Another year, another crop of Newbery contenders to consider! The Newbery Award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children 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.” – Newbery Medal Terms and Criteria
That’s a pretty broad charge for the committee, so here’s a few more details:
- Children are defined as being up to and including the age of 14.
- Books must be published in the U.S. first; titles originally published elsewhere are not eligible.
- The author must be a U.S. citizen or resident.
The Newbery committee over the last few years has been making a lot of really exciting choices outside middle grade novels which for a long time were the typical Newbery fodder. The 2018 honors alone included a picture book (Crown) and two titles at the upper end of the age range (Long Way Down and Piecing Me Together). Every year I tweak how I put my lists of Newbery contenders together. Given the continued stretching of the Newbery boundaries, this year I considered just listing titles by the number of starred reviews and pulling out the ineligible titles, but in the end I decided to go with breaking things down by format. The lists will be (at least to start with – we’ll see how this works): Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels/Comics, Non-Fiction, Picture Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction), and Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books.
The final list will be books that I think are ineligible – usually it’s because the author isn’t a U.S. citizen or resident, but wordless picture books and titles with previously published content could appear here as well. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Newbery committee and I have no knowledge of their official rulings on eligibility – I’m making my best guesses based on the terms and criteria and internet searches regarding citizenship/residency.
Overall, I cast a pretty wide net here – I’m just looking at books with three or more starred reviews and whether they are eligible. For a more directed list of titles to consider, check in with Heavy Medal. They are running a new feature this year where readers can nominate titles to consider each month. You can see the March list and the April nominations opened up this week. You’ll note that there are several titles on the March list that don’t appear here – a good reminder that as wide a net as I cast? It’s likely the Newbery committee members themselves are looking even further afield and have probably read and put aside some of the titles I’m listing.
As of the end of February there were 44 titles with three or more starred reviews. Let’s take a look at how they break down after the jump. Continue reading 2019 Newbery Possibilities through February Stars