Children’s publisher John Newbery was born on this day in 1713.
The John Newbery Medal, awarded annually for the most distinguished contribution to juvenile literature, takes its name from the eighteenth-century British bookseller who first conceived of publishing books for children. First presented in 1922 to Hendrick Willem Van Loon for The Story of Mankind, the medal is awarded each year to an author whose work was published during the preceding year and who is a United States citizen.
The Library of Congress houses a unique collection of select children’s books published more than 100 years ago. These include classic works that are still read by children today and lesser-known treasures drawn from the Library’s extensive collection of historically significant children’s books. You can read more about the collection or watch a webinar exploring this unique online collection of historically significant children’s books.
For some teaching ideas tied to this collection, check out this blog post.
Interested in exploring older books? Take a look at this digital collection from the Library of Congress, launched as part of its celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week in 2019.
Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!
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