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.

8 Coretta Scott King Award Winning and Honored Books for 2003


Click for a larger image of Bronx Masquerade

Bronx Masquerade
by Nikki Grimes

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.99
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 176 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 12 - 16
ISBN13: 9780142501894
Imprint: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Read a Description of Bronx Masquerade


Book Description: 
A Coretta Scott King Award winner!

Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes’ award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens. This anniversary edition—celebrating ten years of this wonderfully evocative work—will feature discussion questions, testimonials from teachers, and an all new introduction from the author.

"All of the [students], black, Latino, white, male, and female, talk about the unease and alienation endemic to their ages, and they do it in fresh and appealing voices. Rich and complex."
—Kirkus Reviews

"As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they’re looking for—real characters who show them they are not alone."
—School Library Journal

"Readers will enjoy the lively, smart voices that talk bravely, about real issues and secret fears. A fantastic choice."
—Booklist


Click for a larger image of Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman

Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780439352437
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman


Book Description: 
Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights.

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn’t do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn’t let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African -American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.


Click for a larger image of The Red Rose Box

The Red Rose Box
by Brenda Woods

Publication Date:
List Price: $5.99
Format: Paperback, 144 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 8 - 12
ISBN13: 9780142501511
Imprint: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Read a Description of The Red Rose Box


Book Description: 
On her tenth birthday, Leah receives a surprise gift from glamorous Aunt Olivia, Mama’s only sister, who lives in Los Angeles. It is a red rose box. Not many people in 1958 Louisiana have seen such a beautiful traveling case, covered with red roses, filled with jewelry, silk bedclothes, expensive soaps…and train tickets to California. Soon after, Leah and her sister, Ruth, find themselves in Hollywood, far away from cotton fields and Jim Crow laws. To Leah, California feels like freedom. But when disaster strikes back home, Leah and Ruth have to stay with Aunt Olivia permanently. Will freedom ever feel like home?


Click for a larger image of Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman

Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780439352437
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman


Book Description: 
Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights.

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn’t do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn’t let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African -American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.


Click for a larger image of Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles - Think of That!

Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles - Think of That!
by Leo & Diane Dillon, Illustrated by Leo Dillon

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 7
ISBN13: 9780590478830
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles - Think of That!


Book Description: 
With bold paintings and a simple, rhyming text, Caldecott Medalists Leo & Diane Dillon bring young readers a rap a tap tap celebration of dance that will have readers clapping and tapping along.

"There once was a man who danced in the street / He brought pleasure and joy to the people he’d greet / He didn’t just dance, he made art with his feet / Rap a tap tap—think of that!"
This simple book for young children has the added bonus of describing the life of a ground-breaking African-American tap dancer. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was one of the most popular entertainers of the 1920s-30s. People said he "talked with his feet," and in the Dillons’ graceful paintings of old New York, he dances from page to page to the tune of a toe-tapping rhyme. Rap a tap tap—think of that!


Click for a larger image of Visiting Langston

Visiting Langston
by Willie Perdomo, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Publication Date:
List Price: $8.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780805078817
Imprint: Square Fish
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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Read a Description of Visiting Langston


Book Description: 
A wonderful picture book introduction to a legendary American writer It’s a special day when a little girl and her father go to visit the house where the great poet Langston Hughes lived—especially when the little girl is a poet herself! This rhythmic tale is a wonderful introduction to the work and world of Langston Hughes, who was a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance and an American cultural hero.


Click for a larger image of Chill Wind

Chill Wind
by Janet McDonald

Publication Date:
List Price: $8.99
Format: Paperback, 144 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9780374411831
Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Younger Readers (BYR)
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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Read a Description of Chill Wind


Book Description: 
A tough and funny project girl manages to make that chill wind blow awayThe good life, according to Aisha Ingram, is easy. It’s hanging with friends, dancing, listening to music, whatever . . . but it doesn’t include worrying about the future. Chilling out is her mantra until she receives a sixty-day termination-of-welfare-benefits notice. Without her monthly food stamps and assistance checks and with no help from the father of her two children, Aisha’s life threatens to become a little too "chilly." The clock is ticking and she doesn’t have many options, but one thing she knows for sure: workfare is not for her. There’s no way she’s going to scrub subway cars or sweep city sidewalks. Aisha tries to come up with other ways to get money, but things don’t look good. Soon another notice comes: only thirty days left. Then she sees an ad on TV for BIGMODELS, and she figures she might as well check out the agency. After all, she is pretty enough. But just when it looks like Aisha’s problems might be solved, things grow crazy again. In Aisha, Janet McDonald has created a larger-than-life heroine who finds and succeeds at what is right for her.Chill Wind is the winner of the 2003 Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award.


Click for a larger image of The Moon Ring

The Moon Ring
by Randy DuBurke

Publication Date:
Format: , 36 pages
Classification: Children’s
ISBN13: 9781452126777
Imprint: Chronicle Books
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Parent Company: McEvoy Group
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Read a Description of The Moon Ring


Book Description: 

In the light of a blue moon, the second full moon in a month, Maxine discovers something amazing in the grass: a magical moon ring! Ahead lies a night of adventure beyond anything Maxine could have imagined, as she is whisked around the globe, from the ice floes of Antarctica to the sunbaked African savannah to the neon lights of New York City. Is it all just a dream? Only Maxine and her grandmother know for sure. Playful illustrations make this exciting adventure story one that children will ask for over and over again! Plus, this version includes audio and a read-along setting.





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