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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

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Coretta Scott King Award Year and Category 

2020 Author Award

New Kid by Jerry Craft PZ 7.7 .C734 N4 2019

2020 Illustrator Award

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander PS 3601 .L35388 U53 2019

 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 FIC WAT

2018 Illustrator Award

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

2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore FIC MOO

2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erksine E ERS

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 E STE

2017 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon FIC YOO

2016 Author Award

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia FIC WIL

2016 Illustrator Award

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews ML3930.A53 A3 2015

2016 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith FIC SMI

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 PS3573.064524 Z46 2014

2015 Illustrator Award

Firebird by Misty Copeland E COP

2015 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds FIC REY

2014 Author Award

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia FIC WIL

2014 Illustrator Award

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

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 PS 3515.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 E EVA

2011 Author Award

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia FIC WIL

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 FIC CUR

2008 Illustrator Award

Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan E BRY

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 FIC DRA

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 PS 3562 .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 E SHA

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 FIC JOH

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 FIC GRI

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 FIC MCD

2003 John Steptoe Award for New Talent

The Moon Ring by Randy DuBurke

2002 Author Award

The Land by Mildred Taylor FIC TAY

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 FIC WOO

2001 Illustrator Award

Uptown by Bryan Collie E COL

2000 Author Award

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis FIC CUR

2000 Illustrator Award

In the Time of the Drums by Kim L. Siegelson E SIE

1999 Author Award

Heaven by Angela Johnson FIC JOH

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 E CHO

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 FIC DRA

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 FIC MYE

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 FIC DRA

1994 Author Award

Toning The Sweep by Angela Johnson FIC JOH

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 FIC MCK

1993 Illustrator Award

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

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 FIC TAY

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 .G811 1988

1989 Author Award

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers FIC MYE

1989 Illustrator Award

Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia C. Mckissack E MCK

1988 Author Award

The Friendship by Mildred D. Taylor FIC TAY

1988 Illustrator Award

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

Award by Year and Category

1987 Author Award

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

1987 Illustrator Award

Half a Moon and One Whole Star by Crescent Dragonwagon E DRA

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 E FLO

1985 Author Award

Motown and Didi by Walter Dean Myers FIC MYE

1984 Author Award

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton E CLI

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 FIC HAM

1983 Illustrator Award

Black Child by Peter Magubane DT763.6 .M33 1982

1982 Author Award

Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor FIC TAY

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 FIC BRY

1980 Author Award

The Young Landlords by Walter Dean Myers FIC MYE

1980 Illustrator Award

Cornrows by Camille Yarbrough E YAR

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 E GRE

1977 Author Award

The Story of Stevie Wonder by James Haskins ML3930 .W65 H4

1976 Author Award

Duey’s Tale by Pearl Bailey FIC BAI

1975 Author Award

The Legend of Africania by Dorothy W. Robinson E ROB

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