Most people, when they begin collecting books, start with what they love. Sometimes it's just a mish-mosh of authors that have tickled us in some way, sometimes it's a particular theme or genre, and sometimes the collection focusses on award winners.
Children's books are a particular favorite - striking that emotional cord; bringing back memories of a time when we could, more often than not, snuggle up and get lost in a book that made our world bigger than we could have ever imagined, while at the same time keeping us safely entrenched in our comfy chair/bed/world.
Since we're just coming off the Newbery Medal winner and honorees announcement, I thought I'd present you with a list of winners dating back to 1985. It's not the entire list, by far, but it's a good start for anyone wanting to begin collecting - and, for the most part, these titles are still easily acquired.
If you'd like the full list of winners and honorees, checkout the ALA Website.
Keep in mind, that when collecting titles, you want to look for first print runs (displaying the full number line on the copyright page); you also want to make sure the book is in excellent condition (no marks, tears, etc. It should look practically new). For more information on identifying first editions, check out this blog post.
Additionally, when collecting these titles, look for the copies that do not yet have Newbery Medal stickers on the dust jacket.
That said, sometimes the title is so rare, that even marked up, unsigned, ex-library copies maintain value (so do your homework).
The below listed links lead to Abebook.com book listings to give you an idea of the variety and scope for each title. (note: I am not an affiliate with Abebooks, I just happen to think they're a good resource).
2014 Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, 2013)
:: $40-$65 unsigned (without Newbery sticker); $80 signed (without sticker)
:: since this title was just announced as the winner, you can probably find good signed or unsigned copies at reasonable prices right now. Go ahead and grab 'em if you can, the value will most certainly go up. (note: my Barnes & Noble had a big Newbery Medal display but for some reason the 2 remaining copies of Flora & Ulysses was tucked away on an end cap).
2013 The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2012)
:: $75-$350 signed
:: good luck finding a copy of this title without the Newbery sticker - once it won, the publisher flooded the market with copies displaying the Newbery Medallion.
2012 Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011)
:: $50-$250 signed
2011 Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, 2010)
:: up to $35 unsigned; up to $200 signed
2010 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, 2009)
:: up to $35 unsigned; $150-$550 signed
2009 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins, 2008)
:: $50-$330 signed
2008 Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick, 2007)
:: up to $30 unsigned; $50-$210 signed
2007 The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson, 2006)
:: $65-275 signed
2006 Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2005)
:: up to $25 unsigned; $100-$430 signed
2005 Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, 2004)
:: up to $30 unsigned; $600-$990 signed
:: I'm not sure why the signed books are listing for so much when the unsigned aren't. (I'll have to research this further). Kadohata also won the 2013 National Book Award for The Thing About Luck (first prints listing for $40-$60 w/o sticker).
2004 The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, (Candlewick Press, 2003)
:: up to $50 unsigned; $200-$440 signed
:: $30 unsigned; up to $130 signed
2002 A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, 2001)
:: Small first print run
:: First printing = $100-$200 unsigned; $800-$1,200 signed
2001 A Year Down Yonder by by Richard Peck (Dial, 2000)
:: $30-$85 unsigned; $100 signed
:: $35 unsigned; $65-$220 signed
1999 Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster, 1998)
:: $65-$100 unsigned; $150-$900 signed
:: first print run is said to be "scarce" by some booksellers
:: $50 unsigned; $75-$330 signed
:: Watch for condition and print run when shopping for this title, there are a lot of 3d printings (with Newbery sticker), you want to find a first print with no sticker on the cover.
1997 The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum, 1996)
:: $65-$150; $180-$320 signed
:: Watch for print runs and look for the hardbound edition (not paperback - unless you're collecting ARC's)
:: $45-$125 unsigned; $135-$220 signed
:: first print run is said to be "scarce"
:: some mention of the book design / foil stamping having differing colors - some spines showing gold foil stamping, others showing copper -- this doesn't seem to effect the value of the book.
1995 Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins, 1994)
:: $50-$185 unsigned; $200 signed
1994 The Giver by Lois Lowry (Houghton, 1993)
:: $200+ unsigned; $345-$500 signed
:: First printings of this title are rare, so even copies that are in Good to Very Good condition are valuable.
:: At the time of this posting, there was even a 19th printing listing for $40 on Abebooks.
1993 Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard, 1992)
:: $90-$320 unsigned (no signed copies were listed)
:: Dust jacket for the first printing has two "states" - one with the Newbery Medallion sticker (2d state), one without (1st state) - Look for the first state dust jacket without the Newbery sticker.
1992 Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum, 1991)
:: $30-$135 unsigned (no signed copies listed)
1991 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown, 1990)
:: up to $20 unsigned; $225 signed
:: $20-$150 unsigned; $300-$450 signed
:: watch for condition and print run when looking for this title.
1989 Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper, 1988)
:: $150 unsigned & without Newbery sticker; $45 unsigned with Newbery sticker (no signed copies listed)
:: $20 unsigned (Hardback) - no signed copies listed.
1987 The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow, 1986)
:: $20-$75 unsigned; $175-$375 signed
:: $750 unsigned
:: First printing is rare / scarce
1985 The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow, 1984)
:: $70-$200 unsigned; $200-$375 signed