Children who read for pleasure, as well as for information, do so because they have first learned the simple mechanics of reading. Once the mechanics are in place, children seek out stories that are of interest to them. Reading engaging materials holds the interest of children. As readers encounter increasingly complex reading material, their comprehension and reading abilities increase. It is important that children's literature is not only entertaining, but also complex in age-appropriate ways (Juel, 1988).

This study looks at the text complexity of Newbery Medal winners. The books selected for this study cover a 100-year period (1922-2022). The study should be helpful to teachers and librarians in recommending Newbery Medal books based on text complexity. Educators and librarians may use award-winning book lists as suggested reading without regard to the complexity of text. This research highlights the variation found within one list.