Literary awards are granted to deserving authors, illustrators and publishers whose contributions are deemed significant primarily in promoting reading in various age groups. In the US alone, there are over 200 known literary awards. Nevertheless, most libraries, schools, and book lovers and collectors still value award-winning books and literary pieces. Most of these award-winning titles often end up on display shelves for everyone to see.
The following awards are some of the most prestigious literary awards in the US:
The Newbery Medal is the first children’s literary award in the world and it was established in 1922. The said award was named after John Newbery, an English book publisher whose efforts proved that the publication of children’s literature is profitable. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually to distinguished writers of children’s books. The Newbery Medal is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the US.
- University of Calgary: Newbery Medal – Presents a short overview about the Newbery Medal and a list of the past winners from the year 1922 up to 1999.
- American Booksellers Association: The John Newbery Medal – Contains a short history of the John Newbery Medal.
- Stanford University: First Newbery Medal – Discusses the history of the Newbery Medal in detail.
The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most prestigious picture book for kids in the United States. In order for a book to qualify for the award, it should be published in the same year as the awarding of the Caldecott Medal. The Caldecott Medal Award was established in honor of Randolph Caldecott, a 19th Century illustrator. Aside from the Caldecott Medal awardees, the board may also give due recognition to some books by naming them “Worthy Runners-Up”.
- Normal Public Library: The Caldecott Medal (PDF) – Contains the complete list of Caldecott Medal Awardees from 1938 – 2011.
- Association for Library Service to Children: The Randolph Caldecott Medal – Presents the history of the Caldecott Medal and a short biography of Randolph Caldecott.
- The Caldecott Medal – Provides a short overview about the Caldecott Medal.
Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award
The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award is given to an author, critic, librarian, historian or even a teacher of children’s literature. Candidates could come from different parts of the world. The Lecture Awardee is expected to deliver a lecture sometime around April. The lecture would then be published in Children and Libraries, Association for Library Service to Children’s official journal. The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award was established in 1969 in honor of May Hill Arbuthnot who’s greatest contribution as an author was the literary piece entitled Children and Books.
- The Cleaveland Arts Prize: May Hill Arbuthnot – A biography on May Hill Arbuthnot.
- The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award – Presents May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award’s upcoming honors.
- The University of North California at Chapel Hill: May Hill Arbuthnot – An entry about May Hill Arbuthnot’s life.
The Batchelder Award was named after ALSC’s former executive director, Mildred L. Batchelder. The award was first presented in 1966. From then on, it was given annually to honor American children’s books publishers, who published books that were originally written in foreign languages. The said books were translated to English prior to their publication in the US. The award was established to encourage American publishers to seek outstanding foreign children’s books.
- Denver Public Library: Batchelder Award – Contains an overview about the Batchelder award and features the most recent recipients of the said award.
- Duluth Public Library: Batchelder Award – Contains the list of the Batchelder Awardees from the year 1968 until the present.
- Mildred L. Batchelder Award Books – Presents the history of the Batchelder Award.
The Belpre Medal was named after Pura Belpre, a Latina whose work gave importance to Puerto Rican folklore. Pura Belpre was also the first Latina librarian to work for the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpre Award can be given to a Latino or Latina writer and/or illustrator whose literary work for children portrays the Latino cultural experience. The Belpre Medal was established in 1996 and was given every other year, until the year 2009. From 2009, the Pura Belpre was awarded annually.
- Reading Is Fundamental: Pura Belpre Book Awards – Features the Pura Belpre Medal list of awardees from the year 2000 up to the present.
- At Your Library: The Pura Belpre Awards – Contains a short introduction about the Pura Belpre awards.
- Campbell University Wiggins Memorial Library: Pura Belpre Award Winners – Contains detailed information about the Pura Belpre Awards.
The Carnegie Medal is a literary award that is given annually. It was established in 1936 in honor of the Scottish philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. The said award is granted to the most outstanding children’s and/or young adult book of the year. In order to become a candidate for the Carnegie Medal, the book should be written in English. In addition, it should also be published in the UK.
- The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards – An entry about the Carnegie Medal’s history.
- Geelong Regional Libraries: Carnegie Medal in Literature – Contains a list of the Carnegie medal awardees from the year 2000 up to the present.
- The Carnegie Medal – Complete list of awardees since the year 1936 up to the present year.
The Geisel Medal was named after Theodor Geisel or commonly known as Dr. Seuss. He is a very renowned author of children’s books. The Geisel Medal is awarded to authors and/or illustrators of books for beginning readers. The said award was first presented in 2006.
