2023 Mathical Book Prize Award Winners for Ages 2-18
Berkeley, CA – February 15, 2023 — The Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath) announced today the 2023 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 recreational computer coding to poetry, counting what’s not there, and more.
Preschool children may find playtime inspiration in the towering structures built by a young boy learning how to play with his new baby sister. Young readers will stretch their concept of numbers when counting zero zebras or writing whimsical math poetry; and for middle grades, themes of home, family, neighbors, surprises, and starting over come together with mathematical ideas.
The Mathical Prize, now in its ninth year, is selected annually by a committee of PreK-12 math and language arts teachers, librarians, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others. The 2023 honorees include the following titles.
2023 Mathical Award Winners
For Pre-Kindergarten, the Mathical Award Winner is Again, Essie? by Jenny Lacika, with illustrations by Teresa Martínez (Charlesbridge Publishing).
For Grades K-2, the Mathical Award Winner is Zero Zebras: A Counting Book about What’s Not There by Bruce Goldstone, with illustrations by Julien Chung (Scholastic).
For Grades 3-5, the Mathical Award Winner is Counting in Dog Years and Other Sassy Math Poems by Betsy Franco, with illustrations by Priscilla Tey (Candlewick Press).
For Grades 6-8, the Mathical Award Winner is Shine On, Luz Véliz! by Rebecca Balcárcel (Chronicle Books).
2023 Mathical Honor Books
The following Mathical Honor Books were also announced by the selection committee, co-chaired this year by Katie Hendrickson of Code.org, Chris Nho of Desmos, and Dr. John Urschel of Harvard University Department of Mathematics.
PreK: Numbers Everywhere by Linda Leopold Strauss, illustrated by Sara Infante (Holiday House); Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat (Charlesbridge)
Grades K-2: Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Random House Children’s Books); One Boy Watching by Grant Snider (Chronicle Books); Too Many Pigs and One Big Bad Wolf by Davide Calì, illustrated by Marianna Balducci (Tundra Book Group)
Grades 3-5: Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Brooke Smart (Abrams Books for Young Readers); The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Math for Kids by Rebecca Rapoport and Allanna Chung, illustrated by Kelly Anne Dalton (The Quarto Group); The Book of Math* by Anna Weltman, illustrated by Paul Boston (Kane Miller, A Division of EDC Publishing); Women in Engineering by Mary Wissinger, illustrated by Danielle Pioli (Science, Naturally!)
Grades 6-8: Folding Tech: Using Origami and Nature to Revolutionize Technology* by Karen Latchana Kenney (Lerner Publishing); It’s A Numbers Game! Football by Eric Zweig (National Geographic Kids Books); The Book of Math* by Anna Weltman, illustrated byPaul Boston (Kane Miller, A Division of EDC Publishing);
Grades 9-12: Folding Tech: Using Origami and Nature to Revolutionize Technology* by Karen Latchana Kenney (Lerner Publishing)
* Denotes titles which are honored in two grade-level categories.
The 2023 Mathical Book Prize is awarded by the Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath), formerly known as the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). 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. SLMath thanks the Simons Foundation for founding support of the Mathical Book Prize.
SLMath 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 SLMath: The Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath), formerly known as the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), is one of the world’s preeminent centers for collaborative research in mathematics. Located in Berkeley, California, the mission of SLMath is to advance mathematical research, foster talent, and further the appreciation and understanding of mathematics. SLMath strives to make mathematics accessible and exciting to those outside the field through sponsorship of Numberphile (one of YouTube’s most popular informal mathematics channels, with over 4.2 million subscribers), film production for public television (most recently Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani), and the Mathical Book Prize. SLMath is supported by the National Science Foundation with additional support from other government agencies, private foundations, corporations, individual donors, and over 100 academic institutions worldwide. www.slmath.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 2023 Mathical Book Prize Media Kit, including a complete booklist for 2015-2023 with age-level flyers and more.
Jennifer Murawski, firstname.lastname@example.org
Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath)