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.

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2016 Winner(s)

2016 Author Winner - Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

The 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is given to Rita Williams-Garcia, author of “Gone Crazy in Alabama.”

“Gone Crazy in Alabama,” published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the final book in Williams-Garcia’s trilogy about the Gaither sisters. She blends cultural and family history in a vivid, readable way, laced with humor. Each sister is a distinct individual, growing, changing, and helping to change the perspectives of their elders. 

Rita Williams-Garcia is the author of several award-winning books for young people, including the 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Award for “P.S. Be Eleven” and “One Crazy Summer,” recipient of the 2011 Coretta Scott King Book Award and Newbery Honor title. Williams-Garcia is also the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. She lives in Jamaica, N.Y., and is on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.

“Rita Williams-Garcia has written a convincing, often humorous portrayal of three young sisters from Brooklyn spending the summer in the South, living and learning in the bosom of a complicated but loving multigenerational family,” said Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop.


2016 Illustration Winner - Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Bill Taylor

The 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is given to Bryan Collier, illustrator of “Trombone Shorty."

In “Trombone Shorty,” written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Bill Taylor, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, Collier creates vibrant, bold color collages and realistic images that portray the musical growth of a young boy in the jazz tradition of the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans.

“Collier’s illustrations beautifully capture important events in Andrews’s life, as well as the spirit of his beloved city and the music that is at the heart of both New Orleans and Trombone Shorty,” said Bishop.

Bryan Collier is the illustrator of over 25 picture books and the recipient of multiple awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, Caldecott Honor, and Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award.  He lives with his family in upstate New York, where he creates illustrations and visits classrooms to share his books and art.