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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2015 Winner(s)

Brown Girl Dreaming

2015 Author Winner - Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is given to Jacqueline Woodson, author of “Brown Girl Dreaming.”

Published by Nancy Paulson Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, Penguin Group (USA) LLC, is an absorbing free verse memoir of a young girl growing up black and female in the 1960s and ‘70s full of arresting details and vivid imagery. Her choice of events and memories incorporate important historical events and her own evolution into the award-winning writer she has become.

From the time she was a child scribbling her name, Woodson told stories both true and not so true. After graduating from Adelphi University, she published her first book in 1990. Winner of many book awards, most recently the 2014 National Book Award Young People’s Literature, her published works range from picture books to young adult novels.


2015 Illustrator Winner - Firebird illustrated by Christopher Myers, written by Misty Copeland

The 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is given to Christopher Myers, illustrator of “Firebird."

Written by Misty Copeland and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Group USA, the illustrations of Myers depict the brilliant colorful world of the ballerina with its dancers on en pointe.

“The vibrant lines and colors mirror the movement of Copeland’s “Firebird”, says Patton.  “Encased in gorgeous collages and endpaper, balletic poses, leaping and bounding into the air at tremendous heights spur the imagination and inspire a young girl’s hopes and dreams,” said Patton.

Born in New YorkMyers is a graduate of Brown University. He also participated in the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Studio Program. His illustrations have received numerous awards, including a Caldecott Honor, and four Coretta Scott King Honors. Meyers lives in Brooklyn, where, in addition to his illustrating children’s books, he is also a photographer and clothing designer. 

When I Was the Greatest

2015 John Steptoe Award for New Talent - Written by Jason Reynolds and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

The 2015 John Steptoe Award for New Talent is given to Jason Reynolds, author of "When I Was the Greatest,” published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.  

Reynolds' lively and engaging portrayal of urban teenage boys is a compelling story about neighborhood, family, friendship, values and the acceptance of difference.

Living in an underserved neighborhood in Brooklyn, Allen/Ali befriends Noodles and his brother Needles, who has Tourette syndrome. In an authentic contemporary voice, Reynolds focuses on the importance of family, the acceptance of responsibility and the obligations of friendship and portrays a likeable teenager learning how to be a good man.

2015 Honor(s)

How I Discovered Poetry

Written by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Hadley Hooper and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

How It Went Down

Written by Kekla Magoon, and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

JOSEPHINE: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

Illustrated by Christian Robinson written by Patricia Hruby Powell and published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and published by Lee and Low Books, Inc.

The Crossover

Written by Kwame Alexander and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.