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Newbery Medal: Home

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribu



The John Newbery Medal


Given to an American author for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children


About the Medal

The Newbery Medal is named in honor of John Newbery, an 18th century publisher and bookseller who was instrumental in  the publishing and distribution of children's literature.  Before that time, there were no "children's books" as we understand the term today.  Instead children read readers or primers for school and adult books when they were ready.

The Newbery Medal was established in 1921 and the first awards were given out in 1922.  Some years there was not only a winner, but also runners-up.  In 1971 the term "runners-up" was changed to "Honor Books" and all previous runners-up were renamed as Honor Books.  Some years there have been  no honor books and in other years there have been as many as six.