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NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children

Charlotte HuckThe 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.

2015 Winning Titles

Rain Reign


Rain Reign
by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel and Friends)

Honor Books

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff (Philomel)
The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
El Deafo by Cece Bell (Harry N. Abrams)
The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane Books)
Revolution by Deborah Wiles (Scholastic)

Recommended Titles

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (Scholastic)
by Raul Colon (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic)
The Meaning of Maggie
by Megan Jean Sovern (Chronicle Books)
The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires (Kids Can Press)
Otis and the Scarecrow
by Loren Long (Penguin Group)
The Secret Hum of a Daisy
by Tracy Holczer (Putnam)
The Turtle of Oman
by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow Books)


NCTE on AirWatch NCTE on Air "From History to Homonyms," as the winners of the 2015 NCTE Charlotte Huck and Orbis Pictus Honor awards speak about their work. Speakers include: Kwame Alexander (Huck Honor), Cece Bell (Huck Honor), Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet (Orbis Pictus Honors), Kathy Short (NCTE President), Barbara Keifer (Huck Award Committee Chair), and Cyndi Giorgis (Orbis Pictus Award Committee Chair).

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

One title will receive the award and up to five Honor books will also be recognized with both the author and illustrator of award-winning or honor titles receiving recognition. Eight additional recommended books can be named. 

Nomination Process

Nominations of individual books may come 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. Eligible books must have been published or distributed in the United States during the previous calendar year.

Nominations for the 2016 Charlotte Huck Award must be received by November 1, 2015. Contact to nominate a book.

Award Presentation

NCTE Annual ConventionThe award is presented annually by the Charlotte Huck Award Committee Chair at the Children's Book Awards Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention. The award-winning author and/or illustrator will be a featured speaker at the luncheon.

The first award will be presented at the 2015 NCTE Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Award Committee

Members of the Charlotte Huck Award Committee select the award recipient and up to five honor books annually, host sessions and meet during the NCTE Annual Convention, and promote the use of fiction children's books in the classroom.

Learn more about the award committee and apply to be a member.


Award Seals

Charlotte Huck Award SealCharlotte Huck 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.


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