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Press Release Fun: The 2019 Mathical Book Prize Winners Announced!

Mathical Book Prize

Math + Literature =
2019 Mathical Book Prize Winners!

2019 Mathical Award Winners

From the inspiring true stories of the Apollo 8 astronauts and a pioneering woman mathematician to tales of a middle school girl struck by lightning and a young elephant who loves to build towers of wooden bricks, this year’s Mathical Book Prize winners offer young readers a glimpse of the exciting—and sometimes unexpected—ways that mathematical ideas fit into the world around them.

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) announced the 2019 winners today of the Mathical Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding fiction and literary nonfiction for youth ages 2-18. The announcement took place at the Critical Issues in Mathematics Education conference, where math educators discussed strategies for incorporating literary works with mathematical content into primary and secondary school curricula.The Mathical Prize, now in its fifth year, is selected annually by a committee of PreK-12 teachers, librarians, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others. This year’s honorees include the following:

For Pre-Kindergarten, the Mathical Award Winner is Crash! Boom! A Math Tale, by Robie H. Harris (Candlewick Press).

For Grades K-2, the Mathical Award Winner is Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain, by Cheryl Bardoe (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

For Grades 3-5, the Mathical Award Winner is The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty (Random House Children’s Books).

For Grades 6-8, the Mathical Award Winner is To the Moon! The True Story of the American Heroes on the Apollo 8 Spaceship, by Jeffrey Kluger and Ruby Shamir (Philomel Books for Young Readers).

The Mathical Book Prize is awarded by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and in coordination with the Children’s Book Council (CBC).

Selected winning titles are distributed to children in need in the Bay Area with the support of First Book and the Firedoll Foundation, who have also underwritten the creation of reading guides for families. The Mathical list is intended as a resource for educators, parents, librarians, children, and teens. To view the full list of Mathical titles, visit

Mathical at the National Math Festival

Mathical Authors at the 2019 National Math Festival

As part of the 2019 National Math Festival, five Mathical award-winning authors will speak and host book signings for the public on May 4 in Washington, DC. This free, all-ages event is organized by MSRI in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath). To learn more about these events, visit below:

2019 Mathical Honor Books


Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

  • Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

2019 Mathical Fall of Fame Selection

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

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