Introduction the Gold Medal and the Ivory Tower

Sara L. Schwebel, Jocelyn Van Tuyl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We find them in nearly every American library and bookstore: Row upon row of shiny gold stickers, a triumphant display of The Best Books for Children. Considered the most distinguished American writing for kids, the Newbery Medal winners are aspirational (or assigned) reading for schoolchildren everywhere. These are books that parents, grandparents, and other adults recognize instantly (thanks to that shiny medal) and gift to children again and again. Intense secrecy surrounds the selection process, and the annual Medal announcement generates excitement in many circles. K-12 educators and librarians have long revered the Award, interviewing Newbery-winning authors, collecting their papers in archives, and publishing on their work. But one group—literature professors—has disproportionately ignored the Medal winners in its scholarship. As we set out to remedy that neglect in this volume, we first trace its origins back to the Medal's inception a century ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDust Off the Gold Medal
Subtitle of host publicationRediscovering Children?s Literature at the Newbery Centennial
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000417616
ISBN (Print)9780367337216
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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