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.

5 Coretta Scott King Award Winning and Honored Books for 2010


Click for a larger image of Bad News For Outlaws: The Remarkable Life Of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal

Bad News For Outlaws: The Remarkable Life Of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.95
Format: Library Binding
Classification: Children’s
Age: 9 - 12
Page Count: 40
ISBN13: 9780822567646
Imprint: Carolrhoda Books
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Parent Company: Lerner Publishing Group

Read a Description of Bad News For Outlaws: The Remarkable Life Of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal


Book Description: 

Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he was cunning and fearless. When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail, because Bass always got his man, dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn't like the notion of a black lawman. Born into slavery in 1838, Bass had a hard and violent life, but he also had a strong sense of right and wrong that others admired. When Judge Isaac Parker tried to bring law and order to the lawless Indian Territories, he chose Bass to be a deputy U.S. Marshall. Bass would quickly prove a smart choice. For three decades, Bass was the most feared and respected lawman in the territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty. The story of Bass Reeves is the story of a remarkable African American and a remarkable hero of the Old West.






Click for a larger image of Mare’s War

Mare’s War
by Tanita S. Davis

Publication Date:
List Price: $9.99
Format: Paperback
Classification: Children’s
Age: 12 - 17
Page Count: 352
ISBN13: 9780375850776
Imprint: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of Mare’s War


Book Description: 
Meet Mare, a World War II veteran and a grandmother like no other. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less than perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American Battalion of the Women’s Army Corps. Now she is driving her granddaughters—two willful teenagers in their own rite—on a cross-country road trip. The girls are initially skeptical of Mare’s flippy wigs and stilletos, but they soon find themselves entranced by the story she has to tell, and readers will be too.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces readers to a larger-than-life character and a fascinating chapter in African American history.


Click for a larger image of My People

My People
by Langston Hughes, Illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr.

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Age: 3 - 5
Page Count: 40
ISBN13: 9781416935407
Imprint: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Read a Description of My People


Book Description: 

Langston Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribute to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Charles R. Smith Jr. interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.




Click for a larger image of The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers
by Langston Hughes, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Age: 5 - 8
Page Count: 32
ISBN13: 9780786818679
Imprint: Hyperion Books
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre

Read a Description of The Negro Speaks Of Rivers


Book Description: 

Langston Hughes has long been acknowledged as the voice, and his poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the song, of the Harlem Renaissance. Although he was only seventeen when he composed it, Hughes already had the insight to capture in words the strength and courage of black people in America.

Artist E.B. Lewis acts as interpreter and visionary, using watercolor to pay tribute to Hughes's timeless poem, a poem that every child deserves to know.




Click for a larger image of The Rock And The River

The Rock And The River
by Kekla Magoon

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Children’s
Age: 9 - 14
Page Count: 304
ISBN13: 9781416978039
Imprint: Aladdin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Read a Description of The Rock And The River


Book Description: 

In 1968 Chicago, it’s not easy for thirteen-year-old Sam to be the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older brother, Stick, starts keeping to himself. Then, one day, Sam finds something under Stick’s bed that changes everything: literature about the Black Panthers. Suddenly, nothing feels certain anymore. And when Dr. King is shot and killed, Sam’s father’s words are no longer enough to make him believe in change….This moving, coming-of-age story gracefully encompasses the scope of the struggle between the civil rights and black power movements through an intimate and relatable lens.