2018 Honor Books

2018 Recommended Books

Award Details

Nomination Deadline:  October 15

The NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children was established in 2014 to promote and recognize excellence in the writing of fiction for children. This award recognizes fiction that has the potential to transform children’s lives by inviting compassion, imagination, and wonder.

The award 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.

Books must have been published 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.

Award Criteria:

  • 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
  • Exemplary literary quality of text and illustrations
  • Published in the United States during the previous calendar year
  • Primary audience for the book is children ages three through twelve

Award Specifics:
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 15. One copy of each book nominated should be sent to the committee members for examination. Advanced copies or galley proofs are acceptable and encouraged, especially for books published after October 15. Contact elementary@ncte.org for award committee member information to nominate a book.

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 Charlotte Huck Award Committee and apply to be a member.

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 $.25 each and available in gold for winning books, silver for honor books, and bronze for recommended books.

To place an order, please call our customer service department toll-free at 1-877-369-6283.

2017 NCTE Charlotte Huck Awards


2017 Winner

Ghost by Jason Reynolds
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)



Honor Books:

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson (Walden Pond Press)
  • The Night Gardener by Eric and Terry Fan (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, Illustrated by Mike Curato (Baltzer & Bray)

Recommended Books:

  • A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket by Deborah Hopkinson (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge (Dial Books)
  • Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
  • Luis Paints the World by Terry Farish, Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez (Carolrhoda Books)
  • One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi (Harper Collins)
  • The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh (Harry N. Abrams)
  • The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner (Bloomsbury)
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (Dutton Books for Young Readers)


Past Charlotte Huck Award Winners