2011 Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C., Nonfiction Award for having a total body of work that has contributed significantly to the quality of nonfiction for children

Leo Politi Golden Author Award for body of work, from California Readers, 2006

Significant Contribution to the Field of Nonfiction, from the Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People, 2005

Lawrence University’s Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award, 2012

California Reading Association’s Armin R. Schulz Literacy Award for promoting social justice through books, 2016

International Literary Association and Greater San Diego Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, for Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Literary, 2016

Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award

PEN West Children’s Literature Award

Society of Children’s Book Writers’ Golden Kite Honor Award

Nonfiction Award from the Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People

ALA Pura Belpre Honor Book

ALA Notable Children’s Book

2003 Picture Book Award, Jane Addams Peace Association

2004 Christopher Award

Honor Book, 2003 Americas Award

Elizabeth Burr Award, Wisconsin Library Association

Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts, Children’s Literature Assembly

Southern California Children’s Booksellers Award

School Library Journal’s Best Children’s Books of 2003

Book Links Magazine, Lasting Connections of 2003

The Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award, National Council for the Social Studies

On the master lists for five state Children’s Book Awards

Picture Book Award, Jane Addams Peace Association

ALA Notable Book

Booklist Editor’s Choice

School Library Journal Best Books

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon List

ABA’s Pick of the Lists

Parents’ Choice Award

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction in Children’s Literature, Recommended Books for 2010

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2010

Junior Library Guild selection

Best Biography Duo 2010, The Children’s Literature Council of Southern California

Eureka! Silver Honor Book, 2010 (California Reading Association’s Nonfiction Children’s Book Award)

Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Book

On the master lists for four state Children’s Book Awards

A Booklinks “Lasting Connection”

A Publishers Weekly Best Book

A Kirkus Best Book of the Year

A Kirkus “Best Continuing Series”

Best Biography Duo 2010, The Children’s Literature Council of Southern California

NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books

Voya’s Nonfiction Honor List 2010

Booklist’s Top 10 Science and Health Books for Youth: 2011

BCCB Blue Ribbon

School Library Journal Best Book

A Booklist “Top 10 Youth Biography”

ALA Notable Book for Children

A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

ALA Notable Book for Children

New York Public Library “Books for the Teen Age”