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The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award is administrated by the American Library Association and image is used with permission.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Owned by the UMD Library with Abstract


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 Award Chronological List of Recipients website. The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent was started in 1995. See also the Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Authors, Illustrators, & Books Curricular Resource Center by TeachingBooks.net talks from African American authors and illustrators, audio records, book readings as well as lesson plans.


John Steptoe Award for New Talent


No award presented


Author Award: Bond, Victoria & Simon, T. R. (2010). Zora and me. Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC B7112zo

A fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood with her best friend Carrie, in Eatonville, Florida, as they learn about life, death, and the differences between truth, lies, and pretending. Includes an annotated bibliography of the works of Zora Neale Hurston, a short biography of the author, and information about Eatonville, Florida.


Illustrator Award: Johnson, Jen Cullerton. (2010). Seeds of change : planting a path to peace. (Illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler). New York : Lee & Low Books. 921 M1111jo

"A biography of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai, a female scientist who made a stand in the face of opposition to women’s rights and her own Greenbelt Movement, an effort to restore Kenya’s ecosystem by planting millions of trees"--Provided by publisher.


Author Award: Magoon, Kekla. (2009). The rock and the river. New York : Aladdin. INTR-FIC M2126ro

In 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father's nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African Americans and his older brother, who has jointed the Black Panther Party.


Illustrator Award: Elliott, Zetta. (2008). Bird. (Illustrated by Shadra Strickland). New York, NY : Lee & Low Books Inc. INTR-FIC E465bi 

Bird, an artistic young African American boy, expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother’s drug addiction and death, while a family friend, Uncle Son, provides guidance and understanding.


Author Award: Frazier, Sundee Tucker. (2007). Brendan Buckley’s universe and everything in it. New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC F8485br

Brendan Buckley, a biracial ten-year-old, applies his scientific problem-solving ability and newfound interest in rocks and minerals to connect with his white grandfather, the president of Puyallup Rock Club, and to learn why he and Brendan’s mother are estranged.


Author Award: Jones, Traci L. (2006). Standing against the wind. New York : Farrar Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC J812st

As she tries to escape her poor Chicago neighborhood by winning a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, shy and studious eighth-grader Patrice discovers that she has more options in life than she previously realized.


Author Award: Adoff, Jaime. (2005). Jimi & me. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion. INTR-FIC A2395ji

After his father's tragic death, twelve-year-old Keith James moves from Brooklyn to a small midwestern town where his mixed race heritage is not accepted, but he finds comfort in the music of Jimi Hendrix and the friendship of a white classmate.


Author Award: Hathaway, Barbara. (2004). Missy Violet & me. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co. INTR-FIC H3633mi

During the early 1900s, eleven-year-old Viney spends her summer working for the local midwife and learns firsthand about birth, death, and "catchin' babies."


Illustrator Award: Roberts, Brenda C. (2004). Jazzy Miz Mozetta. (Pictures by Frank Morrison). New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. PRIM-FIC R6433ja

On a beautiful evening, Miz Mozetta puts on her red dress and blue shoes and dances the jitterbug just like she did many years before.


Author Award: Smith, Hope Anita. (2003). The way a door closes . (Illustrations by Shane W. Evans). New York : H. Holt. 811.6 S6493wa

Tells the story of a young man's struggle to accept the father who has walked out on his family.


Illustrator Award: Cox, Judy. (2003). My family plays music. (Illustrated by Elbrite Brown). New York : Holiday House. PRIM-FIC C8775my

A musical family with talents for playing a variety of instruments enjoys getting together to celebrate.


Author Award: McDonald, Janet. (2002). Chill wind . New York : Frances Foster Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC M1355ch

Afraid that she will have no where to go when her welfare checks are stopped, nineteen-year-old high school dropout Aisha tries to figure out how she can support herself and her two young children in New York City.


Illustrator Award: DuBurke, Randy. (2002). The moon ring. San Francisco : Chronicle Books. PRIM-FIC D8214mo

One hot night, Maxine goes on a wild adventure thanks to the magic of the blue moon.


Illustrator Award: Wiles, Debbie. (2001). Freedom summer . (Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue). New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC W6767fr

In 1964, Joe is pleased that a new law will allow his best friend John Henry, who is colored, to share the town pool and other public places with him, but he is dismayed to find that prejudice still exists.


No award presented


No award presented


Illustrator Award: Chocolate, Deborah M. Newton. (1998). The piano man . (Illustrations by Eric Velasquez). New York : Walker and Co. PRIM-FIC C545PI

A young Afro-American girl recalls the life story of her grandfather who performed in vaudeville and played piano for the silent movies.


Author Award: Flake, Sharon. (1998). The skin I'm in . New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. INTR-FIC F5765sk

Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like.


No award presented


Southgate, Martha. (1996). Another way to dance . New York : Delacorte Press. INTR-FIC S7275an

While spending the summer at the School of American Ballet in New York City, fourteen-year-old Vicki Harris must come to terms with the reality of her parents' divorce, her crush on Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the impact of being an African American on her future as a dancer.


No award presented.


Draper, Sharon M. (1994). Tears of a tiger . New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC D7665te

The death of high school basketball star Rob Washington in an automobile accident affects the lives of his close friend Andy, who was driving the car, and many others in the school.

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Disclaimer: "The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of Martha Eberhart.
The contents of the page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota."

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