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 2012


Click for a larger image of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback, 112 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 - 10
ISBN13: 9780061730795
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans


Book Description: 

Kadir Nelson's Heart and Soul—the winner of numerous awards, including the 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and the recipient of five starred reviews—now features eight pages of discussion and curriculum material.

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.

Told through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African-American female narrator, this inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.






Click for a larger image of Never Forgotten

Never Forgotten
by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
ISBN13: 9780375843846
Imprint: Schwartz & Wade
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Read a Description of Never Forgotten


Book Description: 

This gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team Leo and Diane Dillon is sure to become a treasured keepsake for African American families. Set in West Africa, this a lyrical story-in-verse is about a young black boy who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, and his father who is left behind to mourn the loss of his son. Here's a beautiful, powerful, truly unforgettable story about family, memory, and freedom.




Click for a larger image of The Great Migration: Journey To The North

The Great Migration: Journey To The North
by Eloise Greenfield, Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 26 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 3 - 8
ISBN13: 9780061259210
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of The Great Migration: Journey To The North


Book Description: 

We were one family among the many thousands. Mama and Daddy leaving home, coming to the city, with their hopes and their courage, their dreams and their children, to make a better life.

When Eloise Greenfield was four months old, her family moved from their home in Parmele, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C.

Before Jan Spivey Gilchrist was born, her mother moved from Arkansas and her father moved from Mississippi. Both settled in Chicago, Illinois. Though none of them knew it at the time, they had all become part of the Great Migration.

In this collection of poems and collage artwork, award winners Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist gracefully depict the experiences of families like their own, who found the courage to leave their homes behind and make new lives for themselves elsewhere.




Click for a larger image of Underground: Finding The Light To Freedom

Underground: Finding The Light To Freedom
by Shane W. Evans, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 5 - 8
ISBN13: 9781596435384
Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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Read a Description of Underground: Finding The Light To Freedom


Book Description: 

A family silently crawls along the ground. They run barefoot through unlit woods, sleep beneath bushes, take shelter in a kind stranger's home. Where are they heading? They are heading for Freedom by way of the Underground Railroad.




Click for a larger image of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback, 112 pages
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 - 10
ISBN13: 9780061730795
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
Borrow from Library

Read a Description of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans


Book Description: 

Kadir Nelson's Heart and Soul—the winner of numerous awards, including the 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and the recipient of five starred reviews—now features eight pages of discussion and curriculum material.

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.

Told through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African-American female narrator, this inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.







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