The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the most outstanding American book for children. The award has been given since 1922. Together with the Caldecott Medal, it is considered the most prestigious award for children's literature in the United States. It is named for John Newbery, an 18th century publisher of juvenile books.
The Newbery Medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan in 1921. There are only two books that recieved the Newberry Medal that are now are out of print.
The Newbery Medal is not to be confused with the Newbery Honor citation, which is conferred annually to worthy runners-up.
The inscription on the Newbery Medal still reads "Children's Librarians' Section," although the section has changed its name four times and its membership now includes both school and public library children's librarians in contrast to the years 1922-58, when the section, under three different names, included only public library children's librarians.
The NewberyAward thus became the first children's book award in the world. Its terms, as well as its long history, continue to make it the best known and most discussed children's book award in this country.
Such books were referred to as Newbery or Caldecott "runners-up." In 1971 the term "runners-up" was changed to "honor books." The new terminology was made retroactive so that all former runners-up are now referred to as Newbery or Caldecott Honor Books.
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