Coretta Scott King Author Award

Titles Owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Library

The Coretta Scott King Award was established in 1970 and is given to an African American authors and African American illustrators whose books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream." The award is presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Task Force of the American Library Association's Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table ( EMIERT). Authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream." The author award started in 1970 and the first illustrator award was given in 1974. The award information was retrieved from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards - All Recipients, 1970 - presnt. See also the Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Authors, Illustrators, & Books Curricular Resource Center by talks from African American authors and illustrators, audio records, book readings as well as lesson plans.


Williams-Garcia, Rita. (2015). Gone crazy in Alabama. New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

"Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible."


Woodson, Jacqueline. (2014). Brown girl dreaming. New York : Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA. 811 W895br 

"The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South."


Williams-Garcia, Rita. (2013). P.S. Be eleven. New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. INTR-FIC W7287ps

The Gaither sisters are back in Brooklyn, where changes large and small come to their household as they grow up during the turbulent 1960s. Sequel to: One crazy summer.


Pinkney, Andrea Davis. (2012). Hand in hand : Ten Black men who changed America. (Paintings by Brian Pinkney). New York : Disney/Jump at the Sun. 973.04 P655h

Presents the stories of ten African-American men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day. Benjamin Banneker : Surveyor of the Sky -- Frederick Douglass : Capital Orator -- Booker T. Washington : Polished Pioneer -- W.E.B. DuBois : Erudite Educator -- A. Philip Randolph : Always Striding Ahead -- Thurgood Marshall : Mr. Civil Rights -- Jackie Robinson : Game-Changer -- Malcolm X : Spark-Light -- Martin Luther King, Jr. : Nonviolent Visionary -- Barack H. Obama, Jr. : Holding on to Hope -- Timeline.


Nelson, Kadir. (2011). Heart and soul : the story of America and African Americans. New York : Balzer + Bray. 973 N311h

An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.


Williams-Garcia, Rita. (2010). One crazy summer. New York, NY : Amistad. INTR-FIC W7287on

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the maother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.


Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. (2009). Bad news for outlaws : the remarkable life of Bass Reeves, deputy U.S. marshall. (Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie). Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books. 921 R3322ne 

This biography profiles the life of Bass Reeves, a former slave who was recruited as a deputy United States Marshal in the area that was to become Oklahoma. Over thirty years, Bass made more than 3,000 arrests, including his own son. He killed 14 men in the line of duty.


Nelson, Kadir. (2008). We are the ship : the story of Negro League baseball. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. 796.357 N428w

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson.


Curtis, Christopher Paul. (2007). Elijah of Buxton. New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC C978el 

In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family’s freedom.


Draper, Sharon M. (2006). Copper sun. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC D7665co 

Two fifteen-year-old girls--one a slave and the other an indentured servant--escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves.


Lester, Julius. (2005). Day of tears : a novel in dialogue. New York : Hyperion Books for Children. INTR-FIC L6425da

Emma has taken care of the Butler children since Sarah and Frances's mother, Fanny, left. Emma wants to raise the girls to have good hearts, as a rift over slavery has ripped the Butler household apart. Now, to pay off debts, Pierce Butler wants to cash in his slave "assets", possibly including Emma.


Morrison, Toni. (2004). Remember : the journey to school integration. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co. 379.2 M882r

A collection of photographs depicting the events that surrounded the Supreme Court decision to declare segregated schools unconstitutional are accompanied by a fictional narrative reflecting the emotional turmoil of the time.


Johnson, Angela. (2003). The first part last. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC J6633fi

Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he learns that his girlfriend is pregnant. Parties and friends are replaced by trips to the doctor and a social worker who wants them to put the baby up for adoption. Then the unimaginable happens and it all changes again.


Grimes, Nikki. (2002). Bronx masquerade. New York : Dial Books. INTR-FIC G8624br

While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.


Taylor, Mildred D. (2001). The land. New York : Phyllis Fogelman Books. INTR-FIC T2445LA

After the Civil War Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between the two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own.


Woodson, Jacqueline. (2000). Miracle's boys. New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons. INTR-FIC W8985MI

Twelve-year-old Lafayette's close relationship with his older brother Charlie changes after Charlie is released from a detention home and blames Lafayette for the death of their mother.


