The Coretta Scott King Book Awards

coretta scott king book awards seal

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually 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 award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.  

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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards.


Volunteer for a CSK Committee

Once you've joined EMIERT and the CSK Book Awards Community, complete this online form to volunteer for one of our Standing Committees, including: 

  • Archives and History Standing Committee
  • Book Grant Standing Committee
  • CSK Breakfast Standing Committee
  • Marketing Standing Committee
  • Membership Standing Committee
  • Nominating Standing Committee
  • Programs Standing Committee
  • Public Relations/Fundraising Standing Committee
  • Publications Standing Committee
  • Technology Standing Committee

2019 Author Winner

A few red drops book coverThe 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is Claire Hartfield, author of "A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919," published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. "A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919"  is a meticulously researched exposition of the socio-economic landscape and racial tensions that led to the death of a black teen who wanted to swim, and the violent clash that resulted. In twenty chapters, Hartfield’s balanced, eye-opening account contextualizes a range of social justice issues that persist to this day



2019 Illustrator Winner

The stuff of stars book coverThe 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is Ekua Holmes, illustrator of "The Stuff of Stars" written by Marion Dane Bauer and published by Candlewick Press. In "The Stuff of Stars," Holmes uses hand marbled paper and collage to create a lush explosion of color that brings to life the formation of the universe while distinctly reflecting the essence of the African diaspora.

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. 

2019 John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author)

Monday's not coming book coverThe 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Author goes to Tiffany D. Jackon, author of "Monday's Not Coming," published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. In the timely thriller “Monday’s Not Coming,” Jackson examines friendship, child abuse, and family relationships. In alternating chapters, the reader is immediately pulled into the angst that Claudia feels as she struggles to piece together thisfragmented tale that concludes with a mind-blowing resolution of Monday’s disappearance.


2019 John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Illustrator)

Thank You, Omu! book coverThe 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Illustrator is Oge Mora, illustrator and author of "Thank You, Omu," published by Little, Brown Young Readers. “Thank You, Omu!” is a fresh take on a timeless tale of altruism and community-mindedness. Mora’s collage work is skillfully pieced together with acrylic, marker, pastels, patterned paper, and old book clippings, creating a visual smorgasbord. Mora brings to life an amalgamation of many grandmothers and captures the African spirit of generosity and community.


2019 Author Honor Books

“Finding Langston” by Lesa Cline-Ransome, published by Holiday House. 

“The Parker inheritance” by Varian Johnson, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

“The season of Styx Malone” by Kekla Magoon, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

2019 Illustrator Honor Books

“Hidden Figures” illustrated by Laura Freeman, written by Margot Lee Shetterly, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

“Let the Children March” illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Monica Clark-Robinson, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

“Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop” illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Alice Faye Duncan, published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights.

2019 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement (Practitioner)

Dr. Pauletta BracyDr. Pauletta Bracy is Professor of Library Science and Director of the Office of University Accreditation at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She has successfully merged scholarship and service with publications such as “Libraries, Literacy and African American Youth ”(co-edited with Sandra Hughes Hassell and Casey H. Rawson) as well as her work with the  Coretta Scott King Book Awards and with workshops and conferences dedicated to promoting African American books for children and teens. She recently served as co-organizer for Celebrating Our Voices: Black Children's Literature Symposium and Book Festival held at NCCU.



(c) 2019

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards seal images and award names are solely and exclusively owned by the American Library Association.