Carter G. Woodson Award Winning Books


As of 2001 awards and honors are given in the following categories, Elementary (K-6), Middle (5-8), and Secondary (7-12) grade level books.

Carter Woodson Award Seal Carter G. Woodson Seal

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) established the Carter G. Woodson Book Awards for the most distinguished books appropriate for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States. First presented in 1974, this award is intended to “encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social studies books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and race relations sensitively and accurately.” Books relating to ethnic minorities and the authors of such books rarely receive the recognition they merit from professional organizations. By sponsoring the Carter G. Woodson Awards, NCSS gives wide recognition to and encourages these authors and publishers. Here is a printable list of all the award winning books. Learn more at NCSS’s website.

Also check out our list of Top 100+ Recommended African-American Children’s Books, some are also CSK Award winning titles.


7 Award Winning and Honored Books for 1998


Elementary Award

Leon’s Story
by Leon Walter Tillage

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $14.95
    Format: Hardcover, 107 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    Target Age Group: Middle Grade
    ISBN13: 9781439518588
    Imprint: Square Fish
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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    Read a Description of Leon’s Story


    Book Description: 
    ”Leon’s Story is a powerful, wonderful thing!” — Nikki Giovanni

    I remember that as a young boy I used to look in the mirror and I would curse my color, my blackness. But in those days they didn’t call you “black.” They didnt say “minority.” They called us “colored” or “nigger.”

    Leon Tillage grew up the son of a sharecropper in a small town in North Carolina. Told in vignettes, this is his story about walking four miles to the school for black children, and watching a school bus full of white children go past. It’s about his being forced to sit in the balcony at the movie theater, hiding all night when the Klansmen came riding, and worse. Much worse. But it is also the story of a strong family and the love that bound them together. And, finally, it’s about working to change an oppressive existence by joining the civil rights movement. Edited from recorded interviews conducted by Susan L. Roth, Leon’s story will stay with readers long after they have finished his powerful account.

    Honor Book

    Buffalo Days
    by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $17.95
      Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Picture Book
      ISBN13: 9780823413270
      Imprint: Holiday House
      Publisher: Holiday House
      Parent Company: Holiday House, Inc.
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      Book Description: 
      Describes life on a Crow Indian reservation in Montana, and the importance these tribes place on buffalo, which are once again thriving in areas where the Crow live.

      Honor Book

      I Am Rosa Parks (Penguin Young Readers, Level 4)
      by Rosa Parks and Jim Haskins

        Publication Date:
        List Price: $3.99
        Format: Paperback, 48 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        Target Age Group: Picture Book
        ISBN13: 9780141307107
        Imprint: Penguin Young Readers Group
        Publisher: Penguin Random House
        Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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        Read a Description of I Am Rosa Parks (Penguin Young Readers, Level 4)


        Book Description: 
        When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, she made history. Her brave act sparked the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and brought the civil rights movement to national attention. In simple, lively language, Rosa Parks describes her life from childhood to the present and recounts the events that shook the nation. Her story is powerful, inspiring and unforgettable.An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

        Honor Book

        The Princess of the Press: The Story of Ida B. Wells-Barnett (Rainbow Biography)
        by Angela S. Medearis

          Publication Date:
          List Price: $14.99
          Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
          Classification: Nonfiction
          Target Age Group: Picture Book
          ISBN13: 9780525674931
          Imprint: Dutton Juvenile
          Publisher: Penguin Random House
          Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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          Read a Description of The Princess of the Press: The Story of Ida B. Wells-Barnett (Rainbow Biography)


          Book Description: 
          Beginning readers seeking an accessible biography will be captivated by the story of the remarkable Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862 1931), a teacher, journalist, lecturer, and civil rights leader. In clear, easy-to-read prose, award-winning author Angela Shelf Medearis shows how Wells-Barnett triumphed over adversity throughout her life and became a respected leader. Orphaned at the age of fourteen, with five younger siblings to care for, she taught school to support her family. Later Wells-Barnett became part-owner of an African-American newspaper and led a crusade against lynching, endangering her life. A champion of the cause of suffrage for women, she was an outspoken, unusual woman whose courage to seek the truth and fight for justice made history. Angela Shelf Medearis is the author of thirty-three books, including Dare to Dream: Coretta Scott King and the Civil Rights Movement, which Booklist called “a concise,engaging biography for young readers.”

          Honor Book

          Langston Hughes
          by Milton Meltzer

            Publication Date:
            List Price: $20.95
            Format: Paperback, 240 pages
            Classification: Nonfiction
            Target Age Group: Middle Grade
            ISBN13: 9780761303275
            Imprint: Millbrook Press
            Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
            Parent Company: Lerner Publishing Group
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            Read a Description of Langston Hughes


            Book Description: 
            Tells the story of a leading poet of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s who devoted his life to writing about the black experience in America.

            Honor Book

            The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Sa
            by Doreen Rappaport

              Publication Date:
              List Price: $15.99
              Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
              Classification: Nonfiction
              Target Age Group: Middle Grade
              ISBN13: 9780803714380
              Imprint: Dial
              Publisher: Penguin Random House
              Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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              Read a Description of The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Sa


              Book Description: 
              Recreates the life of writer and lecturer Gertrude Bonnin, also known as Zitkala S+a5a, a Native American activist and reformer of the early twentieth century, who fought for legislation to help better the lives of her people.”

              Honor Book

              Slavery Time When I Was Chillun
              by Belinda Hurmence

                Publication Date:
                List Price: $22.99
                Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
                Classification: Nonfiction
                Target Age Group: Young Adult
                ISBN13: 9781435278004
                Imprint: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
                Publisher: Penguin Random House
                Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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                Read a Description of Slavery Time When I Was Chillun


                Book Description: 
                ”Now that it’s all over, I don’t find life so good in my old age, as it was in slavery time when I was chillun, down on Marster’s plantation,” said James Bolton when he was interviewed as an old man in Georgia.

                Not all memories of slavery were as good as Bolton’s, and this book shows many aspects of plantation life as seen through the eyes of men and women who were children when slavery came to an end, in 1865. Mingo White recounts how he was sent away from his parents when he was four or five, so that he didn’t recognize his mother when she came to find him. Tempie Durham tells of her wedding, at which she wore a white dress and veil and her mistress played the wedding march on the piano. Lucinda Davis talks about growing up as a slave to a Creek Indian family. Descriptions of children’s games contrast with accounts of brutal mistreatment, but most affecting of all are the stories of what it was like when slaves suddenly found themselves free to go where they pleased, after a lifetime of being the property of their masters.