Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award

Sponsored by Penguin Random House

Monetary Amount: $2,000 to the librarian, up to $1,000 travel and housing reimbursement to attend the AASL Awards Ceremony, and a $5,000 book donation by Penguin Random House

Deadline: February 1

The next award cycle will open September 2023


Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in teaching social justice through joint planning of a program, unit or event in support of social justice using school library resources. The award is to acknowledge teaching by school librarians and the use of school library resources to convey a child’s sense of justice as exemplified by many of the characters in the works of Roald Dahl. The Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey Social Justice Award recognizes AASL members who have collaboratively designed a lesson, event, or course of study on social justice. The award is named for Miss Honey, a character in Dahl’s “Matilda,” honoring the way many of Roald Dahl’s books convey a child’s sense of social justice. In “Matilda,” Miss Honey is a nurturing educator who supports the title character, a gifted young girl in an unkind home.


  1. The school librarian must be a personal member of AASL.

  2. The applicants will be a school librarian who has worked with a teacher(s) to execute a project, event, or program to further social justice using resources of the school library.


The following criteria will be used in the selection process:

  1. The librarian has made a significant effort to teach the concept of social justice in creative, inspiring ways. This might include, but not be limited to, teaching about civil liberties, human rights, international justice, genocide studies, and local issues of justice. For example, applicants may design a special lesson, course of study, create a school or district project, or lead their students in some way to address social justice.
  2. Close attention will be focused on applicants who follow the “spirit” of social justice in their classroom; namely, those who possess the ability to expose injustice while at the same time inspiring their students to repair the world through justice, service, or advocacy. 

  3. The project will be judged on: 

    • The degree of joint effort, over a significant period of time, between the school librarian and classroom teacher(s);
    • The use of appropriate school library resources to convey a child’s sense of justice as exemplified by many of the characters in the works of Roald Dahl.

Download Criteria & Rating Sheets pdf icon

Download Copy of Application  

* Please note: This downloadable version is for informational purposes only. All applications must be submitted online, via the Apply Now button that will appear at the top of the page when the next award season opens in early September.


Allison Cline email icon
Deputy Executive Director


Year Recipient School
2022 Sarah Sansbury, School Librarian, and Emma O'Connor, 4th Grade Teacher Dunwoody Elementary School
Dunwoody, Georgia
"After the tragic 2021 Atlanta shooting, spotlighting anti-Asian beliefs that have unfortunately festered during the pandemic, we decided to teach the Asian-American experience during US Westward Expansion. Asian-American history is not part of Georgia’s (and many other states’) curriculum; however, if it is not taught, it will remain foreign, reinforcing anti-Asian sentiment. We wanted our students to know of Asians’ great contributions to America’s history and to understand that Asian-American history IS American History."
2021 Jennifer Northrup, Hali House, Kelley Feagin, and Katie Jane Morris Gwin Elementary School
Hoover, Alabama
2020 Cassy Lee, Alice Woodman-Russell, and Jack Crow Chinese American International School
San Francisco, California
2019 Joquetta Johnson Randallstown High School
Randallstown, Maryland
2018 Keungsuk Sexton, Louis DeCarlo, Omar Alvarez, & Janice Alvarez Dr. Michael Conti School - PS 5
Jersey City, New Jersey
2017 Anne Mlod & Cinda Gilmore Genesee Elementary School
Auburn, New York
2016 Ann Yawornitsky, Jennifer Sarnes & Melissa Zawaski Wilson Southern Middle School
Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
2015 Angela Hartman Hutto High School
Hutto, Texas
2014 Betsy Lobmeyer Plymell Elementary
Garden City, Kansas