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Award Criteria

Award Criteria

For more information about each award (terms, definitions, eligibility, etc…) please visit ALA Youth Media Awards website: http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/presskits/youthmediaawards/alayouthmediaawards

 

Caldecott Medal Criteria

  1. In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:
    1. Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed;
    2. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept;
    3. Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept;
    4. Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures;
    5. Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.
  2. The only limitation to graphic form is that the form must be one which may be used in a picture book. The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound, film or computer program) for its enjoyment.
  3. Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustration, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children's picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc.

Note: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity.

[Adopted by the ALSC board, January 1978. Revised, Midwinter 1987. Revised, Annual 2008.]

Newbery Medal Criteria

  1. In identifying “distinguished contribution to American literature,” defined as text, in a book for children,
    1. Committee members need to consider the following:
      • Interpretation of the theme or concept
      • Presentation of information including accuracy, clarity, and organization
      • Development of a plot
      • Delineation of characters
      • Delineation of a setting
      • Appropriateness of style.
    • Note: Because the literary qualities to be considered will vary depending on content, the committee need not expect to find excellence in each of the named elements. The book should, however, have distinguished qualities in all of the elements pertinent to it.
  2. Committee members must consider excellence of presentation for a child audience.
  3. Each book is to be considered as a contribution to American literature. 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 they make the book less effective.
  4. The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound or film equipment) for its enjoyment.

Note: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for literary quality and quality presentation for children. The award is not for didactic content or popularity.

Adopted by the ALSC Board, January 1978. Revised, Midwinter 1987. Revised, Annual 2008.

Michael L. Printz Award Criteria

  1. What is quality? We know what it is not. We hope the award will have a wide AUDIENCE among readers from 12 to 18 but POPULARITY is not the criterion for this award. Nor is MESSAGE. In accordance with the Library Bill of Rights, CONTROVERSY is not something to avoid. In fact, we want a book that readers will talk about.
  2. Librarianship focuses on individuals, in all their diversity, and that focus is a fundamental value of the Young Adult Library Services Association and its members. Diversity is, thus, honored in the Association and in the collections and services that libraries provide to young adults.
  3. Having established what the award is not, it is far harder to formulate what it is. As every reader knows, a great book can redefine what we mean by quality. Criteria change with time. Therefore, flexibility and an avoidance of the too-rigid are essential components of these criteria (some examples of too-rigid criteria: A realistic hope - well, what about Robert Cormier's Chocolate War or Brock Coles' The Facts Speak for Themselves? Avoiding complicated plot - what about Louis Sachar's Holes? Originality - what about all the mythic themes that are continually re-worked? We can all think of other great books that don't fit those criteria.)
  4. What we are looking for, in short, is literary excellence.
  5. All forms of writing—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and any combination of these, including anthologies—are eligible.
  6. The following criteria are only suggested guidelines and should in no way be considered as absolutes. They will always be open to change and adaptation. Depending on the book, one or more of these criteria will apply:
    • Story
    • Voice
    • Style
    • Setting
    • Accuracy
    • Characters
    • Theme
    • Illustrations
    • Design (including format, organization, etc.)

For each book the questions and answers will be different, the weight of the various criteria will be different.

The ALA press release announcing the winner should stipulate why the title has been chosen for its literary excellence.

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