Honor Books

Recommended Books

Award Details

Nomination Deadline:  October 1

The NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children commemorates the work of educator Charlotte Huck, who led children’s-literature studies at Ohio State University from the mid-1950s to 1986, championing the classroom use of storybooks to teach reading and language arts. She was the author of five editions of the textbook Children’s Literature in the Classroom. Huck died in 2005.

Members of the Charlotte Huck Award Committee select the award recipient and up to five honor books annually. Although only one title is singled out for the award each year, up to five honor books are also recognized. Eight additional recommended books can be named.

Learn more about the Committee and apply to be a member.

Books must have been published and/or distributed in the United States during the calendar year. Nominations of individual books may come from publishers, NCTE membership, and from the educational community at large. The books can be picture books, novels, graphic novels—any type of fiction—and they should have exemplary literary quality of text and illustrations. In addition, the books should connect children to their own humanity and offer them a rich experience with the power to influence their lives and stretch their thinking, feelings, and imagination.

The award shall be given to Fiction for children that has the potential to transform children’s lives.

• Fiction that invites compassion, imagination, and wonder.
• Fiction that connects children to their own humanity and offers them a rich experience with the power to influence their lives.
• Fiction that stretches children’s thinking, feelings, and imagination.
• Fiction that exhibits literary quality of text and illustrations.
• Fiction that is published in the United States during the previous calendar year.
• Fiction for whom the primary audience for the book is children, preschool to age 12.

The award is presented annually by the chair of the Charlotte Huck Award Committee at the Children’s Book Awards Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention.

The award-winning author and/or illustrator receive a plaque and are the featured speaker(s) at the luncheon.

The honor book author(s) and/or illustrator(s) are recognized, receive a certificate, and are invited to present at a session following the luncheon.

Nominations must be submitted to the Award Committee by October 1. We request early submission when possible to give the committee enough time to review all submissions. One copy of each book nominated should be sent to the committee members for examination. Digital copies are encouraged and can be emailed directly to the committee members. Advanced copies or galley proofs are acceptable and encouraged, especially for books published after October 1.

Contact bookawards@ncte.org for award committee member information to nominate a book.

Charlotte Huck Award seals are available to accompany winning books and their future printings. The seals serve to endorse the excellence of the books and distinguish them from among the thousands of books published each year.  Seals are complimentary and are available in gold for winning books, silver for honor books, and bronze for recommended books.

To place an order, please call 1-217-278-3607


2019 NCTE Charlotte Huck Awards


2019 Winner

Sweep:  the Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier



Honor Books

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham, Charles Waters, Sean Qualls, Selina Alko (Carolrhoda Books) 

Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer (G.P. Putnam)

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown and Company)

Merci Suárez Changes Gear by Meg Medina (Candlewick Press)

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb (Candlewick Press)

Recommended Books

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick Press) 

Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat (Disney-Hyperion) 

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (Little, Brown and Company) 

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët (Schwartz & Wade Books) 

Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood (Simon & Schuster) 

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Alfred A. Knopf) 

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López (Nancy Paulsen Books)

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Dial Books)


Many of the Charlotte Huck Winner, Honor and Recommended books are available in one place on Bookshop.com at NCTE’s shop. (NCTE and local bookstores receive a commission for purchases made through this link.)