Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners

Each winter (either January or February), the Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given 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 committee that selects the awards is part of the American Library Association. The author or illustrator must live in the United States or maintain dual residency/citizenship, and the book must have been published in the preceding year. Check out our list, with the 2018 winners at the top. And for more excellent picks, try these Award-Winning African American Books.

Browse Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Book Poster Image
Joyful, foot-tapping celebration of fresh haircut, culture.
By Derrick Barnes
(2018)
(2017)
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The Hate U Give Book Poster Image
Powerful story of police shooting of unarmed black teen.
By Angie Thomas
(2017)
(2017)
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Long Way Down Book Poster Image
Gripping, unnerving story of teen boy contemplating revenge.
By Jason Reynolds
(2017)
(2017)
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Piecing Me Together Book Poster Image
Powerful, insightful tale of self-awareness, power of art.
By Renee Watson
(2017)
(2017)
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March: Book Three Book Poster Image
Uplifting finale to terrific series reveals tragic violence.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
(2016)
(2016)
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Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan Book Poster Image
Document inspires vivid, moving portraits of slaves' lives.
By Ashley Bryan
(2016)
(2016)
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As Brave As You Book Poster Image
Poignant summer adventure brims with family love and hope.
By Jason Reynolds
(2016)
(2016)
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Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Book Poster Image
Exuberant bio celebrates artist who had success when young.
By Javaka Steptoe
(2017)
(2016)
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Freedom in Congo Square Book Poster Image
Slaves' lives, jazz roots shown in stunning nonfiction book.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2017)
(2016)
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Last Stop on Market Street Book Poster Image
Tender story of Nana showing grandson city beauty via bus.
By Matt de la Peña
(2015)
(2015)
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Trombone Shorty Book Poster Image
Fun, upbeat story of a boy, a trombone, and jazz.
By Troy Andrews
(2016)
(2015)
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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore Book Poster Image
Lively tale of store that aided civil rights struggle.
By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
(2016)
(2015)
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Gone Crazy in Alabama Book Poster Image
Harrowing tale of Gaither girls' summer in the South.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2015)
(2015)
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Hoodoo Book Poster Image
Creepy chills galore in Southern supernatural thriller.
By Ronald L. Smith
(2016)
(2015)
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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement Book Poster Image
Frank, poetic picture book bio has dazzling art.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2016)
(2015)
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The Boy in the Black Suit Book Poster Image
Soul-gripping story of teen's grief and hope.
By Jason Reynolds
(2016)
(2015)
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All American Boys Book Poster Image
Haunting tale of two boys' lives changed by police assault.
By Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely
(2015)
(2015)
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Firebird Book Poster Image
Soaring, rhythmic story for dancers with big dreams.
By Misty Copeland
(2014)
(2014)
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My People Book Poster Image
Photos bring sparkling tone to simple poem of celebration.
By Langston Hughes
(2010)
(2009)
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Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave Book Poster Image
Amazing award-winning historical story told in free verse.
By Laban Carrick Hill
(2011)
(2010)
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I Have a Dream Book Poster Image
Stunning art amplifies meaning of King's words for kids.
By Kadir Nelson
(2013)
(2012)
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The Negro Speaks of Rivers Book Poster Image
Words and watercolors sing in a voice as deep as the river.
By Langston Hughes
(2010)
(2009)
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Nelson Mandela Book Poster Image
Stellar art portrays key aspects of Mandela's life for kids.
By Kadir Nelson
(2013)
(2013)
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When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop Book Poster Image
Insightful, kid-friendly intro to the history of hip-hop.
By Laban Carrick Hill
(2013)
(2013)
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Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves Book Poster Image
Lively profile of a brave man living in a dangerous time.
By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
(2010)
(2009)
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The Crossover Book Poster Image
Soaring, poignant, novel in verse hits all the right spots.
By Kwame Alexander
(2014)
(2014)
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Elijah of Buxton Book Poster Image
Humorous, powerful, masterful escaped-slave tale.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2007)
(2007)
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Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America Book Poster Image
Captivating storytelling makes these heroes relatable.
By Andrea Davis Pinkney
(2013)
(2012)
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Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Book Poster Image
Beautifully illustrated account of African-American history.
By Kadir Nelson
(2011)
(2011)
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P.S. Be Eleven Book Poster Image
Tween coming-of-age set amid shifting family, '60s dynamics.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2013)
(2013)
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We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball Book Poster Image
Amazing paintings + compelling history = a grand slam.
By Kadir Nelson
(2009)
(2008)
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Brown Girl Dreaming Book Poster Image
Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2014)
(2014)
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How It Went Down Book Poster Image
Haunting look at killing of unarmed African American teen.
By Kekla Magoon
(2015)
(2014)
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Ninth Ward Book Poster Image
Gripping story of a girl's bravery during Hurricane Katrina.
By Jewell Parker Rhodes
(2011)
(2010)
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One Crazy Summer Book Poster Image
A gem, with strong girl characters, '60s black history.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2010)
(2010)
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How I Discovered Poetry Book Poster Image
Poet's moving memoir in free verse charts '50s childhood.
By Marilyn Nelson
(2015)
(2014)
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March: Book One Book Poster Image
Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
(2013)
(2013)
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Darius & Twig Book Poster Image
Quiet, sometimes poetic story of teens' scholarship quest.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2013)
(2013)
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