NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children Winners

NCTE Poets Spotlight Series by author Renee LaTulippe

2015 Marilyn Singer
2013 Joyce Sidman
2011 J. Patrick Lewis
2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins
2006 Nikki Grimes
2003 Mary Ann Hoberman
2000 X.J. Kennedy
1997 Eloise Greenfield
1994 Barbara Juster Esbensen
1991 Valerie Worth
1988 Arnold Adoff
1985 Lilian Moore
1982 John Ciardi
1981 Eve Merriam
1980 Myra Cohn Livingston
1979 Karla Kuskin
1978 Aileen Fisher
1977 David McCord

2017 Notable Books

2017 Notable Poetry Books

2017 Notable Verse Novels

Notable Poetry Book Lists:
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Eligibility:  Books must have been published or distributed in the English language during the calendar year. Bilingual books are also accepted. Nominations of individual books may come from publishers, the membership of NCTE, and from the educational community at large. Any poetry title for children ages 3-13 is accepted. This includes all forms of poetry including individual poetry, anthologies, narratives, biographical poems, and verse novels.

Poetry Notable Books Criteria:

Individual Poems demonstrate*

  • Content that is interesting to and understandable by intended readers.
  • Language is innovative, with careful word choices and uses of poetic devices to enhance meaning.
  • Form or structure helps readers understand more about the poetic subject or mood.

Collections and Anthologies demonstrate*

  • Purposeful selection of quality poetry.
  • Arrangement that is logical.
  • Inclusiveness of a range of poetry.
  • In addition, if an old collection or anthology has been recently published or reissued, it must have a new perspective, fresh approach, and/or newly illustrated to be considered as a new collection.

Picture books/stories in rhyme

  • The poetry in picture books must incorporate poetic language that exemplifies figurative language, that demonstrating depth rather than simply rhymed couplets.

Poetry Notable Verse Novel Criteria:

  • A narrative told in poetic form.
  • Excellence in writing and emotional impact: does the poetry “create images, express feelings, and stir emotions”*
  • Format enriches the story in some way.

*Some criteria excerpted from: Galda, L., Cullinan, B.E., & Sipe, L.R. (2010). Literature and the Child. Seventh Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning

Deadline:  Nominations must be submitted to the Award Committee by November 1. One copy of each book nominated should be sent to the committee members for examination. Advanced copies or galley proofs are acceptable. Contact elementary@ncte.org for award committee member information to nominate a book.