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Hamersly Library

Coretta Scott King Book Awards: Home

About the Award

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. 

Categories include Author and Illustrator and the John Steptoe award for new talent.

Award given 1970-Present

Coretta Scott King Award Year and Category


 2019 Author Award

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield Juvenile Non-Fiction   F548.9.N3 H37 2018  

2019 Illustrator Award

The Stuff of Stars by Ekua Holmes Juvenile Non-Fiction   QB983 .B38 2018  

2018 Author Award 

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson 


2018 Illustrator Award

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth


2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent
Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erksine 

2017 Author Award

March Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

E840.8.L43 A3 2016 

2017 Illustrator Award

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe


2017 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon


2016 Author Award

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia


2016 Illustrator Award

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews

ML3930.A53 A3 2015

2016 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith


2016 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford 

E185.97.H35 W43 2015  

2015 Author Award

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

PS3573.O64524 Z46 2014  

2015 Illustrator Award

Firebird by Misty Copeland


2015 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds


2014 Author Award

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia


2014 Illustrator Award

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream For Me by Daniel Beat


2014 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

When The Beat Was Born: Dj Kool Herc And The Creation Of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill

2013 Author Award

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

E185.86 .P56 2012  

2013 Illustrator Award

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes

PS3515.U274 I3 2012  

2012 Author Award

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

E185 .N427 2011  

2012 Illustrator Award

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


2011 Author Award

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia


2011 Illustrator Award

Dave The Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill

NK4210.D247 H55 2010  

John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Seeds Of Change: Planting A Path To Peace by Jen Johnson

E112.S45 1991

John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond

2010 Author Award

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

F697.R44 N45 2009  

2010 Illustrator Award

My People by Langston Hughes

2010 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Rock And The River by Kekla Magoon

2009 Author Award

We Are The Ship: The Story Of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson

GV875.A1 N45 2008

2009 Illustrator Award

The Blacker The Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas

PS3570.H565 B53 2008  

2009 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Bird by Zetta Elliott

2008 Author Award

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis


2008 Illustrator Award

Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan


2008 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It by Sundee T. Frazier

2007 Author Award

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper (Fix)


2007 Illustrator Award

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

E444.T82 W43 2006  

2007John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones

2006 Author Award

Day of Tears by Julius Lester

PS3562 .E853 .L567 2007

2006 Illustrator Award

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

F334.M753 P38427 2008  

2006 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Jimi & Me by Jaime Adoff

2005 Author Award

Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison

LC214.2 .M67 2004  

2005 Illustrator Award

Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange


2005 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Jazzy Miz Mozetta by Brenda C. Roberts

2005 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Missy Violet and Me by Barbara Hathaway

2004 Author Award

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson


2004 Illustrator Award

Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan

 PZ8.1.B838 Bg 2003

2004 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith

2003 Author Award

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes


2003 Illustrator Award

Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes

 TK540.C546 G75 2002  

2003 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Chill Wind by Janet McDonald


2003 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Moon Ring by Randy DuBurke

2002 Author Award

The Land by Mildred Taylor


2002 Illustrator Award

Goin’ Someplace Special by Pat McKissack

 E MCK  

2002 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

 E WIL  

2001 Author Award

Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson


2001 Illustrator Award

Uptown by Bryan Collie

E COL   

2000 Author Award

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis


2000 Illustrator Award

In the Time of the Drums by Kim L. Siegelson

 E SIE  

1999 Author Award

Heaven by Angela Johnson


1999 Illustrator Award

I See the Rhythm by Toyomi Igus

 ML3556 .I48 1998

1999 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Piano Man by Debbie Chocolate


John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake

1998 Author Award

Forged by Fire by Sharon M. Draper


1998 Illustrator Award

In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall by Folami Abiade

 PS591.N4 B46 1997

1997 Author Award

Slam! by Walter Dean Myers


1997 Illustrator Award

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman by Alan Schroeder

E444.T82 S37 1996  

1997 John Steptoe Award for New Talent:

Another Way to Dance by Martha Southgate

1996 Author Award

Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, And True Tales by Virginia Hamilton

GR111.A47 H35 1995

1996 Illustrator Award

The Middle Passage: White Ships/ Black Cargo by Tom Feelings

 ND237.F32 A4 1995

1995 Author Award

Christmas In The Big House: Christmas In The Quarters by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick

 F213 .M36 1994  

1995 Illustrator Award

The Creation by James Weldon Johnson

 PS3519.O2625 C73 1994  

1995 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Tears Of A Tiger by Sharon M. Draper


1994 Author Award

Toning The Sweep by Angela Johnson


1994 Illustrator Award

Soul Looks Back in Wonder by Langston Hughes

 PS591.N4 S58 1994

1993 Author Award

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales Of The Supernatural by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack


1993 Illustrator Award

The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth by Sankofa and David A. Anderson


1992 Author Award

Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers

 E185 .M96 1991

1992 Illustrator Award

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

 E RIN  

1991 Author Award

The Road to Memphis by Mildred D. Taylor


1991 Illustrator Award

Aida by Leontyne Price

 ML3930.V4 P7 1990

1990 Author Award

A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissac

 HD8039.R37 U46 1989  

1990 Illustrator Award

Nathaniel Talking by Eloise Greenfield

 PN6109.97 .G81 1988

1989 Author Award

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers


1989 Illustrator Award

Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia C. Mckissack

  E MCK  

1988 Author Award

The Friendship by Mildred D. Taylor


1988 Illustrator Award

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe


Award by Year and Category

1987 Author Award

Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter


1987 Illustrator Award

Half a Moon and One Whole Star by Crescent Dragonwagon


1986 Author Award

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales by Virginia Hamilton

 GR73 .H22 1985  

1986 Illustrator Award

The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy


1985 Author Award

Motown and Didi by Walter Dean Myers


1984 Author Award

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton


1984 Illustrator Award

My Mama Needs Me by Mildred Pitts Walter


1984 Special Citation Award

The Words of Martin Luther King by Coretta Scott King

 E185.97.K5 A25 1996  

1983 Author Award

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton


1983 Illustrator Award

Black Child by Peter Magubane

 DT763.6 .M33 1982

1982 Author Award

Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor


1982 Illustrator Award:

Mother Crocodile by Rosa Guy

 GR73 .D59 1981  

1981 Author Award

This Life by Sidney Poitie

 PN2287.P57 A37 1980  

1981 Illustrator Award

Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum by Ashley Bryan


1980 Author Award

The Young Landlords by Walter Dean Myers


1980 Illustrator Award

Cornrows by Camille Yarbrough


1979 Author Award

Escape To Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass by Ossie Davis

 PN6120.H5 D26 1978  

1979 Illustrator Award

Something on My Mind by Nikki Grimes

 PN6109.97.F29 .S69 1978  

1978 Author and Illustrator Award

Africa Dream by Eloise Greenfield


1977 Author Award

The Story of Stevie Wonder by James Haskins

 ML3930.W65 H4

1976 Author Award

Duey’s Tale by Pearl Bailey


1975 Author Award

The Legend of Africania by Dorothy W. Robinson


1974 Illustrator Award

Ray Charles by Sharon Bell Mathis

 ML3930.C443 M42 2001  

1973 Author Award

I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson by Jackie Robinson and Alfred Duckett

GV865.R6 A3 1995  

1972 Author Award

Seventeen Black Artists by Elton C. Fax

N6538.N5 F3 

1971 Author Award

Black Troubadour by Langston Hughes

 PS3515.U274 Z77 1970  

1970 Author Award

Martin Luther King Jr.: Man of Peace by Lillie Patterson

E185.97.K5 P3