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 2008


Secondary Level Winner

Don’t Throw Away Your Stick Till You Cross the River: The Journey of an Ordinary Man
by Vincent Collin Beach and Anni Beach

    Publication Date:
    List Price: Unavailable
    Format: Paperback, 331 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    Target Age Group: Young Adult
    ISBN13: 9781589850767
    Imprint: Five Star Publications, Inc
    Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc
    Parent Company: Five Star Publications, Inc
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    Book Description: 
    Vincent Beach seems an ordinary man from ordinary beginnings. Look deeper, however, and you’ll discover a special human being. Vincent left his native Jamaica in 1944 and enlisted in the Royal Air Force. Yearning to be a jazz musician, he bought an old clarinet and practiced. Through his perseverance, he found his way to America and a career for 22 years as a bandsman in the U.S. Air Force. Becoming an educator, he served the children on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, and later enjoyed teaching in community college. Share the joys and woes of an ordinary man in his storied autobiography.

    Secondary Level Honor

    United States V. Amistad: Slave Ship Mutiny (Supreme Court Milestones)
    by Susan Dudley Gold

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $42.79
      Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Middle Grade
      ISBN13: 9780761421436
      Imprint: Cavendish Square Publishing
      Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing
      Parent Company: Cavendish Square Publishing
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      Book Description: 

       



      Middle Level Winner

      Black and White Airmen: Their True History
      by John Fleischman

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $20.00
      Format: Hardcover, 160 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Middle Grade
      ISBN13: 9780618562978
      Imprint: HMH Books for Young Readers
      Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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      Read a Description of Black and White Airmen: Their True History


      Book Description: 
      Here is the true history of a friendship that almost wasn’t.

      John Leahr and Herb Heilbrun grew up in the same neighborhood and were in the same third grade class together. They were classmates not friends because Herb was white and John was black.

      John and Herb were twenty-one when the United States entered WWII. Herb became an Army Air Forces B-17 bomber pilot. John flew P-51 fighters. Both were thrown into the brutal high-altitude bomber war against Nazi Germany, though they never met because the army was rigidly segregated only in the air were black and white American fliers allowed to mix.

      Both came safely home but it took Herb and John another fifty years to meet again and discover that their lives had run almost side by side through war and peace. Old friends at last, Herb and John launched a mission to tell young people why race once made all the difference and why it shouldn’t anymore.

      Middle Level Honor

      Sophisticated Ladies: the Great Women of Jazz
      by Leslie Gourse

        Publication Date:
        List Price: Unavailable
        Format: Hardcover, 64 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        Target Age Group: Early Reader
        ISBN13: 9780525471981
        Imprint: Dutton Juvenile
        Publisher: Penguin Random House
        Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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        Read a Description of Sophisticated Ladies: the Great Women of Jazz


        Book Description: 
        This handsome volume contains the stories of fourteen fabulous women, blues and jazz singers all. Their art reflected their backgrounds often small, poverty-ridden towns in the South and the influence of musicians who preceded them. Each singer adapted the culture of jazz and wove it into her own personal style. Jazz historian Leslie Gourse’s biographies of Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Mildred Bailey, Mabel Mercer, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Cassandra Wilson, and Diana Krall offer a fascinating glimpse into American history and a continually evolving musical genre.

        Elementary Level Honor

        Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku
        by Ellie Crowe

          Publication Date:
          List Price: $19.95
          Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
          Classification: Nonfiction
          Target Age Group: Picture Book
          ISBN13: 9781584302766
          Imprint: Lee & Low Books
          Publisher: Lee & Low Books
          Parent Company: Lee & Low Books
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          Read a Description of Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku


          Book Description: 
          Growing up in Honolulu with the Pacific Ocean as his backyard, Duke Kahanamoku learned to swim and surf at a young age. By his early twenties, Duke’s lightning-fast swimming won him a place on the 1912 United States Olympic team and a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle race. Over the years Duke struggled with racism and financial troubles, but by the end of his twenty-year Olympic career, he was a six-time medal winner. Although a swimming champion, Duke’s passion was surfing. He traveled the world, introducing surfboarding to Australia and the east and west coasts of the United States. Considered the father of modern surfing, Duke spread his love of the ocean and Hawai i wherever he went. Throughout his life Duke Kahanamoku was beloved for his modesty, sportsmanship, and amazing skill in the water. Today he remains a legendary waterman and an inspiration to all to live life with aloha. aloha: love, kindness, grace, affection, compassion; also traditional Hawaiian greeting or farewell”

          Elementary Award

          Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer
          by Bill Wise

            Publication Date:
            List Price: $16.95
            Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
            Classification: Nonfiction
            Target Age Group: Picture Book
            ISBN13: 9781584302698
            Imprint: Lee & Low Books
            Publisher: Lee & Low Books
            Parent Company: Lee & Low Books
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            Read a Description of Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer


            Book Description: 
            On a Maine summer day in 1884, twelve-year-old Penobscot Indian Louis Sockalexis, first fell in love with baseball. As he grew up, Louis honed his skills and dreamed of one day joining a major league team. Louis encountered opposition at every turn-from the jeers of teammates and the taunts of spectators who thought he had no place in a “white man’s sport” to the disapproval of his father, who wanted Louis to focus on tribal life. Louis finally made it to the major league Cleveland Spiders, but racism followed him, until one momentous day in June 1897 at New Yorks Polo Grounds. Facing off against the most feared pitcher in baseball, Louis proved he belonged in the sport. Here is the inspiring story of a boy who dared make his dream a reality. With determination, courage, and quiet dignity, Louis Sockalexis smashed racial barriers and home runs, leaving an indelible mark on America’s favorite sport.


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