Word via email and Twitter that Neil Gaiman’s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK has won the ultra-prestigious Newbery Award for children’s literature.

The awards are being presented at the winter ALA. According to The Beat’s reporter on the scene, Toon Books also won a Geisel Honor for Stinky by Eleanor Davis.

We’ll have official word as it’s released. Here’s Gaiman’s blog post on the matter. Congrats to Neil. We’re sure that of all the many honors he has won in his career, this must be one of the most treasured.

UPDATE: Complete list of winners here.


  1. The best part of the whole thing is “hearing” Neil swear in his Twitter update.

    For whatever reason, Gaiman seems to be one of those Englishmen who is above cursing, giving his wonderful use of language.

  2. What this means is that almost every children’s library in the nation will add this title to their collection, and most likely keep it in the collection until the end of time. (And every bookstore in the country is going to feature this front and center.)

    Back when I was in grade school (1975-1982), the librarian was always promoting the Newbery titles, and we got extra points in our reading class for reading a Newbery title. Now, yes, librarians sometimes pick books that are “good for you”, and us kids avoided those (although in retrospect they are well written). But sometimes, they pick something cool, like “The Westing Game” and we’re like crack addicts wanting more.

    And thus the Innocent are Seduced. Either they read up (and I had a friend in the Eighth Grade who collected Stephen King) or it takes a few years and they rediscover a favorite author years later. Or they read all the Gaiman books in the library, and start in on Bradbury or McCaffrey or Asimov. The next thing you know, they’re walking across a stage getting a Masters degree in Library Science or Language Arts.

  3. Neil is the only author I can think of everyone in my family enjoys. The little kids, the 70-year-olds.

    When I was very sick and couldn’t take care of myself, my mom came to my house to handle my affairs and sit with me. Late one evening, I heard laughter from the living room. It was my mom, buried in a Neil Gaiman novel. “Good Omens”, I think.

    No one is more deserving of success and acclaim.

    Congratulations, Neil!

  4. Illustrators get their own award, the Caldecott Medal. Generally, spot illustrations tend to be ignored when presenting the Newbery medal, just as the story tends to be ignored when considering the Caldecott. (Although usually with picture books the artists is the writer. And sometimes the story and pictures are so good together they help.)

    Kinda like how a film can win Best Actor at the Academy Awards, but not be nominated for Best Director. Yes, the director produced a fine performance from the actor, but he doesn’t get the award, or any official recognition.

  5. It is interesting that Gaiman’s book is the *only* one that received the Newberry this year. Yes, there were “honor” books or whatever, but he isn’t sharing the main award. I once took a children’s lit course from a professor who was serving on the Newberry committee: there is nothing in the award guidelines that stipulates how many books are to receive it each year. It could be one, it could be ten (the year my prof did it I think they gave it to 6 or so). His book must have not only one, but really stood out from the pack.

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