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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2018 Author Award Winner
The 2018 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is to Renée Watson, author of "Piecing Me Together,” published by Bloomsbury Children's Books.
"Piecing Me Together" is an inspiring tale in which Watson pulls the reader into Jade's world by sharing Jade's love for the Spanish language and providing a different, yet necessary story of 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 Illustrator Award Winner
The 2018 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is Ekua Holmes, illustrator of "Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets,” written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, published by Candlewick Press.
In "Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets," 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 detailas 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 John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author)
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 winning Author is David Barclay Moore for “The Stars Beneath Our Feet” published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
"The Stars Beneath Our Feet" provides a realistic lens on the Black American experience and infuses it with heart, soul, and imagination. Moore plays with language, culture, stereotypes, and reality to create an engaging book that will resonate with youth in urban communities everywhere searching for positive survival techniques.
2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Illustrator)
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 winning illustrator is Charly Palmer for “Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song” published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC.
"Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song" visually tells the story of the singer's career through the use of vibrant, colorful illustrations that juxtapose her rise in fame in comparison to the South African people's civil rights struggle with apartheid. Palmer's bold illustrations expertly complement the text in a riveting duet.
2018 Author Honor Books
"Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denine Millner Book.
"Long Way Down" by Jason Reynolds, published by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
2018 Illustrator Honor Books
"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.
"Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman" illustrated by James E. Ransome, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome, and published by Holiday House.
2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement
Eloise Greenfield is the recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"Eloise Greenfield is a trailblazer whose extraordinary books of poetry and prose have influenced many and continue to resonate with children today. Her rich body of work inspires and enriches readers," said Award Committee Chair Deborah D. Taylor.
Eloise Greenfield was born in Parmele, North Carolina, and currently resides in Washington D.C. Early in life, she discovered a love of reading and writing and realized there were few books that showed the fullness of African American life. She published her first book in 1972 and went on to write and publish more than 40 books. From "Honey, I Love" to "The Great Migration," this multiple award-winning author has captivated audiences through the years.
The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards seal images and award names are solely and exclusively owned by the American Library Association.