The Newberry Medal is awarded each year to the author of the previous year’s most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Runners-up are called Newbery Honor Books.
The medal is named in honor of John Newbery. He was an eighteenth-century British publisher of juvenile books. He made it a priority to create books specifically for children.
The Newberry Medal and the Caldecott Medal are the most prestigious American Children’s Book awards.
No Award was given in 1923, 1924, or 1927. That is because no book was considered suitable.
Learn more: official Newberry Medal homepage.
In search of Long Arrow the Indian, Doctor Dolittle and his companions journey to the floating Spidermonkey Island. Read online at archive.org.
The adventures of a doll, carved from a piece of mountain ash, brought from Ireland to the state of Maine.
At age thirteen Young Fu is apprenticed to a coppersmith in the big city of Chungking.
Caddie Woodlawn (1935)
Pioneer adventures of a girl growing up in northern Wisconsin.
Roller Skates (1936)
Lucinda spends a year on her own in New York city in the 1890’s while her parents travel abroad for her mother’s health.
The White Stag (1937)
The legendary tale of the migration of the Huns and Magyars from the east to Hungary.
Thimble Summer (1938)
Garnet lives on a farm in Wisconsin and has adventures all summer long.
Adam of the Road (1942)
Adam of the Road is a novel by Elizabeth Janet Gray. Gray won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children’s literature in 1943 for this the book. Set in thirteenth-century England, the book follows the adventures of a young boy, Adam. After losing his spaniel and minstrel father, Adam embarks on a series of escapades throughout medieval England. Readers are given an accurate portrayal of medieval culture and society. The book is illustrated by Robert Lawson. The Newbery Award seal was applied to the dust jacket by the time of the second printing in June 1943. The paper in the first printing is unusually heavy for a war time book, but by the second and third printings, it had noticably decreased in thickness. The green cloth binding of the first printing became blue in subsequent printings.
Adam of the Road (1943)
Adam of the Road is a novel by Elizabeth Janet Gray. Gray won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children’s literature in 1943 for this the book. Set in thirteenth-century England, the book follows the adventures of a young boy, Adam. After losing his spaniel and minstrel father, Adam embarks on a series of escapades throughout medieval England. Readers are given an accurate portrayal of medieval culture and society. The book is illustrated by Robert Lawson. This is the first British edition. The type was reset, reducing the page count considerably. The prefatory poem is missing.
When Johnny’s hand injury prevents him working as a silversmith’s apprentice, he joins the American rebels as a messenger.
Rabbit Hill (1944)
Little Georgie and his friends welcome the New Folks to Rabbit Hill.
As a war time book, the paper is thinner and not as white as Lawson would have preferred, nevertheless the paper of the first printing is slightly heavier than that of subsequent war time printings. The Junior Literary Guild binding is red brown and has only an outline of Little Georgie, while the trade edition is a light brown cloth with all over decoration. Between the third printing in October 1944 and the fourth in April 1945, the Newbery award sticker was added to the dust jacket. For the eighth printing in April 1960 new plates were made and the paper is much higher quality, but the shadows tend to be too dark, obscuring the detail in the original drawings.
Strawberry Girl (1945)
Birdie Boyer and her family move to Florida to raise strawberries.
Miss Hickory (1946)
Miss Hickory has a hickory nut for a head, but her body is an applewood twig.
The Twenty-One Balloons (1948)
Professor William Waterman Sherman left San Francisco on August 15th, 1883 with the intention of flying across the Pacific Ocean. He was picked up three weeks later in the Atlantic Ocean clinging to the wreckage of a platform which had been flown through the air by twenty balloons. His only stop between San Francisco and the Atlantic Ocean was a brief sojourn on the island of Krakatoa, which blew up just after he left it in what is considered to be the most violent eruption of all time.
Adam of the Road (1949)
In this story of thirteenth-century England, Adam travels from St. Albans Abbey to Winchester to Oxford in search of his father, a strolling player. This later edition uses one of the interior illustrations for the dust jacket. It maintains the different type setting of the first British edition.
Amos Fortune, Free Man (1950)
Brought to Massachusetts as a slave, after forty-five years he was able to buy his freedom, moved to New Hampshire and set up as a tanner.
Ginger Pye (1951)
When their new puppy, Ginger, disappears the Pye’s suspect the man in the yellow hat may be the thief.