Ezra Jack Keats Award Winning and Honored Books

The Newbery Medal or Honor Seal

The Ezra Jack Keats Award was established in 1985 and the New Illustrator Award in 2001 to recognize and encourage emerging talent in the field of children’s books. Many past winners have gone on to distinguished careers, creating books beloved by parents, children, librarians and teachers around the world. The EJK Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. A distinguished selection committee of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature reviews the entries, seeking books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have had no more than three books previously published. The award includes a prize of $3,000 for each winner. Learn more about this award at Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Below are the Ezra Jack Keats Award Winning, or Honored, Books Featuring Black Main Characters


One Book Recieved The Ezra Jack Keats Award or Honor in 1993

Writer – Winner

Tar Beach
by Faith Ringgold

Publication Date:
List Price: $7.99
Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9780517885444
Imprint: Dragonfly Books
Publisher: Dragonfly Books
Parent Company: Dragonfly Books
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Read a Description of Tar Beach


Book Description: 
Illus. in full color. "Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the ’tar beach’ of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one’s world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book."—(starred) Horn Book.