2022 Mathical Winners Announced

2022 Mathical Book Award Winners for Ages 2-18

Berkeley, CA – February 10, 2022 — The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) announced today the 2022 winners of the Mathical Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding fiction and literary nonfiction for youth ages 2-18. This year’s selections explore the many facets of mathematics in the world around us, from cleverly crafted puzzles to the colorful—and emotional—stories of groundbreaking women and resilience and healing in the aftermath of tragedy.

Young children will delight in creating whimsical creatures to count upon or try their hand at clever ways to chart their home and family life. For middle-grade readers, the brilliant geometrical exporations of Iranian-born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani and the moving tale of a transfer student who finds solace in math and logic after a tragedy in her school community explore more ways to see the beauty and hope in the world around us.

2022 Mathical Award Winners

The announcement takes place as part of a series of online events leading up to the 2022 National Math Festival online events on April 23, and features the authors of all four of this year’s Mathical Award titles reading selections from their winning books, published in 2021.

The Mathical Prize, now in its eighth year, is selected annually by a committee of PreK-12 math and language arts teachers, librarians, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others. The 2022 honorees include the following titles.

2022 Mathical Award Winners

For Pre-Kindergarten, the Mathical Award Winner is 1 Smile, 10 Toes by Nelleke Verhoeff (Barefoot Books).

For Grades K-2, the Mathical Award Winner is Uma Wimple Charts Her House by Reif Larsen and Ben Gibson (Random House Children’s Books).

For Grades 3-5, the Mathical Award Winner is Maryam’s Magic: The Story Of Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani by Megan Reid, with illustrations by Aaliya Jaleel (HarperCollins Children’s Books).

For Grades 6-8, the Mathical Award Winner is AfterMath by Emily Barth Isler (Lerner Publishing Group).

2022 Mathical Honor Books & Hall of Fame Titles

The following Mathical Honor Books were also announced by the selection committee, co-chaired this year by Elizabeth (Betsy) Bird, collection development manager of the Evanston (IL) Public Library system and reviewer for Kirkus and the New York Times, Katie Hendrickson, president of the Code.org advocacy coalition, and a former secondary school mathematics teacher, and Dr. Candice Price, assistant professor of mathematics at Smith College and co-founder of the website Mathematically Gifted and Black.

PreK: What Will Fit? by Grace Lin (Charlesbridge); Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins (Chronicle Books); Shape Up, Construction Trucks by Victoria Allenby (Pajama Press); and Marta! Big and Small by Jen Arena, with illustrations by Angela Dominguez (Roaring Brook Press / Macmillan).

Grades K-2: We Are One: How the World Adds Up by Susan Hood, with illustrations by Linda Yan (Candlewick Press).

Grades 3-5: Molly and the Mathematical Mysteries: Ten Interactive Adventures in Mathematical Wonderland by Eugenia Cheng, with illustrations by Aleksandra Artymowska (Candlewick Press); Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell, with illustrations by Natasha Donovan (Lerner Publishing Group); If the World Were 100 People: A Visual Guide to Our Global Village by Jackie McCann, with illustrations by Aaron Cushley (Random House Children’s Books); and Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor by Laurie Wallmark, with illustrations by Katy Wu (Union Square & Co.).

Grades 6-8: In the Red by Christopher Swiedler (HarperCollins Children’s Books); Much Ado About Baseball by Rajani LaRocca (Little Bee Books); and It’s a Numbers Game! Baseball by James Buckley, Jr. (National Geographic Kids Books).

Grades 9-12: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss by Amy Noelle Parks (Harry N. Abrams).

In addition, two new Mathical Hall of Fame titles were selected by the prize committee: Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno (1977) and The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland with illustrations by John O’Brien (2006).

2022 Mathical Honor Book covers

The 2022 Mathical Book Prize is awarded by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The prize is awarded 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).

The Mathical Book Prize is made possible through the generous support of the Firedoll Foundation and Joan and Irwin Jacobs. MSRI thanks the Simons Foundation for founding support of the Mathical Book Prize.

MSRI partners with organizations including First Book, School Library Journal, the Books for Kids Foundation, the DREME Network at Stanford University, and many others to distribute Mathical titles and resources nationally to children in need. 

Additional resources to support educators, librarians, and families including grade-level flyers, printable bookmarks, and more can be accessed at mathicalbooks.org.

About MSRI: The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) is one of the world’s preeminent centers for collaborative research in mathematics. Located in Berkeley, California, MSRI’s mission is to advance mathematical research, foster talent, and further the appreciation of mathematics. MSRI strives to make mathematics accessible and exciting to those outside the field through the National Math Festival, sponsorship of Numberphile (YouTube’s most popular informal mathematics channel, with over 4 million subscribers), film production for public television, and the Mathical Book Prize. www.msri.org

Mathical Supporters Kit

Resources for media, educators, and librarians to use to promote and feature Mathical award winners in kids’ reading programs can be found on the Mathical website at mathicalbooks.org. View the 2022 Mathical Book Prize Media Kit, including a complete booklist for 2015-2022 as well as age-level flyers and more.

Jennifer Murawski, jmurawski@msri.org
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)