Special Collections

Coretta Scott King Award Winners

Description: The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. #award #kids #teens


Showing 1 through 25 of 91 results
 
 

Choosing Brave

by Angela Joy

A picture book biography of the mother of Emmett Till, and how she channeled grief over her son's death into a call to action for the civil rights movement.

Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered while visiting the South in 1955. His death became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but few know that it was his mother who was the catalyst for bringing his name to the forefront of history.

In Choosing Brave, Angela Joy and Janelle Washington offer a testament to the power of love, the bond of motherhood, and one woman's unwavering advocacy for justice. It is a poised, moving work about a woman who refocused her unimaginable grief into action for the greater good. Mamie fearlessly refused to allow America to turn away from what happened to her only child. She turned pain into change that ensured her son's life mattered.

Timely, powerful, and beautifully told, this thorough and moving story has been masterfully crafted to be both comprehensive and suitable for younger readers.

Date Added: 05/25/2023


Year: 2023

Award: New Talent Award Illustrator Winner

We Deserve Monuments

by Jas Hammonds

Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in We Deserve Monuments, a YA debut from Jas Hammonds that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations.

What’s more important: Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?

Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she's uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.

While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved. As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath.

The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty's health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she's built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2022

Date Added: 05/25/2023


Year: 2023

Award: New Talent Award Author Winner

Standing in the Need of Prayer

by Frank Morrison and Carole Boston Weatherford

From an award-winning author and critically acclaimed artist comes a stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual. The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history.

This inspirational book encapsulates African American history and invites conversations at all levels. Carole Boston Weatherfords’s riveting text and Frank Morrison’s evocative and detailed paintings are informative reminders of yesterday, hopeful images for today, and aspirational dreams of tomorrow.

Stretching more than four hundred years, this book features pivotal moments in history, such as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619; Nat Turner's rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.

Visually stunning and incredibly timely, this book reckons with a painful history while serving as a testament to the human spirit's ability to persevere in even the most hopeless of circumstances. Its universal message of faith, strength, and resilience will resonate with readers of all ages.

The end of the book includes descriptions of the people, places, and events featured, along with a note from the author.

Advisory: Bookshare has learned that this book offers only partial accessibility. We have kept it in the collection because it is useful for some of our members. Benetech is actively working on projects to improve accessibility issues such as these.

Date Added: 03/10/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Illustrator Honor Books

Swim Team

by Johnnie Christmas

A splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel from bestselling comics creator Johnnie Christmas!

Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees—until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she’s forced to dive head first into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help.

With Etta’s training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. But that’s easier said than done, especially when their rival, the prestigious Holyoke Prep, has everything they need to leave the Mighty Manatees in their wake. Can Bree defy the odds and guide her team to a state championship, or have the Manatees swum their last lap—for good?

Advisory: Bookshare has learned that this book offers only partial accessibility. We have kept it in the collection because it is useful for some of our members. Benetech is actively working on projects to improve accessibility issues such as these.

Date Added: 05/25/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Illustrator Honor

Me and the Boss

by Michelle Edwards

All the highs and lows of having a bossy, protective, and loving older sibling are depicted in this heartwarming picture book by a critically acclaimed author and award-winning illustrator.  Meet Lee, a little boy who won't give up until he learns how to sew, and Zora, the sister who watches him try--and ultimately succeed!"I know big sisters. Zora, the boss, she's mine," explains Lee as he and Zora head to the library, where Mrs. C is teaching the children how to sew. Though Zora sews a beautiful flower on her cloth square, little Lee makes a mess out of the half-moon he is trying to stitch. That night, when he can't sleep, he gives sewing another try...and succeeds, even mending the hole in his pants pocket! The next morning, he sneaks into Zora's room and sews the ear back on Bess, her stuffed bear. When Zora discovers Bess, she wraps Lee in her special big sister hug--for just a moment--and then is back to being the boss once again. An acclaimed author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award-winning illustrator create a funny, oh-so-true portrait of a brother and sister&’s relationship in this winning picture book.

Date Added: 05/25/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Illustrator Honor

Victory. Stand!

by Derrick Barnes and Tommie Smith and Dawud Anyabwile

Longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Young People's Literature A groundbreaking and timely graphic memoir from one of the most iconic figures in American sports—and a tribute to his fight for civil rights. On October 16, 1968, during the medal ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics, Tommie Smith, the gold medal winner in the 200-meter sprint, and John Carlos, the bronze medal winner, stood on the podium in black socks and raised their black-gloved fists to protest racial injustice inflicted upon African Americans. Both men were forced to leave the Olympics, received death threats, and faced ostracism and continuing economic hardships. In his first-ever memoir for young readers, Tommie Smith looks back on his childhood growing up in rural Texas through to his stellar athletic career, culminating in his historic victory and Olympic podium protest. Cowritten with Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Honor recipient Derrick Barnes and illustrated with bold and muscular artwork from Emmy Award–winning illustrator Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand! paints a stirring portrait of an iconic moment in Olympic history that still resonates today.

