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Ahead of Her Time: Hunt Was Early Pioneer for Children’s Literature

Kimberly Grad


Even before she conferred the first Newbery Medal to Hendrik Willem van Loon for The Story of Mankind in 1922, Clara Whitehill Hunt kept the search for quality children’s literature in the forefront of her mind.

During the 1921 American Library Association conference, she made her point—to celebrate Book Week and embrace the quality of children’s literature; it was her support and collaboration with Fredric Melcher that eventually led to the advent of the John Newbery Medal.

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