In the United States, the John Newbery Medal is the most prestigious children's book award that an author can receive. The Newbery Medal is an annual children’s book award administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC of the American Library Association (ALA). According to the ALSC section of the ALA Web site, "The Medal shall be awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year." The John Newbery Medal, commonly referred to as the Newbery, has been awarded every year since 1922. It is named for John Newbery, an eighteenth-century British bookseller.
To be eligible for a Newbery, either winning the Newbery Medal or having your book designated a Newbery Honor Book, the following terms must also be met:
- The author(s) must be either citizens or residents of the United States.
- Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are all eligible, but reprints and compilations are not.
- The book must be written for children, with children defined as “persons of ages up to and including fourteen.”
- The book must be an original work.
- A book that was originally published in another country is not eligible.