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.


6 Award Winning and Honored Books for 2005


Secondary Level Honor

Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African-American Culture in Dance (African-American Biographies (Enslow))
by Barbara C. Cruz

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $26.60
    Format: Hardcover, 112 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    Target Age Group: Middle Grade
    ISBN13: 9780766022935
    Imprint: Enslow Publishing
    Publisher: Enslow Publishing LLC
    Parent Company: Enslow Publishing LLC
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    Read a Description of Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African-American Culture in Dance (African-American Biographies (Enslow))


    Book Description: 
    Book by Cruz, Barbara C.

    Secondary Award

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (At Issue in History)
    by Robert H. Mayer

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $24.45
      Format: Hardcover, 142 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Middle Grade
      ISBN13: 9780737723045
      Imprint: Greenhaven Publishing
      Publisher: Gale
      Parent Company: Cengage Learning
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      Read a Description of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (At Issue in History)


      Book Description: 
      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 changed American society in profound ways. For instance, the bill ended much racial segregation, which had existed for decades in the daily lives of Americans. This collection captures a spectrum of views, from then and now, concerning the act’s historical journey and contemporary legacy.

      Middle Winner Book

      The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
      by Russell Freedman

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $18.00
      Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Middle Grade
      ISBN13: 9780618159765
      Imprint: Clarion Books
      Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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      Read a Description of The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights


      Book Description: 
      ”A voice like yours,” celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, “is heard once in a hundred years.” This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson’s own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists — and for all Americans of color — when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts.Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, this Newbery Honor and Sibert Medal-winning book is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, Newbery Medal-winning author Russell Freedman, one of today’s leading authors of nonfiction for young readers, illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history. Notes, bibliography, discography, index.

      Middle Level Honor

      The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine (Golden Kite Honors)
      by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin

        Publication Date:
        List Price: $19.00
        Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        Target Age Group: Middle Grade
        ISBN13: 9780618315567
        Imprint: Clarion Books
        Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
        Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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        Read a Description of The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine (Golden Kite Honors)


        Book Description: 
        The life of civil rights leader Daisy Bates is vividly detailed in this stirring new biography by an acclaimed husband-wife team. Throughout her life, Daisy Bates worked tirelessly for civil rights as an activist, journalist, and organizer. She first captured national attention as the mentor of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. During this crisis President Dwight Eisenhower was forced to use federal troops to insure the admission of the students, who became known as the Little Rock Nine. In 1999, just hours after her funeral, President Bill Clinton bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal on the Little Rock Nine, and two years later Daisy Bates was honored by a state holiday in Arkansas. In this noteworthy companion to their other distinguished biographies of African Americans, Dennis and Judith Fradin have drawn upon a trove of archival material including papers, correspondence, and photographs of her life and work. They also interviewed some of her living relatives and members of the Little Rock Nine. The result is a compelling, inspiring book about the courage and determination of one woman in the face of prejudice and intolerance. Endnotes, bibliography, index.

        Elementary Level Honor

        Alec’s Primer (Vermont Folklife Center Children’s Book Series)
        by Mildred Pitts Walter

          Publication Date:
          List Price: $15.95
          Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
          Classification: Fiction
          Target Age Group: Picture Book
          ISBN13: 9780916718206
          Imprint: Vermont Folklife Center
          Publisher: Vermont Folklife Center
          Parent Company: Vermont Folklife Center
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          Read a Description of Alec’s Primer (Vermont Folklife Center Children’s Book Series)


          Book Description: 
          As a young boy born into slavery in Virginia, Alec Turner was forbidden to learn to read. Naturally he was frightened when Zephie, his owner’s granddaughter, first offered to teach him, but she told him that if he learned to read, he could become a free man. As Alec mastered the alphabet from a small primer, Zephie lit in him a spark of hope, which became a flame.

          Alec’s Primer is based on the true story of Alec Turner (1845-1923), who learned to read and, eventually, just as Zephie predicted, became a free man. Traveling to Vermont where he established his home and became a landowner, Alec kept his cherished primer with him throughout his life. Years later, Alec’s daughter Daisy told his dramatic tale of defiance and endurance to the Vermont Folklife Center. Mildred Pitts Walter and Larry Johnson have transformed Alec’s powerful story into an engrossing picture book that affords young readers an authentic lens through which to view history.

          Elementary Award

          Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path
          by Joseph Bruchac

            Publication Date:
            List Price: $18.95
            Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
            Classification: Nonfiction
            Target Age Group: Picture Book
            ISBN13: 9781584301660
            Imprint: Lee & Low Books
            Publisher: Lee & Low Books
            Parent Company: Lee & Low Books
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            Read a Description of Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path


            Book Description: 
            From the day he was born, Jim Thorpe’s parents knew he was special. As the light shone on the road to the family’s cabin, his mother gave Jim another name - Wa-tho-huck - “Bright Path.”

            Jim’s athletic skills were evident early on, as he played outdoors and hunted with his father and twin brother. When the boys were sent to Indian boarding school, Jim struggled in academics but excelled in sports. Jim moved from school to school over the years, overcoming family tragedies, until his athletic genius was recognized by Coach Pop Warner at the Carlisle Indian School.

            From the award-winning team of Joseph Bruchac and S. D. Nelson comes an inspiring biography of the young person behind the world-renowned athlete. Thorpe’s story of determination and perseverance will resonate with every child who dreams of finding his or her own bright path.