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Award-Winning Children’s Books

Each year, approximately 50 organizations present awards to creators of outstanding children's literature. Here are a few you should become familiar with.

Newbery Medal Award

Named for 18th-century British book publisher John Newbery, 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." Here's a link to a list of all the Newberry Medal Winners:

Newbery Medal Winners, 1922 - Present

Caldecott Medal

Named for 19th-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, the Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to "the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children." This award, also granted by the Association for Library Service to Children, is awarded to a United States citizen or resident. Here's a list of all the Caldecott Medal Winners:

Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present

The American Booksellers Association's (ABA's) E. B. White Read-Aloud Award

The ABA E. B. White Read-Aloud Award is named for E. B. White, who wrote the classic Charlotte's Web. This award singles out books "that reflect the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal to a wide range of ages embodied by E. B. White's collection of beloved books." Here's a list of all the winners:

E. B. White Read-Aloud Award Winners

Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards

The Boston Globe–Horn Book Award recipients are chosen by an independent panel of three judges (new each year) selected by Horn Book editors in consultation with a Boston Globe representative. Books must be published in the United States but are not limited to those by U.S. authors. Here are the recent winners:

The Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards

Charlotte Zolotow Award

Administered since 1998 by the Cooperative Children's Book Center—a children's literature library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison—the Charlotte Zolotow Award is given every year for the best picture book text (U.S.-published) for newborns through 7-year-olds. Charlotte Zolotow, by the way, was a very well-respected and distinguished children's book editor for nearly 40 years with Harper Junior Books. She also wrote more than 70 picture books. Here's a list of previous winners:

Charlotte Zolotow Award Winners

Children's Book Committee Awards

The Children's Book Committee of Bank Street College presents multiple awards each year.

  • Josette Frank Award (Children's Book Award)
    This award for fiction honors a book or books of outstanding literary merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally. The award has been given annually since 1943. Josette Frank, the editor of anthologies for children, served for many years as the Executive Director of the Child Study Association of America, of which this committee was a part.
  • Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
    Established in 1994 to honor Flora Straus, who led the Children’s Book Committee for many years, this award is presented annually for a distinguished work of nonfiction that serves as an inspiration to young people. Flora Straus stood for the values of courage, hard work, truth, and beauty while adapting to a changing world. She believed that books about varying cultures enrich and help all children in their growth. She championed diverse opinions and points of view and was a person of high principles, unfailing courtesy, and deep understanding.
  • Claudia Lewis Award
    The Claudia Lewis Award, given for the first time in 1998, honors the best poetry book of the year. The award commemorates the late Claudia Lewis, distinguished children’s book expert and longtime member of the Bank Street College faculty and Children’s Book Committee. She conveyed her love and understanding of poetry with humor and grace.

Here is a list of past winners:

Children's Book Committee Past Winners

Elizabeth Burr Award

The Elizabeth Burr Award is given each year by the Wisconsin Library Association to a Wisconsin author/illustrator for distinguished achievement in children's literature. The recipient is selected by the Association's Children's Book Award Committee. (Visit the titles that have received this award even if you don't live in Wisconsin!) Here's a list of past winners:

Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award

International Literacy Association Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards

The International Literacy Association Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards go to authors for their first or second published book for the child-to-young-adult (preschool to age 17) audience. Two awards—for fiction and nonfiction—are given in each of three categories: primary, intermediate, and young adult. Authors can be from any country, and the books can be printed in any language. Here are the past winners:

ILA Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards

Golden Kite Award

The Golden Kite Award is the only award presented to children's book authors and artists by their fellow authors and artists. Four Golden Kite Statuettes—for fiction, nonfiction, picture book text, and picture book illustration—are awarded each year to the most outstanding children's books published during that year that were written or illustrated by members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Here's where you can find more information:

The Golden Kite Awards

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