The list author says: "The most outstanding children's nonfiction books. The award is presented each November by the Orbis Pictus Committee Chair during the Books for Children Luncheon at the Annual NCTE Convention. Although only one title is singled out for the award, up to five Honor Books are also recognized.
The name 'Orbis Pictus', commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, 'Orbis Pictus — The World in Pictures' (1657), considered to be the first book actually planned for children."
"2007 Winner | 9-12 | Hardcover It looks like a bear, but isnt one. It climbs trees as easily as a monkey- but isnt a monkey, either. It has a belly pocket like a kangaroo, but whats a kangaroo doing up a tree? Meet the amazing Matschies tree kangaroo, who makes its home in the ancient trees of Papua New Guineas cloud forest. And meet the amazing scientists who track these elusive animals."
"2006 Winner | 9-14 | Hardcover The lives of children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Draws on memoirs, diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, and richly illustrated with classic archival photographs."
"2005 Winner | 9-14 | Paperback Did you know that an African-American man participated in Lewis and Clark's famous expedition? Working alongside free men, Clark's slave York played an important role in the journey's success."
"2004 Winner | 11+ | Hardcover History, science, politics, and public health come together in this dramatic account of the disastrous yellow fever epidemic that hit the nation's capital more than 200 years ago."
"2003 Winner | 4-8 | Hardcover | Picturebook Most people know Marian Anderson from her historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of over 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America."
"2002 Winner | 11+ | Paperback In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled their homeland."
"2001 Winner | 11+ | Hardcover The California gold rush of 1849 brought a new kind of freedom to many African Americans. Slavery was illegal in California, and slaves who were brought in by their owners could escape and be freed."
"2000 Winner | 9-12 | Hardcover Surrounded by federal marshals, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first black student ever at the all-white William Frantz Public School in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 14, 1960."
"1999 Winner | 11+ | Paperback As Shackleton and 27 sailors attempted to cross the frozen Antarctic continent from one side to the other, they were trapped in an ice pack, lost their ship to the icy depths, survived an Antarctic winter, escaped attacks from sea lions, and traversed 600 treacherous miles to the uninhabited Elephant Island."
"1998 Winner | 9-12 | Hardcover Introduces the life cycle, feeding habits, migration, predators, and mating of the monarch butterfly through the observation of one particular monarch named Danaus. Realistic, full-color paintings and maps."
"1997 Winner | 7+ | Paperback | Picturebook Illustrated in an Old Masters style, the book follows the life of da Vinci from birth to death and gives a detailed account of his extraordinary achievements, not only in his painting but also as an engineer, scientist, and inventor who is centuries ahead of his time."
"1996 Winner | 10+ | Paperback The great Chicago fire of 1871 has long been the stuff of folklore and legend. Yet separating fact from fiction in this major disaster has often appeared a secondary priority at best. Murphy sets the record straight through carefully selected documents, personal accounts, photographs, and illustrations."
"1995 Winner | 9-12 | Paperback Large, outstanding color photos tell the story in Swanson's interesting study of the inhabitants of the North Pacific coastal waters. Remarkable oddities of ocean life are featured in text and picture."
"1994 Winner | 10+ | Paperback Combines an account of Robert Louis Stevenson's experiences as he traveled from New York to California by train in 1879 and a description of the building and operation of railroads in nineteenth-century America."
"1993 Winner | 9-12 | Paperback Illus. with photographs from the Dust Bowl era. This true story took place at the emergency farm-labor camp immortalized in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Ostracized as "dumb Okies," the children of Dust Bowl migrant laborers went without school - until Superintendent Leo Hart and 50 Okie kids built their own school in a nearby field."
"1991 Winner | 10-14 | Paperback Photographs and text trace the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from his birth in 1882 through his youth, early political career, and presidency, to his death in Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945."