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.

7 Coretta Scott King Award Winning and Honored Books for 2014


Click for a larger image of P.S. Be Eleven

P.S. Be Eleven
by Rita Williams-Garcia

Publication Date:
List Price: $6.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Children’s
Age: 8 - 12
Page Count: 304
ISBN13: 9780061938641
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Read a Description of P.S. Be Eleven


Book Description: 
In this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel and sequel to the New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, the Gaither sisters return to Brooklyn and find that changes large and small have come to their home. This extraordinary novel earned five starred reviews, with Publishers Weekly calling it "historical fiction that’s as full of heart as it is of heartbreak" and The Horn Book considering it "funny, wise, poignant, and thought-provoking."After spending the summer in Oakland, California, with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence. The sisters aren’t the only ones who have changed. Now Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell returns from Vietnam a different man. But Big Ma still expects Delphine to keep her sisters in line. That’s much harder now that Vonetta and Fern refuse to be bossed around. Besides her sisters, Delphine’s got plenty of other things to worry about—like starting sixth grade, being the tallest girl in her class, and dreading the upcoming school dance. The one person she confides in is her mother, Cecile. Through letters, Delphine pours her heart out and receives some constant advice: to be eleven while she can.Supports the Common Core State Standards




Click for a larger image of Darius & Twig

Darius & Twig
by Walter Dean Myers

Publication Date:
List Price: $9.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Children’s
Age: 13 - 17
Page Count: 224
ISBN13: 9780061728259
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Read a Description of Darius & Twig


Book Description: 
New York Times bestselling author and Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers once again connects with teenagers everywhere in Darius & Twig, a novel about friendship and needing to live one’s own dream. This touching and raw teen novel from the author of Monster, Kick, We Are America, Bad Boy, and many other celebrated literary works for children and teens is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that life in Harlem throws at them. The two friends must face down bullies, an abusive uncle, and the idea that they’ll be stuck in the same place forever.


Click for a larger image of March Book One

March Book One
by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell

Publication Date:
List Price: $14.95 (store prices may vary)
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 128
ISBN13: 9781603093002
Imprint: Top Shelf Productions
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Parent Company: Top Shelf Productions

Read a Description of March Book One


Book Description: 

Congressman John Lewis is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Large Image from March Book 1






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Words With Wings
by Nikki Grimes

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 80
ISBN13: 9781590789858
Imprint: Wordsong
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Parent Company: Boyds Mills Press

Read a Description of Words With Wings


Book Description: 

Winner 2014 Coretta Scott King 2014 Author Honor Award

Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.

Wordsong is the only imprint in the country that is devoted exclusively to poetry for children.




Click for a larger image of Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream For Me

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream For Me
by Daniel Beaty, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Age: 3 - 6
Page Count: 40
ISBN13: 9780316209175
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre

Read a Description of Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream For Me


Book Description: 

Every morning, I play a game with my father. He goes knock knock on my door and I pretend to be asleep till he gets right next to the bed. And my papa, he tells me, "I love you."

But what happens when, one day, that "knock knock" doesn't come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.




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Nelson Mandela
by Kadir Nelson, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Age: 4 - 8
Page Count: 40
ISBN13: 9780061783746
Imprint: Katherine Tegen Books
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Read a Description of Nelson Mandela


Book Description: 

One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the country's capital, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandela spoke out against the law and vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans.

Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela, a global icon, in poignant verse and glorious illustrations. It is the story of a young boy's determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Mandela's triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.




Click for a larger image of When The Beat Was Born: Dj Kool Herc And The Creation Of Hip Hop (Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award For New Talent)

When The Beat Was Born: Dj Kool Herc And The Creation Of Hip Hop (Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award For New Talent)
by Laban Carrick Hill, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 - 10
Page Count: 32
ISBN13: 9781596435407
Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck

Read a Description of When The Beat Was Born: Dj Kool Herc And The Creation Of Hip Hop (Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award For New Talent)


Book Description: 

Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc.

On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx. Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks--the musical interludes between verses--longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born. From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.