Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners

Each winter (in 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 2022 winners and honor books at the top. And for more excellent picks, try these Award-Winning African American Books.

Freewater Poster Image
BOOK

Freewater

age 9+

Siblings escape slavery, find a home in awe-inspiring tale.

By: Amina Luqman-Dawson (2022)
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Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual.
BOOK

Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual

age 6+

Timeless hymn takes on new relevance in moving picture book.

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Choosing Brave book cover: Mamie Till-Mobley at mic with crowd in background.
BOOK

Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement

age 7+

Emotional story of mom's fight to have her son remembered.

By: Angela Joy (2022)
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swim team cover image
BOOK

Swim Team

age 8+

Heartwarming graphic novel about swimming and friendship.

By: Johnnie Christmas (2022)
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Star Child Poster Image
BOOK

Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler

age 10+

Creative biography of influential Black sci-fi author.

By: Ibi Zoboi (2022)
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Cover of Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist For Justice.
BOOK

Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice

age 13+

Stirring graphic novel about a pioneering activist athlete.

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Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre Poster Image
BOOK

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

age 8+

Illuminating retelling of a tragic American event.

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Soul Food Sunday Poster Image
BOOK

Soul Food Sunday

age 5+

Warm story shows Sundays as time for family, love, food.

By: Winsome Bingham (2021)
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Nina: A Story of Nina Simone Poster Image
BOOK

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone

age 6+

Bold story of famed singer's life and civil rights activism.

By: Traci N. Todd (2021)
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The People Remember Poster Image
BOOK

The People Remember

age 7+

Emotional book ties 500-year history to Kwanzaa principles.

By: Ibi Zoboi (2021)
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Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People Poster Image
BOOK

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People

age 12+

Informative, inspiring history of the Black Power movement.

By: Kekla Magoon (2021)
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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul Poster Image
BOOK

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

age 4+

Dazzling art captures Aretha's career and activism.

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Before the Ever After Poster Image
BOOK

Before the Ever After

age 10+

Tween copes with father's illness in touching verse novel.

By: Jacqueline Woodson (2020)
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King and the Dragonflies Poster Image
BOOK

King and the Dragonflies

age 10+

Beautifully told coming-of-age tale full of grief and hope.

By: Kacen Callender (2020)
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Lifting As We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box Poster Image
BOOK

Lifting As We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box

age 10+

Powerful history of Black women fighting for the vote.

By: Evette Dionne (2020)
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Legendborn Poster Image
BOOK

Legendborn

age 14+

Riveting Arthurian legend retelling set in secret societies.

By: Tracy Deonn (2020)
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The Undefeated Poster Image
BOOK

The Undefeated

age 6+

Poetic tribute to African American heroes and struggles.

By: Kwame Alexander (2019)
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New Kid, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

New Kid, Book 1

age 8+

Funny, heartfelt middle school tale explores race, class.

By: Jerry Craft (2019)
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Sulwe Poster Image
BOOK

Sulwe

age 4+

Girl learns to embrace her dark skin in magical tale.

By: Lupita Nyong'o (2019)
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What Is Given from the Heart Poster Image
BOOK

What Is Given from the Heart

age 4+

Lovely art, heartwarming story about the joy of giving.

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