Award Winning Children's Books

Coretta Scott King Award Winners

The Coretta Scott King Award is presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Committee of the American Library Association's Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table. Recipients are authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream."

J811.54 WOODS Woodson, Jacqueline Author Winner: brown girl dreaming
In vivid poems, Jacqueline Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement...
JE COPEL Copeland, Misty Illustrator Winner: Firebird
American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.
J WILLI Williams-Garcia, Rita Author Winner: P.S. Be Eleven
Eleven-year-old Brooklyn girl Delphine feels overwhelmed with worries and responsibilities. At least Delphine can write to her mother in Oakland, California, for advice.
JE BEATY Beaty, Daniel Illustrator Winner: Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me
A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone, but his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times he cannot be there.
J973.0496 PINKN Pinkney, Andrea Davis Author Winner: Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
Presents the stories of ten African-American men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day.
J811.52 HUGHE Hughes, Langston Illustrator Winner: I, Too, Am America
Presents the popular poem by one of the central figures in the Harlem Renaissance, highlighting the courage and dignity of the African American Pullman porters in the early twentieth century.
J973.0496 NELSO Nelson, Kadir Author Winner: Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.
JE EVANS Evans, Shane W. Illustrator Winner: Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
A family silently crawls along the ground. They run barefoot through unlit woods, sleep beneath bushes, take shelter in a kind stranger's home. Where are they heading?
J WILLI Williams-Garcia, Rita Author Winner: One Crazy Summer
In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
J738.092 HILL Hill, Laban Carrick Illustrator Winner: Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
To us it is just dirt, the ground we walk on... But to Dave it was clay, the plain and basic stuff upon which he formed a life as a slave nearly 200 years ago...
JB R259JB Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux Author Winner: Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. As a deputy U.S. Marshal--and former slave who escaped to freedom in the Indian Territories--Bass was cunning and fearless.
J811 HUGHE Hughes, Langston Illustrator Winner: My People
Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Smith interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.
J796.357 NELSO Nelson, Kadir Author Winner: We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947.
J811 THOMA Thomas, Joyce Carol Illustrator Winner: The Blacker the Berry: Poems
A collection of poems, including "Golden Goodness," "Cranberry Red," and "Biscuit Brown," celebrating individuality and Afro-American identity.
J CURTI Curtis, Christopher Paul Author Winner: Elijah of Buxton
In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.
J782.42 LET Bryan, Ashley Illustrator Winner: Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals
Illustrated versions of three well-known hymns.
YA FICTION DRAPE Draper, Sharon Author Winner: Copper Sun
Two fifteen-year-old girls--one a slave and the other an indentured servant--escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves.
JB T79WE Weatherford, Carole Boston Illustrator Winner: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom
Describes Tubman's spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude.
J LESTE / YA FICTION LESTE Lester, Julius Author Winner: Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue
Emma has taken care of the Butler children since Sarah and Frances's mother, Fanny, left. Emma wants to raise the girls to have good hearts, as a rift over slavery has ripped the Butler household apart.
JB P237G Giovanni, Nikki Illustrator Winner: Rosa
The story of Rosa Parks and her courageous act of defiance, when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in Alabama, setting in motion all the events of the Civil Rights Movement.
J379.263 MORRI Morrison, Toni Author Winner: Remember: The Journey to School Integration
"Remember" is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today.
J811 SHANG Shang, Ntozake Illustrator Winner: Ellington Was Not a Street
Many of the great figures in African-American history gathered in author's family home to talk and share ideas and even sing.
YA FICTION JOHNS Johnson, Angela Author Winner: The First Part Last
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.
J398.2096 Bryan, Ashley Illustrator Winner: Beautiful Blackbird
In a story of the Ila people, the colorful birds of Africa ask Blackbird, whom they think is the most beautiful of birds, to decorate them with some of his "blackening brew."
YA FICTION GRIME Grimes, Nikki Author Winner: Bronx Masquerade
While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.
JB C6758G Grimes, Nikki Illustrator Winner: Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
A biography of the woman who became the first licensed Afro-American pilot.
J/Fiction Taylor, Mildred D. Author Winner: The Land
After the Civil War Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between the two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own.
JE McKissack, Patricia Illustrator Winner: Goin' Someplace Special
In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.
j/Fiction Woodson, Jacqueline Author Winner: Miracle's Boys
Twelve-year-old Lafayette's close relationship with his older brother Charlie changes after Charlie is released from a detention home and blames Lafayette for the death of their mother.
JE Collier, Bryan Illustrator Winner: Uptown
Uptown dives into the high-rolling world of Manhattan real estate. When money, power, and respect are at stake, a Harlem family's bonds are strained to the breaking point.
j Curtis, Christopher Paul Author Winner: Bud, Not Buddy
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
J Siegelson, Kim L. Illustrator Winner: In the Time of the Drums
Mentu, an American-born slave boy, watches his beloved grandmother, Twi, lead the insurrection at Teakettle Creek of Ibo people arriving from Africa on a slave ship.
