The official name is the John Newbery Medal. It is an award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
John Newbery was an 18th cenutury English publisher of children's books.
Ten Facts about the Newbery Award:
- First children's book award in the world.
- 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed award to ALA meeting of the Children's Librarians' Section, suggesting it should be named after the 18th century bookseller.
- Medal designed by Rene Paul Chambellan and depicts author giving his book to a boy and girl.
- The bronze medal has the winner's name and date engraved on the back.
- Inscription on medal reads "Children's Librarians' Section" though the section has changed its names four times and now includes both school and public library children's librarians starting in the year 1959.
- 1922, first award given to The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon.
- 1971, Newbery Honors are officially given out to worthy runners-up and are given retroactively to books dating back to 1922 when the award was first given out.
- Knee Knock Rise by Natalie Babbitt, Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Louis Engdahl, and Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell are the first books to be named Newbery Honors not retroactively.
- 2013 winner The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
- 2013 Newbery Honors: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin, and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.
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