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 2009


Elementary Level Honor

A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero
by Gina Capaldi

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $16.95
    Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    Target Age Group: Picture Book
    ISBN13: 9780822576440
    Imprint: Carolrhoda Books
    Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
    Parent Company: Lerner Publishing Group
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    Read a Description of A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero


    Book Description: 
    At the end of his career, Dr. Carlos Montezuma tells his life story in the form of a letter that the author has pieced together from his writings: As young Wassaja, he was kidnapped from his Yavapai tribe by the Pima, a long time enemy of his people. They sold him as a slave and in 1871 he was purchased by Mr. Gentile, an Italian who actually made his living with an early camera. Together they traveled the nation, taking pictures all the way. Wassaja, now renamed Carlos, eventually enrolled in school in Chicago where he thrived despite difficult circumstances, eventually graduating from the University of Illinois, and Chicago Medical School. He devoted his life to lobbying on behalf of his people. The illustrator is a multi-media artist, and she has skillfully integrated her own paintings with Mr. Gentiles photographs of Carlos to give us a fascinating view of another era.

    Elementary Level Winner

    Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship
    by Nikki Giovanni

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $16.95
      Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
      Classification: Nonfiction
      Target Age Group: Picture Book
      ISBN13: 9780805082647
      Imprint: Henry Holt & Company (BYR)
      Publisher: Macmillan
      Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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      Read a Description of Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship


      Book Description: 
      Our 16th president is known for many things: He delivered the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.He was tall and skinny and notoriously stern-looking. And he also had some very strong ideas about abolishing slavery, ideas which brought him into close contact with another very visible public figure: Frederick Douglass. Douglass was born a slave but escaped in 1838 and became one of the central figures in the American abolitionist movement. This book offers a glimpse into the unusual friendship between two great American leaders. At a time when racial tensions were high and racial equality was not yet established, Lincoln and Douglass formed a strong bond over shared ideals and worked alongside each other for a common goal. The acclaimed team behind Rosa, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and a Caldecott Honor book, join forces once more to portray this historic friendship at a unique moment in time.

      Middle Level Honor

      Booker T. Washington and Education
      by John F. Wukovits

        Publication Date:
        List Price: $39.40
        Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        Target Age Group: Middle Grade
        ISBN13: 9781420500523
        Imprint: Lucent Books
        Publisher: Gale
        Parent Company: Cengage Learning
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        Read a Description of Booker T. Washington and Education


        Book Description: 
        A biography of the African American educator, born into slavery and illiterate until after the Civil War, who went on to teach at the predominantly African American schools Hampton Institute and Tuskegee Institute.

        Middle Level Winner

        The Rise of Jim Crow (Drama of African-American History)
        by James Haskins

          Publication Date:
          List Price: $35.64
          Format: Hardcover, 80 pages
          Classification: Nonfiction
          Target Age Group: Middle Grade
          ISBN13: 9780761426400
          Imprint: Cavendish Square Publishing
          Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing
          Parent Company: Cavendish Square Publishing
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          Read a Description of The Rise of Jim Crow (Drama of African-American History)


          Book Description: 
          ”Provides a history of the decades of povery, oppression, and terror African Americans suffered under the system of segregation in the United States, from the end of the Recontruction era through the early decades of the twentieth century”—Provided by publisher.

          Secondary Level Honor

          When the Children Marched: The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement (Prime)
          by Robert H. Mayer

            Publication Date:
            List Price: $35.94
            Format: Hardcover, 176 pages
            Classification: Nonfiction
            Target Age Group: Middle Grade
            ISBN13: 9780766029309
            Imprint: Enslow Publishing
            Publisher: Enslow Publishing LLC
            Parent Company: Enslow Publishing LLC
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            Read a Description of When the Children Marched: The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement (Prime)


            Book Description: 
            Referred to as the “most segregated city in America,” Birmingham, Alabama, became a hotbed for civil rights activity in the early 1960s. Great African-American leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, helped lead the civil rights movement in the city. In Birmingham, African-American youth marched, sang, and spoke out against segregation. Although they faced police dogs and fire hoses, they offered non-violent resistance and did not back down. WHEN THE CHILDREN MARCHED explores the civil rights leaders who organized the movement and the brave children and teens at the heart of the fight.

            Secondary Level Winner

            Reaching Out
            by Francisco Jiménez

              Publication Date:
              List Price: $16.00
              Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
              Classification: Fiction
              Target Age Group: Middle Grade
              ISBN13: 9780618038510
              Imprint: HMH Books for Young Readers
              Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
              Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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              Read a Description of Reaching Out


              Book Description: 
              From the perspective of the young adult he was then, Francisco Jim nez describes the challenges he faced in his efforts to continue his education. During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico. This is the story of how Francisco coped with poverty, with his guilt over leaving his family financially strapped, with his self-doubt about succeeding academically, and with separation. Once again his telling is honest, true, and inspiring.