Date Added: 05/25/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Author Honor; Illustrator Honor

Star Child

by Ibi Zoboi

From the New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, a biography in verse and prose of science fiction visionary Octavia Butler, author of Parable of the Sower and Kindred.Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death.

Date Added: 05/25/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Author Honor

Revolution in Our Time

by Kekla Magoon

With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account of the Black Panthers—as militant revolutionaries and as human rights advocates working to defend and protect their community.

In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers' community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. For too long the Panthers' story has been a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than what it was: a revolutionary socialist movement that drew thousands of members—mostly women—and became the target of one of the most sustained repression efforts ever made by the U.S. government against its own citizens.

Revolution in Our Time puts the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history, from the first arrival of enslaved people to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Kekla Magoon's eye-opening work invites a new generation of readers grappling with injustices in the United States to learn from the Panthers' history and courage, inspiring them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice.

Date Added: 03/22/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Author

Freewater

by Amina Luqman-Dawson

Winner of the John Newbery Medal Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award Award-winning author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children&’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom. After an entire young life of enslavement, twelve-year-old Homer escapes Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, leaving his beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there&’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the recesses of the swamp. In this new, free society made up of escaped slaves and some born-free children, Homer cautiously embraces a set of spirited friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he hatches a plan to return to Southerland plantation, overcome his own cautious nature, and free his mother from enslavement. Loosely based on a little-mined but important piece of history, this is an inspiring and deeply empowering story of survival, love, and courage. 

Date Added: 03/10/2023


Year: 2023

Award: Author

We Wait for the Sun

by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe

A beautiful and uplifting non-fiction picture book about trailblazing civil rights lawyer and activist Dovey Johnson Roundtree.

Date Added: 01/05/2023


Year: 2022

Award: Illustrator Honor Books

Soul Food Sunday

by Winsome Bingham

Granny teaches her grandson to cook the family meal in this loving celebration of food, traditions, and gathering together at the table A 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator Honor Book On Sundays, everyone gathers at Granny's for Soul Food. But today, I don't go to the backyard or the great room. I follow Granny instead. "You're a big boy now," Granny says. "Time for you to learn." At Granny's, Sunday isn't Sunday without a big family gathering over a lovingly prepared meal. Old enough now, our narrator is finally invited to help cook the dishes for the first time: He joins Granny in grating the cheese, cleaning the greens, and priming the meat for Roscoe Ray's grill. But just when Granny says they're finished, her grandson makes his own contribution, sweetening this Sunday gathering and the many more to come. Evocatively written and vividly illustrated, this mouthwatering story is a warm celebration of tradition and coming together at a table filled with love and delicious food.

Date Added: 01/05/2023


Year: 2022

Award: Illustrator Honor Books

Nina

by Traci N. Todd

A 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Award Honoree! This luminous, defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the remarkable and inspiring story of acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy. Cover may vary.Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life. She loved the way his music began softly and then tumbled to thunder, like her mother's preaching, and in much the same way as her career. During her first performances under the name of Nina Simone her voice was rich and sweet but as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, Nina's voice soon became a thunderous roar as she raised her voice in powerful protest in the fight against racial inequality and discrimination.

Date Added: 11/29/2022


Year: 2022

Award: Illustrator Honor

Unspeakable The Tulsa Race Massacre

by Carole Boston Weatherford and Floyd Cooper

"Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history".

Date Added: 01/05/2023


Year: 2022

Award: Author/Illustrator

The People Remember

by Ibi Zoboi and Loveis Wise

From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ibi Zoboi comes her debut picture book—a tour de force that uses the principles of Kwanzaa to talk about the history of African Americans. This lyrical, powerful tribute is sumptuously illustrated by New Yorker artist and rising star Loveis Wise. A beautiful gift for readers of all ages and for fans of Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul. A Coretta Scott King Honor Book! The People Remember tells the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. It begins in Africa, where people were taken from their homes and families. They spoke different languages and had different customs. Yet they were bound and chained together and forced onto ships sailing into an unknown future. Ultimately, all these people had to learn one common language and create a culture that combined their memories of home with new traditions that enabled them to thrive in this new land. Sumptuously illustrated, this is an important book to read as a family—a story young readers can visit over and over again to deepen their understanding of African American history in relation to their own lives and current social justice movements. By turns powerful and revealing, this is a lyrical narrative that tells the story of survival, as well as the many moments of joy, celebration, and innovation of Black people in America.

