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NCTE Orbis Pictus Award 2019

Awarded annually by the National Council of Teachers of English to promote and recognize excellence in the writing of nonfiction specifically for children. Although only one title is singled out for the award, up to five Honor Books are also recognized.

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      Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story

      by Marc Tyler Nobleman

      Jan 2019

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      2019 Honor Book
      The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, drew the United States into World War II in 1941. But few are aware that several months later, the Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs in the woods outside a small town in coastal Oregon. This is the story of those bombings, and what came after, when Fujita returned to Oregon twenty years later, this time to apologize.
      This remarkable true story, beautifully illustrated in watercolor, is an important and moving account of reconciliation after war.
      Author’s note. Selected sources. Full-color illustrations created with watercolor and mixed media.

      Something Rotten : A Fresh Look at Roadkill

      by Heather L. Montgomery

      Jan 2019

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      2019 Recommended Book
      From biologists who use Tasmanian devil corpses to investigate cancer cures to a restaurant that serves animal remnants, here is a thoroughly gross and compelling look at scientific, artistic, and culinary uses of roadkill. Author’s note. Further reading. Suggestions and instructions for science experiments. Online resources. Annotated bibliography. Index. Black-and-white illustrations.

      Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams

      by Lesa Cline-Ransome

      Oct 2018

      Sports Elementary Plus

      2019 Recommended Book
      As children in Compton, California, Venus and Serena Williams had to sweep the courts before they could practice. Sisters, competitors, friends—they became two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Afterword. Source notes. Selected bibliography. Further reading. Full-color illustrations rendered in cut paper, pencil, and acrylic paints.

      Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented

      by Tanya Lee Stone

      Sep 2018

      Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      2019 Honor Book
      A nonfiction picture book history of Monopoly, one of the world's most famous games.
      In the late 1800s lived Lizzie Magie, a clever and charismatic woman with a strong sense of justice. Waves of urban migration drew Lizzie’s attention to rising financial inequality. Suddenly she had an idea: create a game about the landlord-tenant relationship. But Lizzie’s initial game vilified the monopolist. Enter Charles Darrow—a marketer and salesman with a keen eye for what Lizzie’s creation could become: an enticing board game, and a staple of family entertainment in households across America.
      Boldness, imagination, and ruthless competition combine in this riveting story that sets the record straight on the history of Monopoly's origins. Features back matter that includes "Monopoly Math" word problems and equations. Excellent STEM connections and resources.
      Monopoly trivia. Monopoly math. Author’s note. Sources. Full-color illustrations were created with crayon, ink, gouache, and pastel, then scanned and finished digitally in Adobe Photoshop.

      Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

      by Cheryl Bardoe

      Sep 2018

      Biography Elementary Plus

      2019 Recommended Book

      This is the true story of eighteenth-century mathematician Sophie Germain, who solved the unsolvable to achieve her dream. More about Sophie Germain. Note on referenced math and science concepts. How to re-create an experiment in the book. Selected bibliography. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Full-color illustrations created with markers, gouache, and collage.

      Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere

      by Barb Rosenstock

      Aug 2018

      Science Nonfiction Elementary Plus

      2019 Recommended Book

      This is the suspenseful, little-known true story of two determined pioneers who made the first dive into the deep ocean.

      The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art

      by Barb Rosenstock

      Jun 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      2019 Honor Book
      This is the incredible story of the world's largest visionary environment: India's Rock Garden of Chandigarh, which was kept secret by outsider artist Nek Chand for fifteen years.

      Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree

      by Sally M. Walker

      May 2018

      Nonfiction Middle Plus

      2019 Honor Book
      Here is the compelling story of the near-extinction and dramatic recovery of the iconic American chestnut tree. Author’s note. Note on scientific classification of chestnut trees. Appendices. Source notes. Glossary. Select bibliography. Index. Full-color photo insert. Black-and white photographs, illustrations, and maps.

      Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

      by Sandra Neil Wallace

      Apr 2018

      Sports Elementary Plus

      2019 Winner
      Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes—a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation. Historical note. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Reproductions of paintings. Suggestions for further information. Quote sources. Additional resources. Full-color watercolor and collage illustrations.
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