Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners 1970 to Present

coretta_scott_kingThe Coretta Scott King Awards are presented annually by the American Library Association to honor African-American authors and illustrators who create outstanding books for children and young adults. “… an excellent start on your quest for the best in African-American literature for children.”

csk winner seal
The CSK Book Awards seal and award names are owned by the American Library Association.

The award was established in 1969 to recognize authors. In 1979 it was expanded to include a separate award for illustrators. There are five categories of book awards; Author, Author Honor, Illustrator, Illustrator Honor, and the John Steptoe Award for New Talent.

These awards are given to commemorate the life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her continuing efforts in working for peace and civil rights issues. In 2015 The Coretta Scott King Awards became part of the Youth Media Awards. Here is a printable list of all the award winning books.

You may learn more, about this award, at the American Library Association’s website. Also check out our list of Top 100+ Recommended African-American Children’s Books, some are also CSK Award winning titles.

10 Coretta Scott King Award Winning and Honored Books for 2019


Click for a larger image of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
by Claire Hartfield

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.99
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 12 and up
ISBN13: 9780544785137
Imprint: Clarion Books
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Read a Description of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919


Book Description: 
On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the "white" beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one. Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations. This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture. Archival photos and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.


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Finding Langston
by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 112 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780823439607
Imprint: Holiday House
Publisher: Holiday House
Parent Company: Holiday House, Inc.
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Read a Description of Finding Langston


Book Description: 
In a debut historical novel about the Great Migration a boy discovers Chicago’s postwar South Side and the poetry of Langston Hughes.

When 11-year-old Langston’s mother dies in 1946, he and his father leave rural Alabama for Chicago’s brown belt as a part of what came to be known as the Great Migration. It’s lonely in the small apartment with just the two of them, and at school Langston is bullied. But his new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the local public library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston, a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.


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The Parker Inheritance
by Varian Johnson

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780545946179
Imprint: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Book Description: 
Four starred reviews!

"Powerful…. Johnson writes about the long shadows of the past with such ambition that any reader with a taste for mystery will appreciate the puzzle Candice and Brandon must solve." — The New York Times Book Review

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?


Click for a larger image of The Season of Styx Malone

The Season of Styx Malone
by Kekla Magoon

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9781524715953
Imprint: Wendy Lamb Books
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Parent Company: Wendy Lamb Books
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Book Description: 
This lively and diverse middle-grade story from the award-winning author of How It Went Down has the warmth of a modern-day The Watsons go to Birmingham—1963.

Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene have the whole summer for adventures in the woods behind their house in Sutton, Indiana. Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town, but his dad likes the family to stay close to home.

Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. He’s been lots of different places. Styx promises Caleb and Bobby Gene that together, they can pull off the Great Escalator Trade—exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. It becomes clear that Styx has secrets—secrets so big they could ruin everything—and Caleb fears their whole plan might fall apart.

In this madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure, friendships are forged, loyalties are tested . . . and miracles just might be possible.


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The Stuff of Stars
by Marion Dane Bauer, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780763678838
Imprint: Candlewick Press
Publisher: Walker Books
Parent Company: Walker Books
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Read a Description of The Stuff of Stars


Book Description: 

In an astonishing unfurling of our universe, Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer and Caldecott Honor winner Ekua Holmes celebrate the birth of every child.

Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was… nothing. But then… BANG! Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond — and how we are all the stuff of stars.




Click for a larger image of Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780062742469
Imprint: HarperCollins
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race


Book Description: 

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.


Click for a larger image of Let the Children March

Let the Children March
by Monica Clark-Robinson, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780544704527
Imprint: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Read a Description of Let the Children March


Book Description: 

  • I couldn’t play on the same playground as the white kids.
  • I couldn’t go to their schools.
  • I couldn’t drink from their water fountains.
  • There were so many things I couldn’t do.

In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.




Click for a larger image of Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968
by Alice Faye Duncan

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.95
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9781629797182
Imprint: Calkins Creek
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Parent Company: Boyds Mills Press
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Read a Description of Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968


Book Description: 
This historical fiction picture book for children ages 9-12 presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination—when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.

In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city’s refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop" sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.




Click for a larger image of Monday’s Not Coming

Monday’s Not Coming
by Tiffany D. Jackson

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780062422675
Imprint: Katherine Tegen Books
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of Monday’s Not Coming


Book Description: 
From the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, comes a gripping new novel perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Gillian Flynn about the mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?


Click for a larger image of Thank You, Omu!

Thank You, Omu!
by Oge Mora, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.99
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780316431248
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre
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Read a Description of Thank You, Omu!


Book Description: 

In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that’s perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn as well as for the Thanksgiving season, a generous woman is rewarded by her community.

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu’s stew, with an extra serving of love. An author’s note explains that “Omu” (pronounced AH-moo) means “queen” in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean “Grandma.” This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora’s life.