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The race is on

IMG_4294Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Someday My Printz Will Come are all up and running, so it’s time to start thinking your woulds and coulds and shoulds about this year’s field of potential prizewinners. (And SLJ has posted its reviews of the National Book Award longlist, although I have to say I think it’s tacky to announce a longlist of ten that will shortly become a shortlist of five.)

The lists of potential winners referenced in the blogs above make me wonder how important publication date is to getting a gold sticker. It’s a complicated calculus because publishers generally release what they think are heavy-hitters in the fall, not with an eye to catching the committees’ attention (right?) but because people buy more books toward the end of the year. But has anyone ever looked at what percentage of prizewinners were published before September in a given year?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Roger–I’ve wondered this myself, so I did a search through Baker &Taylor of Newbery Medal/Honor books (back to 2007). I remember that two Medal winners in particular seemed to catch people by surprise (just from conversation with colleagues and Internet chatter): Moon Over Manifest (2011) and The Higher Power of Lucky (2007). Moon Over Manifest was published in October (10/12 according to B&T), while The Higher Power of Lucky wasn’t published until November! (11/7, to be specific).

    Those were definitely anomalies, as the majority of the winners were actually published well before September. Only two were published in September (Flora & Ulysses, 2014 medal) and Dead End in Norvelt (2012 medal). The rest were published in spring/summer. The earliest publication was The One and Only Ivan (2013 medal). Published in January.

    The Honor books were all over the place in terms of dates.

    I’ll take a look at Caldecott books to see if there is a difference. But lunch beckons.

  2. A little while back I ran the numbers for the past thirty years of Newbery Medalists. April was the most common pub month, with September a close second

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