Date Added: 05/22/2023


Year: 2022

Award: Author Honor

Home Is Not a Country

by Safia Elhillo

A mesmerizing novel in verse about family, identity, and finding yourself in the most unexpected places--for fans of The Poet X, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, and Jason Reynolds.

Nima doesn't feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her suburban town, which makes her feel too much like an outsider to fit in and not enough like an outsider to feel like that she belongs somewhere else. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself. Until she doesn't.

As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn't give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry. And the life Nima has, the one she keeps wishing were someone else's. . .she might have to fight for it with a fierceness she never knew she had."

Nothing short of magic...One of the best writers of our times."-- Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times Bestselling author of The Poet X

Date Added: 10/18/2022


Year: 2022

Award: Author

Legendborn

by Tracy Deonn

SOME LEGACIES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN. "I love the feeling of a magical world existing just beneath the surface of our own and this story gave me everything I wanted: incredible characters, ancient lore and secret societies – all grounded in our very real, very flawed world . . ." –Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and BoneAn explosive fantasy debut that is taking TikTok by storm. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas and Cinderella is Dead! Filled with mystery and Southern Black Girl Magic, Tracy Deonn&’s New York Times bestselling Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend . . . After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants to escape. A residential programme for bright high-schoolers seems like the perfect opportunity – until she witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus . . .A flying demon feeding on human energies.A secret society of so-called &“Legendborn&” that hunt the creatures down.A mysterious mage who calls himself a &“Merlin&” and who attempts – and fails – to wipe Bree&’s memory of everything she saw. The mage&’s failure unlocks Bree&’s own unique magic and a buried memory about her mother. Now Bree will do whatever it takes to discover the truth, even infiltrate the Legendborn. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur&’s knights and foretell a magical war, Bree must decide how far she&’ll go for the truth. Should she use her magic to take the society down – or join the fight?Winner of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award, and a New York Times bestseller!

Date Added: 01/25/2021


Year: 2021

Award: New Talent

Before the Ever After

by Jacqueline Woodson

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's stirring novel explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed.

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone's hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he's as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ's house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ's mom explains it's because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that--but it doesn't make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can't remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?

Date Added: 01/25/2021


Year: 2021

Award: Author

Monday's Not Coming

by Tiffany D Jackson

"Jackson’s characters and their heart-wrenching story linger long after the final page, urging readers to advocate for those who are disenfranchised and forgotten by society and the system." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")From the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, comes a gripping novel about the mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

Date Added: 01/28/2019


Year: 2019

Award: New Talent

The Stuff of Stars

by Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes

In an astonishing unfurling of our universe, Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer and Caldecott Honor winner Ekua Holmes celebrate the birth of every child.

Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was . . . nothing. But then . . . BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond — and how we are all the stuff of stars.

Date Added: 03/06/2019


Year: 2019

Award: Illustrator

A Few Red Drops

by Claire Hartfield

On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the "white" beach.

An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one.

Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations.

This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture.

Archival photos and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.

Date Added: 01/28/2019


Year: 2019

Award: Author

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

by David Barclay Moore

A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death in this outstanding debut novel that’s been described as a “fast and furious read in which we meet some amazing people, people that stay with us” by Newbery Honor and National Book Award–winning author Jacqueline Woodson.

It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier.

Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward.

His path isn’t clear—and the pressure to join a “crew,” as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape—and an unexpected bridge back to the world.

David Barclay Moore paints a powerful portrait of a boy teetering on the edge—of adolescence, of grief, of violence—and shows how Lolly’s inventive spirit helps him build a life with firm foundations and open doors.

Date Added: 02/12/2018


Year: 2018

Award: New Talent

Out of Wonder

by Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth and Ekua Holmes

Out of gratitude for the poet's art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

Date Added: 04/10/2018


Year: 2018

Award: Illustrator

Piecing Me Together

by Renée Watson

2018 Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner

Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it's trying to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed.

Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And she has.

She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful.

Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Except really, it's for black girls. From "bad" neighborhoods.

And just because Maxine, her college-graduate mentor, is black doesn't mean she understands Jade.

And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

NPR’s Best Books of 2017
A 2017 New York Public Library Best Teen Book of the Year
Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2017
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017
Kirkus Reviews’ Best Teen Books of 2017
2018 Josette Frank Award Winner
A New York Times Bestseller

Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honors Book

Date Added: 02/12/2018


Year: 2018

Award: Author

Radiant Child

by Javaka Steptoe

A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Javaka Steptoe.

Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.

Winner of the Caldecott Medal

Date Added: 08/10/2017


Year: 2017

Award: Illustrator

Trombone Shorty

by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews

A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Award Winner Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest. Along with esteemed illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds, until he reached international stardom. Trombone Shorty is a celebration of the rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music.

Date Added: 08/10/2017


Year: 2016

Award: Illustrator


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