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Explore the Newbery Award!

By Sarah from the Library Center

Do you think you could read 500 or more books in a year? Each year, a group of 15 librarians and teachers are chosen to be part of the Newbery Committee whose job is to determine the most distinguished book written for ages 0-14. These committee members spend their committee year reading and reading some more. The Newbery Committee has a tough job! After all that reading, they can only choose one medal winner! 

The books that win the Newbery often go on to become children’s classics that are read and beloved by generations. They are shared in libraries, classrooms and homes around the world. In addition to the medal winner, the committee may also choose to have honor books that represent more distinguished books from the year. 

In school, you may have read past winners or honors like Charlotte's Web by E.B. White or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankewieler by E.L. Konigsburg (which is my personal favorite)! Maybe you’ve even seen movie adaptations of past medal winners such as Holes or Flora & Ulysses. Yep, they were books first!

The Newbery Medal is celebrating its 100th anniversary...that’s A LOT of great books to discover! In 2020, I was given the amazing opportunity to be a member of the Newbery Committee. It was a great honor to be part of this committee and help make children’s literature history. One of the best parts of being on the committee was asking readers at the Springfield-Greene County Library to be my kid readers. The Newbery committee is made up of adults but they need some feedback from kids. The award is for kids' books after all! These readers helped so much and I shared their thoughts and comments during our committee discussions. I can’t tell you what we said though, it’s all a secret! But I can happily share the winning books from 2021! 

The 2021 Newbery Medal Winner is When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller. The Library is proud to be hosting author Tae Keller on Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m. Visit the program page to register!





Check out the other Newbery honorees from 2021 and then head over to the Newbery Award Booklist to find all the winners and honors since 1922!

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat






All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat






Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford





Fighting Words by Kim Brubaker Bradley






We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly






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