Curtis, Christopher Paul. (1999). Bud, not Buddy. New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC C978BU

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.


Johnson, Angela. (1998). Heaven. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC J6633HE

Fourteen-year-old Marley's seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.


Draper, Sharon M. (1998). Forged by fire. New York : Simon Pulse. INTR-FIC D7665FO

Teenage Gerald, who has spent years protecting his fragile half-sister from their abusive father, faces the prospect of one final confrontation before the problem can be solved.


Myers, Walter Dean. (1996). Slam! New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC M996SL

Sixteen-year-old "Slam" Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.


Hamilton, Virginia. (1995). Her stories : African American folktales , fairy tales , and true tales. (Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon). New York : Blue Sky Press. 398.2 H2215h

Her animal tales : Little girl and Buh Rabby -- Lena and big one tiger -- Marie and redfish -- Miz Hattie gets some company -- Her fairy tales : Catskinella -- Good Blanche, bad Rose, and the talking eggs -- Mary Belle and the mermaid -- Mom Bett and the little ones a-glowing -- Her supernatural: Who you! -- Macie and Boo Hag -- Lonna and cat woman -- Malindy and little devil -- Her folkways and legends: Woman and man started even -- Luella and the tame parrot -- The mer-woman out of the sea -- Annie Christmas -- Her true tales : Millie Evans: plantation times -- Lettice Boyer: from way back -- Mary Lou Thorton: my family.


McKissack, Pat and Fredrick. (1994). Christmas in the big house, Christmas in the quarters. (Illustrated by John Thompson). New York : Scholastic. 975 M158c

Describes the customs, recipes, poems, and songs used to celebrate Christmas in the big plantation houses and in the slave quarters just before the Civil War.


Johnson, Angela. (1993). Toning the sweep. New York : Orchard Books. INTR-FIC J6633TO

On a visit to her grandmother Ola, who is dying of cancer in her house in the desert, fourteen-year-old Emmie hears many stories about the past and her family history and comes to a better understanding of relatives both dead and living.


McKissack, Pat. (1992). The dark-thirty : Southern tales of the supernatural. (Illustrated by Brian Pinkney). New York : Knopf. INTR-FIC M1587D

A collection of ghost stories with African American themes, designed to be told during the Dark Thirty--the half hour before sunset--when ghosts seem all too believable.


Myers, Walter Dean. (1991). Now is your time! : the African-American struggle for freedom. New York : HarperCollins. 973 M996n

A history of the African-American struggle for freedom and equality, beginning with the capture of Africans in 1619, continuing through the American Revolution, the Civil War, and into contemporary times.


Taylor, Mildred D. (1990). The road to Memphis. New York : Dial Books. INTR-FIC T2445RN

Sadistically teased by two white boys in 1940's rural Mississippi, a black youth severely injures one of the boys with a tire iron and enlists Cassie's help in trying to flee the state.


McKissack, Pat and Frederick. (1989). A long hard journey : the story of the pullman porter. New York : Walker. 331.88 M158L

A chronicle of the first black-controlled union, made up of Pullman porters, who after years of unfair labor practices staged a battle against a corporate giant resulting in a "David and Goliath" ending.


Myers, Walter Dean. (1988). Fallen angels. New York : Scholastic Inc. INTR-FIC M996fa

Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.


Taylor, Mildred D. (1987). The friendship. (Pictures by Max Ginsburg). New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC T2445FR

Four children witness a confrontation between an elderly black man and a white storekeeper in rural Mississippi in the 1930s.


Walter, Mildred Pitts. (1986). Justin and the best biscuits in the world. (Illustrations by Catherine Stock). New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. INTR-FIC W233JU

Suffering in a family full of females, ten-year-old Justin feels that cleaning and keeping house are women's work until he spends time on his beloved grandfather's ranch.


Hamilton, Virginia. (1985). The people could fly : American Black folktales. (Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon). New York : Knopf. 398.2 H2215pe

Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.


Myers, Walter Dean. (1984). Motown and Didi : a love story. New York : Viking Kestrel. INTR-FIC M996MO

Motown and Didi, two teenage loners in Harlem, become allies in a fight against Touchy, the drug dealer whose dope is destroying Didi's brother, and find themselves falling in love with each other.


