Established in 1921 and named for eighteenth-century bookseller John Newbery, the Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association. Winners are chosen by committee and must meet certain criteria. The book must be written for children (defined by ALA as people fourteen years-old and younger) and must be written in English by an American author and published in the United States. The award is given to books published the previous year. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are all eligible. The committee does not consider the book’s popularity, only its artistic merit.
ALA announced its winners on February 2. The Newbery went to Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover, a novel in verse about twin basketball stars who must deal with a crisis in their family. Cece Bell’s El Deafo and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming both took home Newbery Honors. Past Newbery winners include Susan Cooper’s The Grey King (1976), which is also the fourth book in Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series, Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons (1995), and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (2009). A full list of Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor winners can be found on the ALA website.
The American Library Association awards a variety of prizes to distinguished media for children and young adults. It announced the rest of its winners on February 2, including the winners of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished picture book, the Michael L. Printz Award for excellent young adult literature, and the Coretta Scott King Awards for African American authors and illustrators of outstanding children’s and young adult literature. The Caldecott Medal went to The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, written and illustrated by Dan Santat. The Printz was awarded to Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun. Jacqueline Woodson picked up the Coretta Scott King Author Award along with her Newbery Honor for Brown Girl Dreaming, and Christopher Myers won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Firebird, which was written by Misty Copeland.
All of these books can either be borrowed at the Newton Falls Public Library or ordered through CLEVNET, so patrons of all ages are welcome to come in and enjoy some award-winning books.