Coretta Scott King Book Awards

About the Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards annually recognize outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience.  Further, the Award encourages the artistic expression of the black experience via literature and the graphic arts in biographical, social, and historical treatments by African American authors and illustrators.

Administered by:

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Illustrator Award

2018 Winner(s)

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth, and published by Candlewick Press

In “Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets,” written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth and published by Candlewick Press, Ekua Holmes’s mixed- media collage images balance the tone and tenor of the new poems created by the authors, while paying homage to each of the featured poets in the subtle details extracted from various aspects.

"Holmes expertly infuses the multilayered poetry with the richness of the Black art aesthetic in her original, evocative, vibrantly colored compositions," said Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair Sam Bloom.

Ekua Holmes is a native and current resident of Boston, Massachusetts, who has worked as an artist, curator, and active member of Boston’s art community. She was influenced by the need to fill the void of what she perceived as an absence of positive Black images in her childhood neighborhoods.


2018 Honor(s)

Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman
Illustrated by James E. Ransome, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome, and published by Holiday House.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes,and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book

Author Award

2018 Winner(s)

Piecing Me Together

Written by Renée Watson and published by Bloomsbury

In “Piecing Me Together,” published by Bloomsbury,Jade is a likable protagonist who is easy to root for. There are many stories that shape who we are as people—and Jade helps others express their feelings and thoughts about the world around them. Watson provides a multi-layered, yet necessary look at Black womanhood.

Renée Watson is an author, educator, and activist from Portland, Oregon, who now lives in New York City. Watson has taught creative writing and theater in public schools and community centers throughout the U.S. for over twenty years. She often focuses on the lived experiences of Black girls and women.

“Watson brings us a coming-of-age tale that eloquently explores the many facets of Jade, a brilliant and creative teen on the brink of young adulthood,” said Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair Sam Bloom.


2018 Honor(s)

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book

The Hate U Give
Written by Angie Thomas, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Long Way Down
Written by Jason Reynolds, published by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book