Awards, Honors and Prizes: Cream of the Crop

By Peggy Fulton

   With yet another Hollywood awards season in full swing, it’s not unusual to see headlines in the newspapers. Recently, one featured the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards, for 2014, where scheduling challenges are fraught with the Olympics and the NFL games. Also sharing the limelight, are the Products of the Year USA, announced on February 12, 2013, where GoodNites® Disposable BedMats won the Children’s category!

   So, too, was January a highlight for us, with well-known awards announced at Midwinter ALA. However, those awards are only some of the over 660 unique awards in our CLCD database. Announcements are made throughout the year and we post them monthly. Check back frequently to see the newest additions. To access these, use the radio buttons on our “old” search screen or access the drop-down menu under “Search Specific Fields” on our new beta Advanced Search Screen.

   Of course various divisions of ALA sponsor many of the awards we list; with CLCD you’re not only able to see those complete listings, but all the other honors an individual title has garnered. In one place, you can quickly see that The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick won 17 awards, appeared on 18 Best Books lists, has a video link, was selected by 22 State Reading Associations for their students, and is assigned metrics by the 3 major Reading Measurements programs.

   Our Awards, Honors, and Prizes listings number almost 40,000 titles. Not only do we include the winners for each, but we also mention the honor books, second and third places, highly commended, shortlisted. Many terms may be applied, with winner being the foremost.

   The oldest awards are the John Newbery Medal, (1922), the Carnegie Medal, (1936) and the Randolph Caldecott Medal, (1938).

   The American Library Association’s Association gave the world’s first children’s book award for Library Service to Children and the medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. According to the sponsor’s website, it is presented annually to the “author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

   The John Newbery Medal, first awarded in 1922, went to The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon. The honor books that year were, The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum; The Great Quest by Charles Hawes, The Old Tobacco Shop by William Bowen; Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs and Cedric the Forester by Bernard Marshall.

   The 2013 winner was The One and Only Ivan, written by Katherine Applegate.
This year’s honor books were, Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin; Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz; and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.
For more information, see:

   The next oldest award is the Carnegie Medal, awarded by the CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, in the United Kingdom. It was named after the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie and given for an outstanding book for children and young people. Having used the library as a child, Carnegie later stated, “If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries,” and he did just that. The first presentation, in 1936, was made to Pigeon Post by Arthur Ransome. The 2012 winner was, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
You can read more about the medal at:

   I find it interesting that the first ever award, created in the U.S. was named after British man and the second award, created in the United Kingdom, named after an American industrialist.

   The Randolph Caldecott Medal, designed by Rene Paul Chambellan was first awarded to Animals of the Bible by Helen Dean Fish. Unlike the first two awards, this medal, named for the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, is presented to the “artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” It is given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
The 2013 recognition went to This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen.
See additional information at:

   When a close friend’s daughter was born a couple years ago, I was thinking of an appropriate “welcome to the world” gift. I purchased the most recent Caldecott winners, and now each time I visit, I present her with one. Since the award began in 1938, I know I’ll always have a supply.

   Of course, not all awards have such a long and illustrious history. Some have faded from the landscape, while others have changed names and sponsorship. On a happier note, next month I’ll focus on new awards, such as the Tessa Duder Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Many, many other awards are available and in future issues we’ll explore our longstanding favorites as well as international newcomers. Join us on a journey through many cultures and customs.

To view previous articles in this series, click on the following link:


Updated 03/01/13

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