Clifton, Lucille. (1983). Everett Anderson's goodbye. (Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi). New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. PRIM-FIC C6395ET

Everett Anderson has a difficult time coming to terms with his grief after his father dies.


Special Citation

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (2001). The words of Martin Luther King , Jr. (2nd ed.). (Selected by Coretta Scott King). New York : Newmarket Press. 323.4 K52w

Focuses on quotes from speeches and writings of Dr. King concerning the community of man, racism, civil rights, justice and freedom, faith and religion, nonviolence, and peace.


Hamilton, Virginia. (1982). Sweet whispers, Brother Rush. (Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon). New York, N.Y. : Philomel Books. INTR-FIC H2218SW

Fourteen-year-old Tree, resentful of her working mother who leaves her in charge of a retarded brother, encounters the ghost of her dead uncle and comes to a deeper understanding of her family's problems.


Taylor, Mildred D. (1981). Let the circle be unbroken. New York : Dial Press. INTR-FIC T2445Le

Four black children growing up in rural Mississippi during the Depression experience racial antagonisms and hard times, but learn from their parents the pride and self-respect they need to survive.


Poitier, Sidney. (1980). This life. New York : Knopf. 921 P757p

The youngest child of a poor farmer, Poitier became the first black actor to emerge as an Oscar winner and great star, an example for those who followed.


Myers, Walter Dean. (1989, c1979). The young landlords. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Puffin Books. INTR-FIC M996yo

Five devoted friends become landlords and try to make their Harlem neighborhood a better place to live.


Davis, Ossie. (1978, c1976). Escape to freedom : a play about young Frederick Douglass. New York : Viking Press. 812.54 D263e

Born a slave, young Frederick Douglass endures many years of cruelty before escaping to the North to claim his freedom.


Greenfield, Eloise. (1977). Africa dream. (Illustrated by Carole Byard). New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers. PRIM-FIC G8124af

A black child's dreams are filled with the images of the people and places of Africa.


Haskins, James. (1976). The story of Stevie Wonder. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. 921 W8725h

A biography of the blind composer, pianist, and singer who was a child prodigy and went on to win nine Grammy awards.


Bailey, Pearl. (1975). Duey's tale. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. INTR-FIC B1555du

A maple seedling becomes separated from his mother tree, makes friends with a bottle and a log, and searches for his own place in life.


Robinson, Dorothy W. (1974). The legend of Africania. (Illustrated by Herbert Temple). Chicago : Johnson Pub. Co. PRIM-FIC R6591Le

An allegorical tale of Africa's struggle against the ravishment of its people and country.


Mathis, Sharon Bell. (2002). Ray Charles. (Illustrated by George Ford). (2nd ed.). New York : Lee & Low ; London : Turnaround. 921 C4768m

Mathis, Sharon Bell. (1973). Ray Charles. (Illustrated by George Ford). New York : Crowell. 921 C4768ma

Tells the rags-to-riches story of Ray Charles whose mix of jazz, blues and gospel music won him international recognition.


(Note: Prior to 1974, the CSK Award was given to authors only)


Robinson, Jackie. (1972). I never had it made. (By Jackie Robinson as told to Alfred Duckett). New York : Putnam. 921 R622i

Tells about Jackie Robinson's life, from an almost-juvenile-delinquent to court-martialed Army serviceman to being the first Black man invited to play in major league baseball.


Fax, Elton C. (1971). Seventeen black artists. New York : Dodd, Mead. N6538.N5 F3 1971

Life profiles of seventeen artists - Elizabeth Catlett; John Wilson; Lawrence Jones; Charles White; Eldzier Cortor; Rex Goreleigh; Charlotte Amevor; Romare Bearden; Jacob Lawrence; Roy de Carava; Faith Ringgold; Earl Hoosk; James E. Lewis; Benny Andrews; Norma Morgan; John Biggers; and John Torres.


Rollins, Charlemae Hill. (1970). Black troubadour, Langston Hughes. Chicago : Rand McNally. 921 H8938r

Hughes wrote fiction, drama, history and translations but was foremost a poet capturing the rhythms, sounds and tones of Black life.


Patterson, Lillie. (1969). Martin Luther King, Jr.; man of peace. (Illustrated by Victor Mays). Champaign, Ill., Garrard Pub. Co. 921 K535p

A biography of the minister, orator, and crusader for equal civil rights who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.



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