100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

What Are the Chances You’ll Win Another Newbery?

Forgive me – after last week’s number crunching (So You Want to Win the Newbery Part I & Part II), I can’t seem to stop myself. Seriously, keep me off this page.

But the questions keep coming. Such as:

What percentage of Newbery Medal/Honor winners never won again?

What percentage did?

In figuring this out, I decided to only include winners up to the year 2000. That way newer authors (who have more time to win again) would not be thrown in with earlier winners. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a way to go.

Before looking at the numbers, I predicted that the percentage of repeat winners would be fairly low – my shot in the dark guess was around 10%. What is the actual percentage?

The numbers turned out pretty tidy, actually. Of the 228 individuals (and I’m counting the occasional husband/wife teams as one) who won a Newbery medal or honor through 2000, 76 repeated while 152 did not. Another way to look at it: 1 in 3 of  the individuals who won Newbery Medals or Honors through 2000 won more than once. I’d say those odds aren’t that bad.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. As a stats nerd, I am most definitely digging this series of posts. Looking forward to watching you tackle the Caldecott, CSK, Sibert, Geisel, etc.

  2. How about, what are your chances of winning the Newbery after receiving an honor and vice versa? For instance, Richard Peck was the sole runner-up to Holes in 1996, but then he turned around and won in 2001 for a Year Down Yonder. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

  3. Whoops! Holes won in 1999, with A Long Way from Chicago taking second-my mistake!

  4. Loving this series too. Keep crunching! What about geographical location? West Coast? East Coast? Midwest? And what about genre: Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Non-Fiction, etc?