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.

6 Coretta Scott King Award Winning and Honored Books for 2001


Click for a larger image of Miracle’s Boys

Miracle’s Boys
by Jacqueline Woodson

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 12 - 17
ISBN13: 9780142415535
Imprint: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Read a Description of Miracle’s Boys


Book Description: 
From a three-time Newbery Honor author, a novel that was awarded the 2001 Coretta Scott King award and the Los Angeles Times Book PrizeFor Lafayette and his brothers, the challenges of growing up in New York City are compounded by the facts that they’ve lost their parents and it’s up to eldest brother Ty’ree to support the boys, and middle brother Charlie has just returned home from a correctional facility.Lafayette loves his brothers and would do anything if they could face the world as a team. But even though Ty’ree cares, he’s just so busy with work and responsibility. And Charlie’s changed so much that his former affection for his little brother has turned to open hostility.Now, as Lafayette approaches 13, he needs the guidance and answers only his brothers can give him. The events of one dramatic weekend force the boys to make the choice to be there for each other—to really see each other—or to give in to the pain and problems of every day.


Click for a larger image of Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Publication Date:
List Price: $9.99
Format: Paperback, 120 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 8 - 12
ISBN13: 9780547906041
Imprint: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Read a Description of Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters


Book Description: 
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America. Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad. Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in—even when it feels like no one is listening. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s moving text and Stephen Alcorn’s glorious portraits celebrate the lives of ten bold women who lit the path to freedom for generations. Includes biographies of Sojournor Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B.Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm.


Click for a larger image of Uptown (An Owlet Book)

Uptown (An Owlet Book)
by Bryan Collier, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Publication Date:
List Price: $8.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780805073997
Imprint: Square Fish
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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Read a Description of Uptown (An Owlet Book)


Book Description: 
Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier discovers the vibrant world of Harlem, New York, as seen through the eyes of a little boy"Uptown . . .
Harlem, New York.
Chicken and waffles.
Jazz.
Home."Uptown is a rich mix of flavors, colors, sounds, and cultures that come together to create a vibrant community like no other in the world. Seen through the eyes of one little boy who lives there, the details of life in Harlem are as joyous as a game of basketball on a summer’s afternoon and as personal as a trip to the barbershop where old-timers reminisce.Bryan Collier’s spare, poetic text and beautiful, intricate illustrations evoke every aspect of Harlem, from the legendary Apollo Theater to chocolate-colored brownstones, weekend shopping on 125th Street, and the music of Duke Ellington.Uptown is the winner of the 2001 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.


Click for a larger image of Freedom River

Freedom River
by Doreen Rappaport, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 5 - 9
ISBN13: 9781423106340
Imprint: Disney-Hyperion
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide
Parent Company: The Walt Disney Company
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Read a Description of Freedom River


Book Description: 

One thousand feet across the Ohio River lay Ripley, Ohio?and freedom. Before the Civil War, Kentucky was a slave state, while Ohio remained free. Time and time again, John Parker, an ex-slave who had bought his own freedom, led Kentucky slaves across a thin stretch of river to Ohio, and safety. These dangerous journeys demanded a tremendous amount of courage, planning, and faith.


Click for a larger image of Only Passing Through

Only Passing Through
by Anne F. Rockwell, Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Paperback, 40 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 - 9
ISBN13: 9780440417668
Imprint: Random House Children’s Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Read a Description of Only Passing Through


Book Description: 
A powerful picture book biography of one of the abolitionist movement’s most compelling voices.

Sojourner Truth traveled the country in the latter half of the 19th century, speaking out against slavery. She told of a slave girl who was sold three times by age 13, who was beaten for not understanding her master’s orders, who watched her parents die of cold and hunger when they could no longer work for their keep. Sojourner’s simple yet powerful words helped people to understand the hideous truth about slavery. The story she told was her own.

Only Passing Through is the inspiring story of how a woman, born a slave with no status or dignity, transformed herself into one of the most powerful voices of the abolitionist movement. Anne Rockwell combines her lifelong love of history with her well-known skill as a storyteller to create this simple, affecting portrait of an American icon.


From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.


Click for a larger image of Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys
by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780689877933
Imprint: Aladdin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys


Book Description: 
Virgie was always begging to go to school with us boys.
"Papa, Mama, can I go too?"
My brothers had doubts. School was seven miles away — a long way from Mama. Virgie was scarcely big as a field mouse. How could she make the trip? And girls didn’t really need school. But I got to thinking: Virgie was free like we were. Free to learn. And didn’t girls need to know how to write and add too? Mama and Papa thought so. And one summer, they decided to do something about it.
That was the year Virgie came to school with us boys. And she sure showed us!



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