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After the Call: Something Magical

What did winning the Newbery Medal mean to me? It has taken some time to wrap my head around this question. The Last Cuentista won the Newbery Medal! I’ve texted my editor, Nick Thomas, a few times with, “We won the Newbery” and “Did that really happen?” just to help...
      

Sick-day reading, Newbery Special Issue-style

A sick-day photo, only slightly staged. Kid was already reading Newbery honoree Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and I couldn't resist dropping in the May/June 2022 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Newbery Centennial, with cover art by WTMMTM author/illustrator Grace Lin.   Single copies of this special issue are available for...
      

A Place for Poetry

Poetry has so much to offer young readers: beautiful language, musical rhythms, creative formats, powerful emotions, and so much more. Yet, when it comes to award recognition, poetry has rarely had a place at the Newbery table. Just sixteen books of poetry have been recognized with Newbery Medals or Honors...
      

After the Call: Nothing Short of Life-Changing

In 2021, "the call" was a Zoom call. Photo: Tae Keller. As soon as the 2021 Youth Media Awards were announced, I started hearing from other writers, from friends, from family: The Newbery will change your life. This felt fairly accurate, considering I hadn’t slept for thirty-six hours, I had...
      

The Newbery and Art

When most people think of the Newbery Award, they think of words, not art. After all, the Newbery criteria stipulate that “the committee is to make its decision primarily on the text. Other components of a book, such as illustrations, overall design of the book, etc., may be considered when...
      

After the Call: I Get It Now

More than two years later, I still find myself trying to comprehend the magnitude of how my life changed on January 27, 2020. The most baffling question being, “How did this kid who hated to read grow up to win ‘the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children’?” I...
      

After the Call: A Literary Life

When I won the Newbery Medal for Merci Suárez Changes Gears in 2019, I stepped — starstruck and trembling — into a hundred-year history that included many of the books that had helped me grow up. The seal is our community’s highest honor, one that feels unreal, that boosts your...
      

After the Call: On the Bookmark

In late 2018, I visited my local library to satisfy a very specific book mood. I wanted a rich, immersive, pitch-perfect middle-grade novel. I strolled to the children’s section and scanned the shelves. But there were so many choices! I needed a vetting process. Recommendations, maybe. I went to the...
      

After the Call: The Luckiest Guy in the World

Before I won the Newbery Medal, my dream had already come true. I was a published author. The quiet, melancholy stories I was always writing late at night, in my shared Brooklyn apartment, were turning into real-life books. The kind you could buy at a bookstore. Or check out from...
      

From the Editor - June 2022

Please join us next Wednesday, June 22, at noon EDT for the announcement of the 2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. This year marks our fifty-fifth anniversary — it’s not the Newbery centennial, but certainly a point of pride. And speaking of Pride — we’re continuing to celebrate LGBTQIA+ voices...
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