J JOHNS Johnson, Angela Author Winner: Heaven: A Novel
Fourteen-year-old Marley's seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.
J780.89 Igus, Toyomi Illustrator Winner: I See the Rhythm
Chronicles and captures poetically the history, mood, and movement of African American music.
J/Fiction Draper, Sharon M. Author Winner: Forged by Fire
Teenage Gerald, who has spent years protecting his fragile half-sister from their abusive father, faces the prospect of one final confrontation before the problem can be solved.
J811 Steptoe, Javaka Illustrator Winner: In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African-Americans Celebrating Fathers
A collection of poems celebrating African-American fathers by Angela Johnson, E. Ethelbert Miller, Carole Boston Weatherford, and others.
Fiction Myers, Walter Dean Author Winner: Slam
Sixteen-year-old "Slam" Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.
JB T79SC Schroeder, Alan Illustrator Winner: Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
Young Harriet Tubman, whose childhood name was Minty, dreams of escaping slavery on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s.
J398.2 Hamilton, Virginia Author Winner: Her Stories: African American folktales, Fairy Tales and True Tales
A dramatic new collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition. Each story focuses on the role of women--both real and fantastic--and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows.
759.13 F32M Feelings, Tom Illustrator Winner: The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo
Master artist Tom Feelings relates the story of the middle passage in sixty-four extraordinary narrative paintings. They draw us into the lives of the millions of African men, women, and children who were torn from their homelands, crowded into disease-ridden "death ships", and transported under nightmarish conditions to the so-called New World.
J975.5 McKissack, Patricia C. & Frederick L. Author Winner: Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
Describes the customs, recipes, poems, and songs used to celebrate Christmas in the big plantation houses and in the slave quarters just before the Civil War.
J811 Johnson, James Weldon Illustrator Winner: The Creation
A poem based on the story of creation from the first book of the Bible.
J Johnson, Angela Author Winner: Toning the Sweep
On a visit to her grandmother Ola, who is dying of cancer in her house in the desert, fourteen-year-old Emmie hears many stories about the past and her family history and comes to a better understanding of relatives both dead and living.
J811 [ed. Fogelman, Phyllis] Illustrator Winner: Soul Looks Back in Wonder
Artwork and poems by such writers as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Askia Toure portray the creativity, strength, and beauty of their African American heritage.
J McKissack, Patricia C. Author Winner: The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
A collection of ghost stories with African American themes, designed to be told during the Dark Thirty--the half hour before sunset--when ghosts seem all too believable.
J398.21 Anderson, David A. Illustrator Winner: The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth
Retells the Yoruba creation myth in which the deity Obatala descends from the sky to create the world.
J973.04 Myers, Walter Dean Author Winner: Now Is Your Time!: The African American Struggle for Freedom
A history of the African-American struggle for freedom and equality, beginning with the capture of Africans in 1619, continuing through the American Revolution, the Civil War, and into contemporary times.
JE Ringgold, Faith Illustrator Winner: Tar Beach
A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. This book is based on the author's quilt painting of the same name.
J/Fiction Taylor, Mildred D. Author Winner: The Road to Memphis
In 1941 a black youth, sadistically teased by two white boys in rural Mississippi, severely injures one of them with a tire iron and enlists Cassie's help in trying to flee the state.
J782.1 Price, Leontyne Illustrator Winner: Aida
This book retells the story of Verdi's opera in which the love of the enslaved Ethiopian princess for an Egyptian general brings tragedy to all involved.
J331.88 McKissack, Patricia C. & Frederick L. Author Winner: A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter
The epic struggle of railroad porters to begin the first African American-controlled union is powerfully portrayed.
J811 Greenfield, Eloise Illustrator Winner: Nathaniel Talking
Beautifully composed in a variety of styles--rap, blues, and free verse--these 18 poems offers a black child's insights into his own heart and mind, and into the lives of family and friends. Nine-year-old Nathaniel reflects on what it's like to be curious.
YA Fiction Myers, Walter Dean Author Winner: Fallen Angels
This 1989 Coretta Scott King Award winner is the story of one young man's tour of duty in Vietnam as well as a testament to the thousands of young people who lived and died during the war.
JE McKissack, Patricia C. Illustrator Winner: Mirandy and Brother Wind
Mirandy is sure she'll win the cake walk if she can catch Brother Wind for her partner, but he eludes all the tricks her friends advise. Mirandy sparkles with energy and determination.
J Taylor, Mildred D. Author Winner: The Friendship
Four children witness a confrontation between an elderly black man and a white storekeeper in rural Mississippi in the 1930s.
JE Steptoe, John Illustrator Winner: Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.
J/Uncat. Walter, Mildred Pitts Author Winner: Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World
Suffering in a family full of females, ten-year-old Justin feels that cleaning and keeping house are women's work until he spends time on his beloved grandfather's ranch.
