The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), recently announced the 2013 Newbery Medal winner and honors. The Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The medal is named for the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The medal was first suggested to the Children's Librarians' Section of the ALA by Frederic G. Melcher in June 1921. The medal was approved in 1922 with the following purpose,
"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 2013 John Newbery Medal winner is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate about a captive gorilla and his life with his animal friends, an elephant and a dog. His life changes when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant, who reminds him of his life in the jungle. The 2013 John Newbery Medal Honor winners include:
- Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin
- Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
- Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
The ALA provides of a list of all of the past Newbery Medal winners. Criteria for the 2013 winners included an original work by an American author that was published in 2012. Award committee members considered the following criteria when selecting a winner:
- Interpretation of the theme or concept
- Presentation of information including accuracy, clarity, and organization
- Development of a plot
- Delineation of characters
- Delineation of setting
- Appropriateness of style
Katherine Applegate will attend the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet during the ALA Annual Conference on June 27-July 2, 2013 in Chicago. She will receive her medal and give an acceptance speech and the Newbery Medal Honor winners will receive a plaque at the banquet.
While you may not be able to attend the awards banquet in Chicago, you can visit your local library and make sure to check out the 2013 Newbery Medal winner and honorees.
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