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After the Call: Blooming at Last

First of all, I’d like to address the Newbery-related questions I’m asked most frequently. No, the medal isn’t real gold. No, it’s too heavy to wear around my neck. No, it’s too small to frame and hang on the wall. Yes, winning it is one of the most important things...

After the Call: Everything Is Possible

Most of you are probably familiar with the Newbery traditions: the secret choice, the phone call, and the frenzy that follows. I had lived overseas for sixteen years and was not aware of these traditions, nor was I aware of the American Library Association or its vast network. Walk Two...

After the Call: An Unseen Talisman

What did winning the Newbery Award mean to me? I’ve heard of writers who had their bags packed and ready in case the call came. I was simply enjoying my shredded wheat when the telephone rang with the wonderful announcement from Pat Scales, chair of the Newbery committee that year....

After the Call: Anybody Need a Writer?

Readers. That’s what winning the Newbery Medal meant to me. Readers. Lots of them. I’ve known a few people who say they write just for themselves. Well, and maybe their mothers, too. Whether it’s a short story or an essay or a poem or a book. They say the writing...

After the Call: Heavy Medals

(c) 2022 by Lois Lowry. From the May/June 2022 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Newbery Centennial....

From Trend to Norm: How the Last Twenty Years of the Newbery Can Guide Us

Newbery Award titles are among the more visible of books for young readers. As such, they provide the opportunity to explore in microcosm a potential template that can be applied to the entire arena of books for children and teens. My book A Single Shard won the Newbery Medal in...

After the Call: Sarah, Then and Now

I began Sarah, Plain and Tall long ago in my 1790 New England house, while missing my Wyoming home. I sat in the music room with my dogs, watching my children take the school bus. I worked on a typewriter, listening to the noisy eraser cartridge slap back and forth....

After the Call: Dazzled and Honored

Oh, I remember that evening. We were entertaining dinner guests, and the phone rang. I answered it, and listened, and then the call was over, so I returned to the table to report, except — and I remember this vividly — that the mental tape on which I had always...

After the Call: The Newbery's Gifts

Two-time winner Katherine Paterson (far right) with her family, celebrating her 1981 Newbery for Jacob Have I Loved. Photo courtesy of Katherine Paterson. Most awards are given soon after or even when they’re announced, but winners of the Newbery Medal are told on a morning in January and have until...
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