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The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.
The 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is Jacqueline Woodson, author of "Before the Ever After." “Before the Ever After,” published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, is Jacqueline Woodson’s stirring novel-in-verse which explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the effects of professional sports on the Black body.
Jacqueline Woodson is the recipient of the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. She was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and in 2015, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She received the 2014 National Book Award for her New York Times bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming,” winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Author
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
The 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Author goes to Tracy Deonn for “Legendborn,” published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy “Legendborn” offers the dark allure of “City of Bones” with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic. The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African American creator of children’s books. This is Deonn's debut novel.
Current Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner
Respect by Carole Boston Weatherford; Frank Morrison (Illustrator)
The 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is Frank Morrison, illustrator of “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul". “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul,” written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, is an early indoctrination into hip-hop culture that can be seen through Morrison’s work, which has been dubbed a mash-up of urban mannerism, graffiti and abstract contemporary, and reflects deeply on the lost of human stories from past eras.
Frank Morrison is the award-winning illustrator of many books for young readers, including “Jazzy Miz Mozetta,” winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent; “Little Melba and Her Big Trombone,” a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book; “Muhammad Ali,” and “How Sweet the Sound.” Before becoming a children’s book illustrator and fine artist, Morrison toured the globe as a break-dancer. He lives in Georgia with his family.
Current Coretta Scott King Honor Books
Author Honor Books
All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. TaylorThe saga of the Logan family--made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry--concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story. The saga of the Logan family--made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry--concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story. In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a young woman now, searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration. She is witness to the now-historic events of the century- the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change. Rich, compelling storytelling is Ms. Taylor's hallmark, and she fulfills expectations as she brings to a close the stirring family story that has absorbed her for over forty years. It is a story she was born to tell.
King of the Dragonflies by Kacen CallenderIn a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.
Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?" But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death. The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one's identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.
Lifting As We Climb by Evette DionneFor African American women, the fight for the right to vote was only one battle. An eye-opening book that tells the important, overlooked story of black women as a force in the suffrage movement--when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle. For African American women, the fight for the right to vote was only one battle. This Coretta Scott King Author Honor book tells the important, overlooked story of black women as a force in the suffrage movement--when fellow suffragists did not accept them as equal partners in the struggle. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Alice Paul. The Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls. The 1913 Women's March in D.C. When the epic story of the suffrage movement in the United States is told, the most familiar leaders, speakers at meetings, and participants in marches written about or pictured are generally white. That's not the real story. Women of color, especially African American women, were fighting for their right to vote and to be treated as full, equal citizens of the United States. Their battlefront wasn't just about gender. African American women had to deal with white abolitionist-suffragists who drew the line at sharing power with their black sisters. They had to overcome deep, exclusionary racial prejudices that were rife in the American suffrage movement. And they had to maintain their dignity--and safety--in a society that tried to keep them in its bottom ranks. Lifting as We Climb is the empowering story of African American women who refused to accept all this. Women in black church groups, black female sororities, black women's improvement societies and social clubs. Women who formed their own black suffrage associations when white-dominated national suffrage groups rejected them. Women like Mary Church Terrell, a founder of the National Association of Colored Women and of the NAACP; or educator-activist Anna Julia Cooper who championed women getting the vote and a college education; or the crusading journalist Ida B. Wells, a leader in both the suffrage and anti-lynching movements. Author Evette Dionne, a feminist culture writer and the editor-in-chief of Bitch Media, has uncovered an extraordinary and underrepresented history of black women. In her powerful book, she draws an important historical line from abolition to suffrage to civil rights to contemporary young activists--filling in the blanks of the American suffrage story.
Illustrator Honor Books
Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon; Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)With vivid illustrations by Kaylani Juanita, Samara Cole Doyon sings a carol for the plenitude that surrounds us and the self each of us is meant to inhabit.
Exquisite by Suzanne Slade; Cozbi A. Cabrera (Illustrator)A picture-book biography of celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) is known for her poems about "real life." She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty--showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem. Exquisite follows Gwendolyn from early girlhood into her adult life, showcasing her desire to write poetry from a very young age. This picture-book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great Depression--all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. And in 1958, she was named the poet laureate of Illinois. A bold artist who from a very young age dared to dream, Brooks will inspire young readers to create poetry from their own lives.
Me and Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera (Illustrator)Mama's love is brighter than the sun, even on the rainiest of days. This celebration of a mother-daughter relationship is perfect for sharing with little ones! On a rainy day when the house smells like cinnamon and Papa and Luca are still asleep, when the clouds are wearing shadows and the wind paints the window with beads of water, I want to be everywhere Mama is. With lyrical prose and a tender touch, Mama and Me is an ode to the strength of the bond between a mother and a daughter as they spend a rainy day together.