries, teachers, and book commentators. They studied the books freely before meeting twice a year to have private talks. Any book that meets the necessities is qualified; it requires not having received a nomination. The Newbery Award is given to the “creator of the foremost recognized commitment to American children’s literature distributed within the United States in English during the preceding year” by an American publisher. The American Library Association’s Midwinter Assembly, which takes put in January or February, is where the Newbery Award victors are presented. A subset of the runners-up on the ultimate poll, either the best runners-up on that vote or the top runners-up on a partitioned vote that excludes the champ, must include the Honor Books. Victors are contacted by phone just before the grant is declared, and the committee votes in mystery. K. T. Horning of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the College of Wisconsin-Madison proposed to ALSC in 2015 that past discussions of the Newbery and Caldecott awards be made open in arrange to assist history specialists and scholastics. Both past committee individuals and famous authors backed and restricted this proposal.