PHILADELPHIA — Rita Williams-Garcia, author of “P.S. Be Eleven” and Bryan Collier, illustrator of “Knock knock: my dad’s dream for me” are the winners of the 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Awards honoring African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Theodore Taylor III, illustrator of “When the beat was born: DJ Kool Herc and the creation of hip-hop” is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent winner. The awards were announced today at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, being held Jan. 24 – 28 in Philadelphia and will be presented in Las Vegas at the ALA Annual Conference in June.
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) to encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and the graphic arts; to promote an understanding and appreciation of the black culture and experience, and to commemorate the life and legacy of Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination in supporting the work of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for peace and world brotherhood.
“P.S. Be Eleven” published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. In this spirited stand-alone sequel to “One Crazy Summer,” the Gaither sisters return to Brooklyn after a summer spent with their mother in Oakland, California. Delphine, Vonetta and Fern thrive in the tumultuous era of the late 1960s, but Delphine is tasked by her mother to, “P.S. Be Eleven.”
Rita Williams-Garcia, the author of the Newbery Honor–winning novel “One Crazy Summer,” is also a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, a National Book Award finalist, and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Residing in Jamaica, N.Y., she is on the faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
“With just the right touches of humor Williams-Garcia dances the reader through the 1960’s while highlighting the effects of music and politics on a modern family,” says Kim Patton, Coretta Scott King Book Award Jury Chair.
In “Knock knock: my dad’s dream for me” illustrated by Bryan Collier and published by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group, Bryan Collier brings to life Daniel Beaty’s powerful narrative of a son’s longing for his absent father. With his distinctive watercolor and collage technique, Collier captures the nuances of the urban setting and the son’s journey to manhood.
“Collier takes his work to a new level of tenderness using potent symbolic images to depict the complexities of this father-son relationship,” said Patton.
Collier, the 2014 U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award. He lives with his family in Marlboro, N.Y. When not creating in his studio, he enjoys visiting classrooms and libraries to inspire a new generation of artists.
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African American creator of children’s books. This year’s winner is Theodore Taylor III for “When the beat was born: DJ Kool Herc and the creation of hip hop,” written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership. Taylor's stylish artwork shows young Clive Campbell’s transformation into the DJ who helped launch hip-hop in the early 70s. Using retro cartoon-style illustrations rendered in a palette that emphasizes browns, greens, reds and grays he transforms words on a page into a rhythmic beat that brings the words alive.
“Taylor’s vibrant expressionistic style provides a fresh and appealing visual portrayal of the evolution of DJ Kool Herc that young audiences will find hard to resist,” said Patton.\
Three King Author Honor Books were selected:
“March: Book One” by authors John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell, and published by Top Shelf Productions;
“Darius & Twig,” by author Walter Dean Myers and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;
“Words with Wings,” by author Nikki Grimes and published by WordSong, an imprint of Highlights.
One Illustrator Honor Book was selected:
“Nelson Mandela,” illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Members of the 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury are: Chair Kim Patton, Kansas City, Kansas Public Library System; Lana Adlawan, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library; Therese Bigelow, Coupeville, Wash.; Rose Dawson, Alexandria (Va.) Library; Sue Sherif, Alaska State Library, Anchorage; Rudine Sims Bishop, Columbus, Ohio; and Sujin, Huggins, Dominican University, River Forest, Ill.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 57,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
For information on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.