The Newbery award originated June 21, 1921 when Fredric G. Melcher proposed to the American Library Association that a medal be awarded to the distinguished children's book of the year. He suggested naming it after the English bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted in 1922. The medal thus became the first award for children's books. The Newbery medal was originally awarded to " Encourage original creative work in the field of books for children." The medal is engraved with the name of the winner and the year when awarded. Each year there is also a runner up who receives the Newbery Honor.
TERMS FOR THE NEWBERY MEDAL
1. In identifying "Distinguished Writing" in a book for children,
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
Note: Because the literary qualities to be considered will vary depending on content, the committee need not expect to find excellence in each of the named elements. The book should, however, have distinguished qualities in all of the elements pertinent to it.
3.The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound or film equipment) for its enjoyment.
Note: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for literary quality and quality presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity.