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NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children

2016 Winner

Stella by StarlightStella by Starlight
by Sharon M. Draper
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)


Sharon M. DraperHear from Sharon in this interview, recorded just after the award announcement.

See the live stream
of the Awards Luncheon, and read NCTE member Franki Sibberson's blog, "NCTE Book Awards!"

Read Sharon Draper's interviewHard Topics Can Lead to Good Kids' Books" in the March issue of The Council Chronicle.


Honor Books

  • Little Tree by Loren Long (Philomel Books)
  • New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer, illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Holiday House)
  • Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson (Candlewick Press)
  • Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo (Simon & Schuster)
  • Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Jamie Hogan (Charlesbridge)

Recommended Books

  • Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (Feiwel & Friends)
  • Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume Two by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick Press)
  • George by Alex Gino (Scholastic Press)
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)
  • Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato (Henry Holt and Company)
  • Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books)
  • Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng, translated by Elisa Amado (Groundwood Books)


Nomination Deadline:  November 1

Purpose:  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.

Eligibility:  Books must have been published or distributed in the United States during the previous calendar year. Nominations of individual books may come from publishers, the membership of NCTE, 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

2016 Annual ConventionAward 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.

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 for award committee member information to nominate a book.

Judging:  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.

The award committee also hosts sessions, 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.

Charlotte Huck Award SealCharlotte 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.

Past Winners:  Book List of Past Winners


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