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.

7 Coretta Scott King Award Winning and Honored Books for 1998


Click for a larger image of Forged by Fire

Forged by Fire
by Sharon M. Draper

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780689818516
Imprint: Simon Pulse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of Forged by Fire


Book Description: 
When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt. A brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald’s life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, Jordan Sparks, who abuses her, and from their mother, whose irresponsible behavior forces Gerald to work hard to keep the family together.

As a teenager, Gerald finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, while Angel develops her talents as a dancer. Trouble still haunts them, however, and Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation.

Sharon M. Draper has interwoven characters and events from her previous novel, Tears of a Tiger, in this unflinchingly realistic portrayal of poverty and child abuse. It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends.


Click for a larger image of Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement

Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement
by James Haskins

Publication Date:
List Price: $14.95
Format: Hardcover, 128 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780786801688
Imprint: Disney-Hyperion
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide
Parent Company: The Walt Disney Company
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Read a Description of Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement


Book Description: 
A biography of Bayard Rustin, a skillful organizer behind the scenes of the American civil rights movement whose ideas stongly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr.


Click for a larger image of I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina 1865 (Dear America Series)

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina 1865 (Dear America Series)
by Joyce Hansen

Publication Date:
List Price: $12.99
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780590849135
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina 1865 (Dear America Series)


Book Description: 
In this latest addition to the Dear America series, Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author Joyce Hansen presents the inspiring story of Patsy, a freed girl who becomes a great teacher.


Click for a larger image of In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall

In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall
by Folami Abiade, Dinah Johnson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Dakari Hru, Michael Burgess, E. Ethelbert Miller, Lenard D. Moore, David Anderson, Angela Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, and Davida Adedjouma, Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

Publication Date:
List Price: $8.95
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 - 11 years
ISBN13: 9781584300168
Imprint: Lee & Low Books
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Parent Company: Lee & Low Books
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Read a Description of In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall


Book Description: 
In this intergenerational collection of poetry by new and established African American writers, fatherhood is celebrated with honor, humor, and grace. Folami Abiade, Dinah Johnson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Dakari Hru, Michael Burgess, E. Ethelbert Miller, Lenard D. Moore, David Anderson, Angela Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, and Davida Adedjouma all contribute. Javaka Steptoe, who also offers a poem, employs an inventive range of media to bring each of the poems to life. In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall testifies to the powerful bond between father and child, recognizing family as our greatest gift, and identifying fathers as being among our most influential heroes.


Click for a larger image of Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African American Poetry

Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African American Poetry
by Ashley Bryan, Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9780689840456
Imprint: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African American Poetry


Book Description: 
"And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I’m lonely — I’ll make me a world."
— James Weldon Johnson
Thus begins Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ashley Bryan’s collection of inspiring excerpts of poems by celebrated African American poets. Beautifully illustrated with his own tempera and gouache paintings, Ashley Bryan’s unique alphabet book will delight readers of any age.


Click for a larger image of Harlem (Caldecott Honor Book)

Harlem (Caldecott Honor Book)
by Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Christopher Myers

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780590543408
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Book Description: 
A poem celebrating the people, sights, and sounds of Harlem.


Click for a larger image of The Hunterman and the Crocodile: A West African Folktale

The Hunterman and the Crocodile: A West African Folktale
by Baba Wagué Diakité, Illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.95
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780590898287
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of The Hunterman and the Crocodile: A West African Folktale


Book Description: 
A hunterman and a crocodile take turns being captive and captor in a humorous folktale that teaches the importance of living in harmony with nature and is illustrated with ceramic-tile paintings.



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