JE Dragonwagon, Crescent Illustrator Winner: Half a Moon and One Whole Star
The summer night is full of wonderful sounds and scents as Susan falls asleep.
J398.2 Hamilton, Virginia Author Winner: The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales
In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, calls upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.
JE Flournoy, Valerie Illustrator Winner: The Patchwork Quilt
"Tanya loved listening to her grandmother talk about the patchwork day Tanya's grandmother becomes ill, and...she decides to finish Grandma's masterpiece herself..."--front flap.
J/Fiction Myers, Walter Dean Author Winner: Motown and Didi: A Love Story
Motown and Didi, two teenage loners in Harlem, become allies in a fight against Touchy, the drug dealer whose dope is destroying Didi's brother, and find themselves falling in love with each other.
JE Clifton, Lucille Author Winner: Everett Anderson's Good-bye
In a short colloquial poem, a boy comes to terms with his father's death, while Grifalconi's charcoal illustrations movingly depict the stages of grief.
JE Walter, Mildred Pitts Illustrator Winner: My Mama Needs Me
Jason wants to help, but isn't sure that his mother needs him at all after she brings home a new baby from the hospital.
J Hamilton, Virginia Author Winner: Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
Fourteen-year-old Tree, resentful of her working mother who leaves her in charge of her disabled brother, encounters the ghost of her dead uncle and comes to a deeper understanding of her family's problems.
968.06 M27B Magubane, Peter Illustrator Winner: Black Child
The sad, harsh realities of life in south Africa are sensitively revealed in photographs of children's faces.
J/Fiction Taylor, Mildred D. Author Winner: Let the Circle Be Unbroken
Four black children growing up in rural Mississippi during the Depression experience racial antagonisms and hard times, but learn from their parents the pride and self-respect they need to survive.
J398.2 Guy, Rosa Illustrator Winner: Mother Crocodile
Because Mother Crocodile tells stories of the past, the little crocodiles choose to believe she is crazy until almost too late they learn otherwise.
B P7558 Poitier, Sidney Author Winner: This Life
The Academy Award-winning actor tells of his childhood in the Bahamas, his introduction to New York, his two marriages and tumultuous eight-year relationship with Diahann Carroll, and his numerous films.
J398.2 Bryan, Ashley Illustrator Winner: Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum
Includes five Nigerian folktales, retold in language as rhythmic as the beat of the story-drum, and illustrated with vibrant, evocative woodcuts.
J Myers, Walter Dean Author Winner: The Young Landlords
Five devoted friends become landlords and try to make their Harlem neighborhood a better place to live.
J Yarbrough, Camille Illustrator Winner: Cornrows
When Mama and Great-Grammaw weave the striking cornrow patterns of Africa into their children's hair, their gentle voices also weave a tale full of pride and heritage.
J812 Davis, Ossie Author Winner: Escape to Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass
Douglass overcame his beginnings as a slave to become the first black man to hold a diplomatic office. He was a great orator and also wrote several books. This play emphasizes his contributions.
J811 Grimes, Nikki Illustrator Winner: Something on My Mind
Poems expressing the hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows of growing up.
JE Greenfield, Eloise Author & Illustrator Winner: Africa Dream
An African-American child dreams of Africa, where she sees animals, shops in a marketplace, reads from a strange old book, and returns to the village where her granddaddy welcomed her so long ago.
- Haskins, James Author Winner: The Story of Stevie Wonder
A biography of the blind composer, pianist, and singer who was a child prodigy and went on to win nine Grammy awards.
J Bailey, Pearl Author Winner: Duey's Tale
A maple seedling becomes separated from his mother tree, makes friends with a bottle and a log, and searches for his own place in life.
J Robinson, Dorothy Author & Illustrator Winner: The Legend of Africania
An allegorical tale of Africa's struggle against the ravishment of its people and country.
JB C3802M Mathis, Sharon Bell Author & Illustrator Winner: Ray Charles
A biography of the musician who became famous despite his blindness.
B R5633 Robinson, Jackie, as told to Alfred Duckett Winner: I Never Had It Made
Celebrates the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking into the major leagues.
- Fax, Elton C. Winner: 17 Black Artists
Contents: The forerunners -- Elizabeth Catlett -- John Wilson -- Lawrence Jones -- Charles White -- Eldzier Cortor -- Rex Goreleigh -- Charlotte Amevor -- Romare Bearden -- Jacob Lawrence -- Roy DeCarava -- Faith Ringgold -- Earl Hooks -- James E. Lewis -- Benny Andrews -- Norma Morgan -- John Biggers -- John Torres
JB H874R Rollins, Charlemae Winner: Black Troubadour: Langston Hughes
A biography of the African-American poet.
JB K585PA Patterson, Lillie Winner: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man of Peace
A biography of the minister, orator, and crusader for equal civil rights who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

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