John Newbery Medal Winning and Honored Books

The Newbery Medal or Honor Seal

First awarded in 1922, The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. Virginia Hamilton, in 1975, was the first African American writer to win the medal. As of 2021, five African American writers have won the medal and 27 have been honored. Approximately a third of these honors were bestowed in the last 5 years. Learn more about this award at the ALA Website.

Below are the Newbery Winning and Honored books which were written by, or about, people of African descent.

2 Books Honored with The Newbery Medal or Honor in 2008

2008 – Newbery Honor

by Jacqueline Woodson

Publication Date: Mar 01, 2007
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 118 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
ISBN13: 9780399239892
Imprint: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann

Read a Description of Feathers

Book Description: Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’ss Literature

View our feature on Jacqueline Woodson’ss Feathers.

"Hope is the thing with feathers" starts the poem Frannie is reading in school. Frannie hasn’st thought much about hope. There are so many other things to think about. Each day, her friend Samantha seems a bit more "holy." There is a new boy in class everyone is calling the Jesus Boy. And although the new boy looks like a white kid, he says he’ss not white. Who is he?

During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light—her brother Sean’ss deafness, her mother’ss fear, the class bully’ss anger, her best friend’ss faith and her own desire for "the thing with feathers."

Jacqueline Woodson once again takes readers on a journey into a young girl’ss heart and reveals the pain and the joy of learning to look beneath the surface.

2008 – Newbery Honor

Elijah Of Buxton
by Christopher Paul Curtis

Publication Date: Aug 06, 2007
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
ISBN13: 9780439023443
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.

Read a Description of Elijah Of Buxton

Book Description: 
Newbery Medalist and CSK Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis’s debut middle-grade/young-YA novel for Scholastic features his trademark humor, compelling storytelling, and unique narrative voice.

Eleven-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. He’s best known for having made a memorable impression on Frederick Douglass, but that changes when a former slave steals money from Elijah’s friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of captivity in the South. Elijah embarks on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the thief and discovers firsthand the unimaginable horrors of the life his parents fled—a life from which he’ll always be free, if he can find the courage to get back home.