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 1999


Click for a larger image of Heaven

Heaven
by Angela Johnson

Publication Date:
List Price: $5.99
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 144 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 12 - 17
ISBN13: 9780689822902
Imprint: Simon Pulse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of Heaven


Book Description: 
Marley has lived in Heaven since she was two years old, when her mother found a postcard postmarked HEAVEN, OH on a park bench and decided that was where she wanted to raise her family.
And for twelve years, Marley’s hometown has lived up to its name. She lives in a house by the river, has loving parents, a funny younger brother, good friends, and receives frequent letters from her mysterious Uncle Jack. Then one day a letter arrives form Alabama, and Marley’s life is turned upside down. Marley doesn’t even know who she is anymore — but where can she go for answers, when she’s been deceived by the very people she should be able to trust the most?


Click for a larger image of Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York’s African Burial Ground

Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York’s African Burial Ground
by Joyce Hansen

Publication Date:
List Price: $22.95
Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 8 - 12
ISBN13: 9780805050127
Imprint: Henry Holt & Company
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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Read a Description of Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York’s African Burial Ground


Book Description: 
How can we learn about the lives of African slaves in Colonial America? Often forbidden to read or write, they left few written records. But in 1991 scientists rediscovered New York’s long-ignored African Burial Ground, which opened an exciting new window into the past.

A woman with filed teeth buried with a girdle of beads; a black soldier buried with his British Navy uniform, his face pointing east; a mother and child, laid to rest side by side: to scientists, each of these burials has much to tell us about African slaves in America.

Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence shows how archaeologists and anthropologists have learned to read life stories in shattered bones, tiny beads, and the faint traces left by coffin lids in ancient soil. At the same time, by blending together the insights found buried in the soil and the results of historians’ careful studies, it gives us a moving, inspiring portrait of the lives Africans created in Colonial New York.


Click for a larger image of Jazmin’s Notebook

Jazmin’s Notebook
by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Publication Date:
List Price: $5.99
Format: Paperback, 112 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 8 - 12
ISBN13: 9780141307022
Imprint: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Read a Description of Jazmin’s Notebook


Book Description: 
Jazmin Shelby was "born with clenched fists"-which is okay, since she’s got a lot of fighting ahead of her. Her dad died a couple of years back, and now that her mom’s in the hospital, it’s just her and her big sister, CeCe. But that’s fine by Jazmin. She’s got her friends, her school, lots of big plans for the future-and a zest for life and laughter that’s impossible to resist.

A Booklist Editors’ Choice Book
A Child Study Children’s Book Committee Children’s Book of the Year


Click for a larger image of The Other Side: Shorter Poems

The Other Side: Shorter Poems
by Angela Johnson

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.95
Format: Paperback, 64 pages
Classification: Poetry
Age: 10 - 14
ISBN13: 9780531071670
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of The Other Side: Shorter Poems


Book Description: Childhood memories of an African American family living in Shorter, Alabama are woven into Johnson’s poetry.


Click for a larger image of I See the Rhythm

I See the Rhythm
by Toyomi Igus, Illustrated by Michele Wood

Publication Date:
List Price: $10.95
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 years and up
ISBN13: 9780892392124
Imprint: Lee & Low Books
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Parent Company: Lee & Low Books
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Read a Description of I See the Rhythm


Book Description: 
From Michele Wood and Toyomi Ingus, the award-winning artist and author of Going Back Home, comes their second book, i see the rhythm, a uniquely visual and poetic introduction to the history of African American music. Beginning with the roots of black music in Africa and continuing on to contemporary hip hop, i see the rhythm takes us on a musical journey through time. We are invited to feel the rhythm of work songs on a southern plantation, to see the rhythm of jazz from a balcony in New Orleans, to dance to the rhythm of swing at the Savoy in Harlem, and to rejoice to the rhythm of gospel from a church pew on a Sunday morning. Each stunning spread-including art, poetic text, a description of the music style, and a time line of selected historical events-encompasses the spirit of the times and the strength of the communities where the music was born. Igus’s lyrical text, matched with Wood’s daring vision, captures the feel of each style of music and pays tribute to the musicians who gave the music life.


Click for a larger image of Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 5 - 9
ISBN13: 9780786814206
Imprint: Disney-Hyperion
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide
Parent Company: The Walt Disney Company
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Read a Description of Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra


Book Description: 
Another stunning picture book biography of a prominent twentieth-century African-American in the arts, from the creative team behind Alvin Ailey.


Click for a larger image of I Have Heard of a Land

I Have Heard of a Land
by Joyce Carol Thomas, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780064436175
Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of I Have Heard of a Land


Book Description: 
I have heard of a land
Where the imagination has no fences
Where what is dreamed one night
Is accomplished the next dayIn the late 1880s, signs went up all around America - land was free in the Oklahoma territory. And it was free to everyone: Whites, Blacks, men and women alike. All one needed to stake a claim was hope and courage, strength and perseverance. Thousands of pioneers, many of them African-Americans newly freed from slavery, headed west to carve out a new life in the Oklahoma soil. Drawing upon her own family history, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Thomas has crafted an unforgettable anthem to these brave and determned people from America’s past. Richly illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award honoree Floyd Cooper, I Have Heard of a Land is a glorious tribute to the Afrian-American pioneer spirit. 00-01 Sequoyah Children’s Book Award Masterlist


Click for a larger image of The Bat Boy and His Violin

The Bat Boy and His Violin
by Gavin Curtis, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780689841156
Imprint: Aladdin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of The Bat Boy and His Violin


Book Description: 
Reginald loves to create beautiful music on his violin. But Papa, manager of the Dukes, the worst team in the Negro National League, needs a bat boy, not a "fiddler," and traveling with the Dukes doesn’t leave Reginald much time for practicing.
Soon the Dukes’ dugout is filled with Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach — and the bleachers are filled with the sound of the Dukes’ bats. Has Reginald’s violin changed the Dukes’ luck — and can his music pull off a miracle victory against the powerful Monarchs?
Gavin Curtis’s beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit and E. B. Lewis’s lush watercolor paintings capture a very special period in history.


Click for a larger image of The Piano Man

The Piano Man
by Debbie Chocolate, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.95
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780802775788
Imprint: Walker Childrens
Publisher: Walker and Co
Parent Company: Walker and Co
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Read a Description of The Piano Man


Book Description: 
In this beautiful story, poignant prose and lush paintings tell the story of a girl’s bond with her grandfather through their shared love of music. Eric Velasquez’ stunning picture book debut, for which he received the Coretta Scott King New Talent Award, captures Debbi Chocolate’s vivid memories of her grandfather, the piano man, his long career spanning decades of American music history, and his special talent for sharing his passion with generation after generation.


Click for a larger image of The Skin I’m In

The Skin I’m In
by Sharon G. Flake

Publication Date:
List Price: $8.99
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 12 - 14
ISBN13: 9781423103851
Imprint: Disney-Hyperion
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide
Parent Company: The Walt Disney Company
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Read a Description of The Skin I’m In


Book Description: 

Originally published in 1998, The Skin I'm In has about 1.5 million copies in print. It’s been translated into several languages and is used in almost every major school district in America.

Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin.

When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?





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