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Mathical Book Prize Winners

Berkeley, CA – March 12, 2020 — The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) announced today the 2020 winners 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 sixth year, is selected annually by a committee of PreK-12 teachers, librarians, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others.

2020 Winners

For Pre-Kindergarten, the Mathical Award Winner is One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller, by Kate Read (Peachtree Publishing Company).

For Grades K-2, the Mathical Award Winner is Pigeon Math, by Asia Citro (Innovation Press).

For Grades 3-5, the Mathical Award Winner is Solving for M, by Jennifer Swender (Crown Books for Young Readers).

For Grades 9-12, the Mathical Award Winner is Slay, by Brittney Morris (Simon Pulse).

Mathical selection committee co-chair Elizabeth Bird reflected on the 2020 slate of winning titles.

“It is with the greatest of pleasure that I’ve watched the quality and quantity of great math books for kids rise steadily each year. Granted, that makes the job of the award committee all the more difficult, but it’s a challenge we embrace with joy,” she said.

Bird is the collection development manager for the Evanston (IL) Public Library system, and a reviewer for Kirkus and the New York Times.

“One of the best parts of my year is getting to read these wonderful books that give children and young adults the opportunity to explore mathematics in the literary form,” said Candice Price, assistant professor of mathematics at Smith College and incoming co-chair of the Mathical selection committee.

See the full list of Mathical Book Prize winners.

2020 Mathical Honor Books


Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

About the Mathical Prize

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). 

The Mathical Book Prize is made possible through the generous support of the Firedoll Foundation and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.

MSRI partners with organizations including First Book, School Library Journal, the Books for Kids Foundation, and others around the U.S. to distribute Mathical titles to children in need.

Additional resources to support educators, librarians, and families 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 3.2 million subscribers), film production for public television, and the Mathical Book Prize. www.msri.org

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