Announcing the 2019 NCTE Children's Book Awards - National Council of Teachers of English
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Announcing the 2019 NCTE Children’s Book Awards

Books have the power to transform lives, and the Charlotte Huck, Orbis Pictus, and Excellence in Poetry for Children awards celebrate works that have the highest potential to do so. These awards are a valuable resource for teachers looking to introduce students to important themes and subjects, and they provide an opportunity for both teachers and readers to discover new books and authors.

On November 16, the 2019 awards were announced and the results are listed below.


2019 Orbis Pictus Award Winner


Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

Written by, Sandra Neil Wallace
Illustrated by,
Bryan Collier
(Simon & Schuster)

Ernie Barnes’s decision to choose a career in art over professional football offers readers a model of masculinity, a pathway for following one’s passions, and a window into the Black Is Beautiful movement.

2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Books


Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree

Written by, Sally Walker
(Henry Holt and Co.)
Walker adeptly interweaves science and history to highlight the trials, tribulations, and anticipated triumphs of ecological research and the restoration of the American chestnut tree.

Pass Go and Collect $200: The Story of How Monopoly was Invented

Written by,Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrated by, Stephen Salerno
(Henry Holt and Co.)
Entertainment, economics, and (in)equity are key players in this appealing account of patents, profits, and persuasion involved in the creation and evolution of Monopoly.

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art

Written by, Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by, Claire Nivola
(Candlewick Press)
When Nek Chand’s protected and peaceful life is turned upside down with the 1947 separation of India, he turned trauma into art, transforming 13 acres of land into a secret wonderland.

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story

Written by, Marc Tyler Nobleman
Illustrated by, Melissa Iwai
(Clarion Books)
When Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs on a small coastal Oregon town in 1942, he could not imagination that reconciliation, and decades of friendship and fellowship, would follow.

We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Written by, Traci Sorell
Illustrated by Frané Lessac
(Charlesbridge Publishers)
Cherokee citizen Traci Sorell and illustrator Frane Lessac shed light on the sacred concept of gratitude, giving voice to contemporary Cherokee culture and language.

2019 Orbis Pictus Recommended Books



Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental Man by Tonya Bolden (Abrams Publishing)
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, by Lisa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James Ransome (Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez, illustrated by Felicita Sala (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of the Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain, by Cheryl Bardoe, illustrated by Barbara McClintock (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Katherine Roy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill, by Heather Montgomery, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Extraordinary Life of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Beach Lane Books)


2019 Charlotte Huck Award Winner

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

Jonathan Auxier
From the ashes of Victorian London emerge a girl, her Golem, and the sparks of child labor reform.

2019 Charlotte Huck Honor Books


Can I Touch Your Hair?

Irene Latham & Charles Waters
Sean Qualls & Selina Alko
(Carolrhoda Books)
Discomfort precedes understanding. Understanding precedes change.

Everything Else in the Universe

Tracy Holczer
(G.P. Putnam)
Can Lucy be her father’s missing arm? Recovery, resilience, and the ripple effects of PTSD


Ghost Boys

Jewell Parker Rhodes
(Little Brown)
Humanity comes in many colors. Can you see me?

Merci Suarez Changes Gear

Meg Medina
Familia, the glue that keeps the heart and mind together.

The Day War Came

Nicola Davies / Rebecca Cobb
When war invades the hearts of adults, it is the children who make their refugee classmates feel welcome.


2019 Charlotte Huck Recommended Books



Alma and How She Got Her Name Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick)
Drawn Together Minh Le / Dan Santat (Disney-Hyperion)
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World Ashley Herring Blake (Little Brown)
I Walk with Vanessa  Kerascoët (Schwartz & Wade Books)
Lifeboat 12 Susan Hood (Simon & Schuster)
The Cardboard Kingdom Chad Sell (Alfred A. Knopf)
The Day You Begin Jacqueline Woodson / Rafael Lopez (Nancy Paulsen Books)
The Rabbit Listened Cori Doerrfeld (Dial Books)




2019 Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children Winner

Paul B. Janeczko