- Geisel Medal – Presents a short introduction about the Geisel Medal.
- Theodor Seuss Geisel Award – A detailed overview on the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.
- The Pennsylvania Center for the Book: Geisel Award-Winning Books (PDF) – Presents the list of Geisel medal recipients from 2006 up to the present year.
Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production
The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production was named after the epic poem The Odyssey. This is because The Odyssey exemplifies the ancient oral tradition of storytelling. The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is given annually to the best kids’ audiobook producer. The ALSC and the YALSA also decide which Odyssey Award Honor titles to select each year.
- Odyssey Award For Excellence in Audiobook Production – Contains an overview about the award, its history and a list of the most recent Odyssey Award recipients.
- The Odyssey Award For Excellence in Audiobook Production – Provides a short entry about the significance of the Odyssey Award.
- Lawrence Public Library: Award Books – Lists and provides brief descriptions about the most prestigious literary awards, including the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production.
Sibert Informational Book Medal
The Sibert Informational Book Medal is for authors and illustrators of US-published informational books. The said award was named after Robert F. Sibert, the longtime president of the Stay Bound Book. The Sibert Informational Book Medal was first presented in 2001. This award is currently administered by the ALSC.
- Franklin-Springboro Public Library: Sibert Medal Award Books – Provides an overview about the Sibert Informational Book Medal.
- University of Pittsburgh: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Books – Provides a short introduction about the Sibert Informational Book Medal and the list of winners.
- Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award – Features book titles that were previously granted the Sibert Informational Book Medal.
The Wilder Award recognizes writers and illustrators of outstanding US-published children’s books. The Wilder Award is given to authors who have made substantial contributions to children’s literature for years. The said award was named after Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first recipient of the bronze medal. The award was first presented in 1955. From then on until 1980, the award was given every 5 years. Starting in 1980, it was awarded every 3 years. Since 2001, it has been given every 2 years.
- Springfield-Greene County Library District: The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award – Presents very detailed information about the Wilder Award.
- The American Pomological Society: The Wilder Medal Award – Presents very informative text about the Wilder Award’s history.
- The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal – Contains very basic information about the award, including its past winners.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards was named after Martin Luther King’s wife, Coretta Scott King. The said award aims to recognize African American authors and illustrators of young adult and children’s books. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards is currently being administered by the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable.
- Coretta Scott King Book Awards – A website featuring information about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards.
- Coretta Scott King Book Awards – List of the past awardees.
- Pocantico Hills Central School: Coretta Scott King – A short biography about Coretta Scott King.
Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Award is given annually to authors and/or illustrators of books that portray aspects of living with any form of disability. The said work of literature, in order to qualify for the Schneider Family Award, should be aimed for young adults and younger audiences. The Schneider Award is looking for recipients in three different categories, namely: Birth through Grade School, Middle School and Teens.
- The Schneider Family Book Award – Brief information about the Schneider family book award.
- Schneider Family Book Award – Features the list of past winners from 2004.
- NLS Kids Zone: Schneider Family Book Awards – Features the award-winning books from 2004 – complete with summaries.
The Printz Award was established to honor books that exemplify literary excellence. It’s aimed towards promoting young adult literature. It was named after Michael L. Printz, a librarian who was also an active member of the YALSA. The said award was first presented in 2000.
- Paper Tigers: Michael L. Printz Award – Answers some of the frequently asked questions about the Printz Award.
- Scottsdale Public Library: Printz Award Winners – Contains a short overview about the Printz Award.
- Printz Award – Features the award-winning books with their summaries.
Margaret A. Edwards Award
The Margaret A. Edwards Award is a literary award granted annually to authors, who have made significant contributions to young adult literature. The award is focused on helping young adults become more responsible of their roles in society. It is also aimed towards helping young adults gain an understanding of themselves. The Margaret A. Edwards Award was first given in 1988.
- Margaret A. Edwards Award – Contains the history of the said award.
- Springfield-Greene County Library District: The Margaret A. Edwards Award – Contains a list of some of the Margaret A. Edwards Award winners.
- Franklin Township Public Library: Margaret A. Edwards Award – Features the summaries of the books that were previously granted a Margaret A. Edwards Award.
The Alex Award is awarded annually to adult books that create a special appeal to young adults. This award was first given in 1998. It was also named after Margaret A. Edward’s nickname, which is “Alex”.
- Young Adult Library Services Association: Alex Awards – Alex Award’s official webpage.
- 2011 Alex Awards: Adult Books That Appeal To Young Readers – Features the winners of the 2011 Alex Awards.
- Missouri River Regional Library: Alex Awards – Short overview about the award.