Here at “From the Mixed-Up Files . . . of Middle-grade Authors”, we’d be very remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the award excitement and buzz going on in children’s literature this month!
For years, I’ve eagerly anticipated Award Month at the ALA Mid-Winter conference when librarians from around the country as members of ALSC (American Library Services for Children) get together to celebrate – both in person and virtually. I still remember the first year there was a live feed from the VERY ROOM THE ANNOUNCEMENTS WERE MADE! What excitement! The names of the winning books! Cheers erupting from the crowd! The reports of early morning calls to the shell-shocked winners and their giddy, teary voices; the thrill of those librarians bestowing their love on the winners they chose.
I’ve always loved hearing The Call stories and then reading the acceptance speeches given at the summer ALA conference (June 23-28 in New Orleans) and I have all fingers and toes crossed to attend this June and rub shoulders with famous authors and librarians, especially since my recent books take place in Louisiana. Hey, I’ll *just happen* to be there filming my book trailer for Circle of Secrets (October, Scholastic)!
But I digress . . .
Since this site is ALL ABOUT MIDDLE-GRADE BOOKS, we give you the list of the Newbery winners for 2011!
About the John Newbery Medal
The Newbery Medal 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 contribution to American literature for children.
In 1921 Frederic G.Melcher had the Newbery Medal designed by René Paul Chambellan. The bronze medal has the winner’s name and the date engraved on the back. The American Library Association Executive Board in 1922 delegated to the Children’s Librarians’ Section the responsibility for selecting the book to receive the Newbery Medal.
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. Today the Medal is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA.
How the Newbery Medal Came to Be
The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. On June 22, 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed the award to the American Library Association meeting of the Children’s Librarians’ Section and suggested that it be named for the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the children’s librarians, and Melcher’s official proposal was approved by the ALA Executive Board in 1922. In Melcher’s formal agreement with the board, the purpose of the Newbery Medal was stated as follows: “To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children’s reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field.”
The Newbery Award 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.
From the beginning of the awarding of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, committees could, and usually did, cite other books as worthy of attention. 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.
|Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House Inc.
For a full list of all the Award winners from ALA=American Library Association, please go here.
And if your favorite book of 2010 did not win, or the book you personally wrote, re-wrote for years, finally launched, but didn’t win, I leave you with a wonderful quote by one of my all-time favorite writers.
E. L. Konigsburg: “Affection for a book is its best award, and books that earn that award arrive from the hearts and minds of writers, not juries.”
We’d love to discuss in the comments, any stories about the winning books as well as your favorite book from 2010!