The National Council of Teachers of English Announces Winners of Prestigious Literary Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2023
Contact: Lindsay Semph | 217-278-3603
November 29 (Columbus, Ohio) – The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) announced the winners of the 2024 Orbis Pictus Award® for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children, as well as its 2024 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels list during an event at the NCTE Annual Convention on November 18, 2023.
The three award committees are appointed by NCTE and composed of teacher experts and authors who select the honorees each year. The awards recognize outstanding literary works expressly created for children. Anyone who reads the award-winning titles can be confident that they will be an asset to a library, classroom, home, or community.
“NCTE’s 2024 Children’s Book Award winners and honorees foster empathy and understanding. We applaud the authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers of the awarded titles, who clearly prioritize creating books that have a positive impact. We look forward to celebrating these works throughout the coming year,” said NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick.
The Probability of Everything (Clarion Books), written by Sarah Everett, is the winner of the 2024 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children.
“I can’t think of anything more profound than Charlotte Huck’s legacy of impacting children’s hearts, lives, and imaginations through fiction. I’m so honored by the generosity of the NCTE in recognizing The Probability of Everything for the 2024 Charlotte Huck Award, and for introducing this book to so many readers. Thank you so much to the committee and to English teachers everywhere!” said Everett.
The Charlotte Huck Award was established in 2014 to promote and recognize fiction that has the potential to transform children’s lives by inviting compassion, imagination, and wonder. The award honors Dr. Charlotte Huck, a professor at The Ohio State University who devoted her career to promoting the role of children’s books in young people’s academic, social, and emotional development. Each year, the committee selects a winner, up to five Honor Books, and up to eight Recommended titles appropriate for ages three to twelve.
The 2024 Honor Books include You Are Here, edited by Ellen Oh; Mascot by Charles Waters and Traci Sorell; My Powerful Hair by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Steph Littlebird; An Ofrenda for Perro by Judith Valdés B. and illustrated by Carlos Vélez Aguilera; and That Flag by Tameka Fryer Brown and illustrated by Nikkolas Smith.
“When choosing this year’s winner, the committee felt it was important to show a story with a complex plot that will capture the reader from the very first line, as author Sarah Everett has so skillfully done,” said Cecilia M. Espinosa, chair of the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children Committee. “Oftentimes, we offer children linear stories with very predictable characters. In the story The Probability of Everything, Kemi Carter is an 11-year-old child passionate about scientific facts and statistics; she utilizes these talents and curiosity to cope with and explore her pain and loss. This is a story with surprising twists; it is a powerful and moving exploration of how to handle grief, and how to move on after saying goodbye. This is, without a doubt, a story that will remain in readers’ minds for a long time.”
Learn more about the Charlotte Huck Award and find the list of 2024 Honor and Recommended Books here.
Border Crossings (Charlesbridge), written by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Howard Gray, is the winner of the 2024 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award® for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children.
“I am so honored and grateful to receive this wonderful honor. It came as a total surprise, and I want to thank everyone at NCTE for believing in and recognizing this book,” said Collard III. “It was a challenging project, but I am very grateful to the creative, supportive team at Charlesbridge Publishing and the wonderful work of my cocreator, Howard Gray. A special shout out to my agent, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary, as well, for placing the book at the perfect publishing house. Thank you again.”
The Orbis Pictus Award, established in 1989, is the oldest children’s book award for nonfiction. It pays homage to John Amos Comenius’s Orbis Pictus—The World in Pictures (1657), considered to be the first book planned for children. Each year, the committee selects a winner, up to five Honor Books, and up to eight Recommended titles ideal for classroom use from K–8.
The 2024 Honor Books include The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of by Kirsten W. Larson and illustrated by Katherine Roy; Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge by Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay and illustrated by Kalila Fuller; Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets behind the Systems We Use Every Day by Dan Nott; Ketanji Brown Jackson: A Justice for All by Tami Charles and illustrated by Jemma Skidmore; and Game of Freedom: Mestre Bimba and the Art of Capoeira written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.
“This year the Orbis Pictus Award Committee is proud to announce a wide variety of diverse texts that were chosen for the winner, Honor Books, and Recommended Books categories. For this year’s winner, the committee selected Border Crossings, written by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Howard Gray. Exploring the ecological impacts of the border wall, this book exhibits timeliness of topic, along with a storyline and illustrations that beautifully make this complex topic accessible to children and people of all ages,” chair of the Orbis Pictus Award Committee Julia López-Robertson said.
Learn more about the Orbis Pictus Award and find the list of 2024 Honor and Recommended Books here.
During the same event, NCTE unveiled its 2024 list of Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels, selected by the NCTE Children’s Poetry Awards Committee. The list can be downloaded here.
“The 2024 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels list includes incredible books representing a range of forms, topics, and representation. The NCTE Children’s Poetry Awards Committee is so pleased to share these truly notable books. In this list, readers will find delightful anthologies, critical topics, and, hopefully, themselves in the words offered by their authors. We hope classroom teachers will share these books widely with their students, fostering inspiration, wonder, and awe about the world around them,” said Mary-Kate Sableski, chair of the NCTE Children’s Poetry Awards Committee.
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s professional organization for literacy teachers spanning preK through college. Through the expertise and advocacy from its members’ professional research, practice, and knowledge, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.
For more information, please visit www.ncte.org