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 2007


Secondary Level Winner

Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference
by Joanne Oppenheim

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $22.99
    Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    Target Age Group: Middle Grade
    ISBN13: 9780439569927
    Imprint: Scholastic Nonfiction
    Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
    Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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    Read a Description of Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference


    Book Description: 
    A chronicle of the incredible correspondence between California librarian Clara Breed and young Japanese American internees during World War II.

    In the early 1940’s, Clara Breed was the children’s librarian at the San Diego Public Library. But she was also friend to dozens of Japanese American children and teens when war broke out in December of 1941. The story of what happened to these American citizens is movingly told through letters that her young friends wrote to Miss Breed during their internment. This remarkable librarian and humanitarian served as a lifeline to these imprisoned young people, and was brave enough to speak out against a shameful chapter in American history.

    Secondary Level Honor

    Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community
    by David Hassler

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $24.95
      Format: Hardcover, 159 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Young Adult
      ISBN13: 9780873388733
      Imprint: Kent State University Press
      Publisher: Kent State University Press
      Parent Company: Kent State University
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      Read a Description of Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community


      Book Description: 
      When photographer Gary Harwood first stepped onto the K. W. Zellers family farm in Hartville, Ohio, to take pictures of the Mexican migrant workers there, he did not expect to find such a strong, tightly knit community. Over the next five years, he used his camera to study the lives and work of these migrants in their northeastern Ohio home. His artful photography captures the migrants’ portraits and movingly conveys their great pride in work and family, their struggles and joys. Accompanying these vibrant photographs are revealing first-person narratives written by David Hassler. The voices of the migrants and community members are eloquent testaments to the importance of the culture, the resilience of the people, and the power of the place. In photos and stories, Growing Season celebrates the work and play and religious, medical, familial, and communal experiences of these workers - young, old, male, female - and offers readers a success story.

      Middle Level Winner

      Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (Awards))
      by Russell Freedman

        Publication Date:
        List Price: $18.95
        Format: Hardcover, 114 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        Target Age Group: Middle Grade
        ISBN13: 9780823420315
        Imprint: Holiday House
        Publisher: Holiday House
        Parent Company: Holiday House, Inc.
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        Read a Description of Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (Awards))


        Book Description: 
        On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white man. This refusal to give up her dignity sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, a yearlong struggle, and a major victory in the civil rights movement. Source notes, map, bibliography, index.

        Middle Level Honor

        Up Before Daybreak: Cotton And People In America
        by Deborah Hopkinson

          Publication Date:
          List Price: $18.99
          Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
          Classification: Nonfiction
          Target Age Group: Middle Grade
          ISBN13: 9780439639019
          Imprint: Scholastic Inc
          Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
          Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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          Read a Description of Up Before Daybreak: Cotton And People In America


          Book Description: 
          In this stunning nonfiction volume, award-winning author Deborah Hopkinson weaves the stories of slaves, sharecroppers, and mill workers into a tapestry illuminating the history of cotton in America.

          In UP BEFORE DAYBREAK, acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson captures the voices of the forgotten men, women, and children who worked in the cotton industry in America over the centuries. The voices of the slaves who toiled in the fields in the South, the poor sharecroppers who barely got by, and the girls who gave their lives to the New England mills spring to life through oral histories, archival photos, and Hopkinson’s engaging narrative prose style. These stories are amazing and often heartbreaking, and they are imbedded deep in our nation’s history.

          Elementary Level Honor

          Gordon Parks: No Excuses
          by Ann Parr

            Publication Date:
            List Price: $16.99
            Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
            Classification: Nonfiction
            Target Age Group: Picture Book
            ISBN13: 9781589804111
            Imprint: Pelican Publishing
            Publisher: Pelican Publishing
            Parent Company: Pelican Publishing
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            Read a Description of Gordon Parks: No Excuses


            Book Description: 
            A biography of the famous African-American photographer. Gordon Parks grew up in poverty in Kansas, but his mother always told him, “Don’t come home with any excuses.” His perseverance resulted in his becoming a photographer for Life magazine as well as a successful novelist, director, producer, screenwriter, and music composer.

            Elementary Award

            John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement
            by Kathleen Benson

              Publication Date:
              List Price: Unavailable
              Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
              Classification: Nonfiction
              Target Age Group: Picture Book
              ISBN13: 9781584302506
              Imprint: Lee & Low Books
              Publisher: Lee & Low Books
              Parent Company: Lee & Low Books
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              Read a Description of John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement


              Book Description: 
              How does an Alabama sharecropper’s son grow up to help change his world? For John Lewis the journey began as a boy experiencing the injustice of segregation and the inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

              After high school Lewis joined with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders who believed in fighting segregation peacefully. From Nashville, Tennessee, to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, Lewis was in the forefront of the major civil rights protests of the 1960s. In the face of physical attacks, he perservered with dignity and a devotion to nonviolence, helping southern black people gain the right to vote. Lewis continued his commitment to human rights with words and action from his home base in the South, straight to the nation’s capital. In 1986 John Lewis was elected to represent Georgia in the United States Congress, where he continues to serve today.

              John Lewis in the Lead celebrates the life of a living legend of American history. Lewis’s passionate belief in justice is a beacon for all who wish to make the country a better place to live.