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Mathical Book Prize 2021 Winners

Berkeley, CA – February 9, 2021 — The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) announce today the 2021 winners of the Mathical Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding fiction and literary nonfiction for youth ages 2-18. The announcement takes place as part of a series of online events in advance of the National Math Festival in April, and features all five of this year’s Mathical Award recipients reading from their winning books, published in 2020.

The Mathical Prize, now in its seventh 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:

2021 Winners

For Pre-Kindergarten, the Mathical Award Winner is Lia & Luís: Who Has More?, by Ana Crespo (Charlesbridge).

For Grades K-2, the Mathical Award Winner is The Animals Would Not Sleep, by Sara Levine (Charlesbridge).

For Grades 3-5, the Mathical Award Winner is Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math, by Rajani LaRocca (Lee & Low Books).

For Grades 6-8, the Mathical Award Winner is How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco (Crown Books for Young Readers / Random House Children’s Books).

For Grades 9-12, the Mathical Award Winner is Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math, by Jeannine Atkins (Simon & Schuster)

Download the complete list of Mathical Book Prize winners

2020 Mathical Honor Books

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, and Dr. Candice Price, assistant professor of mathematics at Smith College and co-founder of the website Mathematically Gifted and Black


Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

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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