2023 Cardinal Cup Award Winner Announced

The Cardinal Cup Committee, previously the Jefferson Cup Committee, is excited to announce their 2023 winner, honor titles, series of note, and overfloweth selections. Our 8-person committee selected these from 189 historical fiction, historical nonfiction, and biography titles that ranged from picture books to young adult.


The 2023 Cardinal Cup winner is Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves by L.M. Elliott (Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers).

We couldn’t be more excited to select a title written by a lifelong Virginian for our first winner under the Cardinal Cup name. L.M. Elliott was previously a Jefferson Cup honor author for her book Under a War-Torn Sky and received an Overfloweth recommendation for the companion title Across a War-Tossed Sea.

Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves is a historical fiction novel set along the Virginia coastline during World War II. 13-year-old Louisa June’s life changes instantly and drastically when the war reaches the American homefront. When Nazi U-boats appear off the once peaceful waters outside the Chesapeake Bay, there are devastating consequences for Louisa June’s family. Can Louisa June navigate her changing world and become the anchor her family needs? Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves is a story of resiliency and friendship, set in an unexpected place in American history. A rich author’s note is full of historical detail that flesh out this eye opening and detailed story even further. This wonderfully evocative story is a must have for historical fiction collections across the country.


The Cardinal Cup Committee is pleased to announce two honor titles:

Curve & Flow: The Elegant Vision of L.A. Architect Paul R. Williams by Andrea J. Loney, Illustrated by Keith Mallett (Knopf Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House)



  • Three Strike Summer by Skyler Schrempp (McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster)





Series of Note

The Cardinal Cup Committee recognizes a series of note. The Committee must read at least two titles from a book series for it to be eligible for this honor.

The Deadliest by Deborah Hopkinson (Scholastic Focus)






 About Cardinal Cup Award

Established in 1982 and presented since 1983, the Cardinal Cup Committee’s goal is to promote reading about America’s past; to encourage the quality writing of United States history, biography, and historical fiction for young people, and to recognize authors in these disciplines. From 2012-2021 two books were selected: one for geared toward young adult readers and one for young readers. Beginning in 2022, the Committee returned to the original model, honoring the most distinguished biography, historical fiction, or American history book for young people. In 2023, the Committee and award were renamed. The Cardinal Cup Committee’s mission remains the same, with a commitment to celebrating titles that honor the diverse history of the United States.