What do the Newbery and Stephenie Meyer Have In Common?

The Children’s Bookshelf peeps at Publishers Weekly recently tweeted this Huffington post article on Grammar Pet Peeves.  The list contains the fairly standard horrors of affect/effect, its/it’s, etc. and it got me thinking about the two children’s lit misspellings that keep me awake at night.

The first, and most bone-chillingly infuriating, is the misspelling of Newbery.  If I had a dime for everytime I saw Mr. N spelt wrong, I’d likely have enough money to hire Neil Gaiman to come speak at a private event.

John most often has his surname butchered in two ways.

1.  “Newbury”

Even Neil Gaiman is not immune to the power of the Newbery typo!!!

"Hey kids, let's go to the libury for a Newbury award winning book!"

2.  “Newberry”

"Hey kids, let's go to the liberry for a Newberry award winning book!" My horror at the Mr. Popper's Penguin movie will be saved for a future post.
Caldecott is spared the terror.

“Stephanie Meyer”

Stephenie Meyer is what I call a “tooth brushing author,” meaning I harbor neither overwhelmingly strong hatred nor overwhelmingly strong love for her or her work.  Reading Twilight was like brushing my teeth – it was a necessity that left me feeling rather neutral and blaze.  M’eh.

But what does leave me in a cold sweat of rage is the misspelling of her name.  I don’t know why, but it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.  And it’s one thing if you’re a teenager on a Twlight message board, fervently arguing the merits of Team Jacob, but it is quite another if you are one of Canada’s most popular and respected newspapers:

COME ON! The giant picture of the book cover is right there, exposing your nasty typo ways, National Post!

And People magazine did it too!

There are many more examples but my blood pressure can’t take it.  I know that we are all human and that this blog is probably riddled with typos, but I thought it was my duty to show you this horrifying underbelly of the children’s/YA literature world.  This will also be the only time Stephenie Meyer and Newbery are ever mentioned in the same sentence.

I would also like to point out that there are some instances where children’s literature-related typos are positively inevitable.  For instance, when you are spelling John Scieszka.  Even if I am copying his name directly from a book cover, I will always spell it wrong.  The same goes for Canadian YA author Shelley Hrdlitschka.  It is common knowledge that the most fertile typo breeding ground is created when an s is paired side-by-side with a c.  Throw a z or a k/h in there and you’re up the creek.

4 thoughts on “What do the Newbery and Stephenie Meyer Have In Common?”

  1. A further complication–The Newberry Library (Chicago) is correctly spelled with two r’s! As to Meyer’s first name, I was sure you had misspelled it, it appears the other way so often. I should have known better. And BTW, love this blog…


  2. “it was a necessity that left me feeling rather neutral and blaze”

    Did you mean blasé? Interesting in a post about typos!


  3. It IS interesting! I’m going to leave it that way as a kind of meta-challenge: “Spot the typo in the typo post.”


  4. Typos bug me too. I hate it that my fingers always type “it’s” or “you’re” before my brain realizes I want to type “its” or “your.” My brain, being slower than my fingers usually kicks in shortly after I’ve hit the send button.

    Typos aside what about this phrase that I recently encountered in a journal article by educators about YA literature:
    “Since sixth grade she has dreamed of graduating high school with a respectable GPA so she can attend university . . . in spite of all the ‘haters’ who constantly try to bring her down.”
    I know it was a long time ago, but I graduated FROM high school (I know my own set of typos might not indicate that I did, but I did). I imagine if I had the power to graduate high school, I could stuff it in a beaker and put little marks (graduations, geddit) on the side.

    Love your blog!


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