is a series of posts focused on better understanding books, trends in writing, and the labels associated with these.
As some of you might have noticed, I read quite a bit of MG/YA literature. Why? I take part in two book clubs which tend to lean more YA/MG (one is exclusively for YA/MG books), but also I find that a lot of modern YA/MG books are addicting and brilliant. For the last few years, I’ve really taken an interest in better understanding why these books appeal to me. This has led me to The Great Newbery Quest!
The Newbery Medal was established in 1921 at the American Library Association annual conference. Publisher’s Weekly editor Frederick Melcher proposed the idea that the ALA honor the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. Named for John Newbery, a 18th-century children’s book publisher, the award was enthusiastically supported by the ALA and sponsored by Melcher. The goal if this award is to encourage quality, creative children’s books and to prove to the world that children’s book deserves recognition and praise. It became the first children’s book award in the world.
While the selection process for the award has changed over the years, all winners must be selected from books written by a United States citizen or resident and must be published first or simultaneously in the United States in English during the preceding year. The runners-up also gain the distinguished title of Newbery Honor, though this only was introduced in 1971. All former runners-up were retroactively titled and stamped with the Newbery Honor seal.
The Newbery Medal has featured books from all genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, mystery, fantasy. In fact, there are even quite a few Newbery winners which come from mid-series books! The Newbery Medal also inspired the Caldecott Award for “the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published in the United States.”
I adore reading Newbery Medal and Honor books. Some of my favorite books of all time come from the list of winners. And, when I get in a book slump, I often find myself scanning the Newbery Medal winners to find a book to revive me. This led me to The Great Newbery Quest!
Read all the Newbery Medal winners by the time the 100th Newbery Medal is awarded in January 2022.
If you want to follow along on my journey, you can follow my progress on my Great Newbery Quest reading challenge page. I will also be posting reviews of these books as I go (though, honestly, probably not for all the books!) and cross-linking them to my challenge page.
I am super excited to be embarking on this journey. Well, honestly, I started working on it about 12 months ago. But so many of my blogger friends have told me I should write about it, I finally picked up my lappy and did so. It’s going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to share all these stories with you!
What do you think?
- Are you familiar with the Newbery Medal?
- What is your favorite Newbery Medal winner? Favorite Newbery Honor Award?
- Do you think I can get all 100 books read before January 2022? Are you interested in joining me?
- For my international friends: Do you have an equivalent award in your country?