Laura Ingalls Wilder Medals

This award is named for one of the early female authors to have multiple works named Newberry Honor books (beginning w/ On the Banks of Plum Creek, 1938), Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her books have survived since the 1930’s and remain favorites today. For a complete bibliography and bio, click the link. The award named for her also seeks to honor long-standing favorites in the world of Children’s Literature. Winners are announced every two years, and are authors whose works have remained popular for AT LEAST 10 years. The award is sponsored by an ALA committee, the Association for Library Services for Children.

Criteria for this award are very inclusive, but specific at the same time:

The term “author or illustrator” means co-authors or co-illustrators, and persons who both write and illustrate. The person may be nominated posthumously. Some portion of the nominee’s active career in books for children must have occurred in the twenty-five years prior to nomination. Citizenship or residence of the potential nominee is not to be considered.

  1. “Books” means more than one book.
  2. “Published in the United States” does not indicate that first publication had to be in the United States. It means that children’s books written and/or illustrated by the nominee have been published in the United States, and it is those books which are to be considered in the nomination process.
  3. “Over a period of years” means that at least some of the books by the potential nominee have been available to children for at least ten years.
  4. “A substantial and lasting contribution” means that the books, by their nature (and/or number), occupy an important place in literature for American children and that over the years children have read the books and that the books continue to be requested and read by children.
  5. The term “literature for children” indicates that the committee is to direct its attention only to the part of the potential nominee’s total work which is books for children (up to and including age fourteen). It further indicates that the committee is to select on the basis of the literary or artistic merit of the books for children.


  1. In addition to the criteria implicit in the terms and definitions, the committee may wish to consider whether:
    1. Some or all of the books are exceptionally notable and leading examples of the genre to which they belong.
    2. Some or all of the books have established a new type or kind of book or new trends in books available to children.
  2. The committee, in making its selection of nominees, ought to be aware of the entire body of work for children of the potential nominee and may base its decision for nomination on the total body of work for children or on those portions of the total body of work which are of a substantial and lasting nature.

committee members are listed on the website, as well as their 42 page manual.

For a list of past winners, click HERE. I’m not sure why there have been some gaps in awardees…but it’s a good list. 🙂


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