The Mathical Book Prize aims to inspire a love of mathematics in the everyday world in children of all ages. Each year’s winners and honor books join a selective and ever-growing list of new and previously published fiction and non-fiction titles for youth. These titles are as varied as the intersection between literature and mathematics — that is to say, they encompass picture books, novels, poetry collections, puzzle books, biographies, and more!
Mathematics is much more than the manipulation of numbers shapes, and equations: it spans pattern, sequence, creative order, logical analysis, and problem-solving. The prize seeks to expand the public understanding and enjoyment of mathematics through highlighting titles that will inspire young people of all ages to see the world in new ways.
The Mathical selection panel is drawn from librarians, teachers, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others. The jury selects winners in five grade-level categories: PreK, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
The Mathical Book Prize is organized by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, California. MSRI is one of the world’s preeminent centers for collaborative research in mathematics. Our mission is to advance mathematical research, foster talent, and further the appreciation and understanding of mathematics.
Our public programs aim to showcase the importance and beauty of math to the general public. MSRI strives to make mathematics accessible and exciting to those outside the field through the National Math Festival in Washington, D.C., sponsorship of Numberphile (YouTube’s most popular informal mathematics channel with over 1.7 million subscribers), film production for public television, and the Mathical Book Prize. MSRI has created a national “math circles” movement of small organizations teaching and engaging children in math as a hobby.
MSRI is supported by the National Science Foundation with additional support from other government agencies, private foundations, corporations, individual donors, and nearly 100 academic institutions. MSRI is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and it is not affiliated with any publisher or bookseller of Mathical award titles.
MSRI is pleased to partner with two of the United States’ premier professional associations for educators, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Members of each organization are represented on the 2017 Mathical Book Prize selection panel, and both organizations coordinate with MSRI to announce the 2017 competition results, share resources for educators, and promote Mathical award winning titles both online and at events throughout the country.
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) promotes the development of literacy (the use of language to construct personal and public worlds and to achieve full participation in society) through the learning and teaching of English and the related arts and sciences of language. NCTE does this through a vast array of programs, publications, and projects designed to support more than 30,000 members nationwide.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is the public voice of mathematics education, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students through vision, leadership, professional development, and research. NCTM is the world’s largest mathematics education organization, with 80,000 members and more than 230 Affiliates throughout the United States and Canada.
Mathical Book Prize Selection Panel
MSRI extends our sincere appreciation to the members of the Mathical Book Prize selection panels for their time and dedication to sharing their love of mathematics and books with young readers.
- 2016 Mathical Book Prize Selection Panel (Co-chairs: Dr. Jordan Ellenberg, Dr. Rebecca Goldin, and Jon Scieszka)
- 2015 Mathical Book Prize Selection Panel (Co-chairs: Dr. Jordan Ellenberg, Dr. Rebecca Goldin, and Jon Scieszka)
Support for Low-Income Communities and Schools
MSRI and the Mathical Book Prize partner with First Book, which provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 135 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, including over 5,000 copies of Mathical award-winning titles. Educators working with schools and programs serving low-income communities can register with the First Book Marketplace to access many Mathical titles at heavily discounted prices, as well as grants and no-cost books through First Book’s National Book Bank.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations to launch Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens:
MSRI extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Children’s Book Council (CBC), the national nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting and informing the industry and fostering literacy. The CBC is the anchor sponsor of Children’s Book Week, and is proud to partner with other national organizations on co-sponsored reading lists, educational programming, and literacy initiatives. We are grateful for a strong partnership and the invaluable guidance and support of the CBC in launching the Mathical Book Prize in 2015.
The Mathical Book Prize is made possible with the support of the Simons Foundation.