Woodson, Collier win 2001 Coretta Scott King Awards

Contact: Larra Clark



ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

January 2001

Woodson, Collier win 2001 Coretta Scott King Awards

(Washington D.C.) -- Jacqueline Woodson, author of "Miracle's Boys," and Bryan Collier, illustrator for "Uptown," are the 2001 winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards honoring African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. The announcement was made on January 15 during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Washington, DC.

The Coretta Scott King Awards are administered by the Coretta Scott King Task Force of the ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table.

"Miracle's Boys," published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, is set in contemporary Harlem and tells the story of the struggle of three brothers coping with the death of their parents. In this compelling family drama, Ty'ree, the oldest brother accepts responsibility for keeping the family together. Charlie, the middle brother, who has just been released from a juvenile correctional facility, comes home angry. Lafayette, the youngest, fears he will be separated from his siblings. It is through Lafayette's eyes that Woodson skillfully draws the reader into the brothers' resolve to survive and overcome pain and loss.

"Woodson's poetic and sensitive narrative portrays complex characters who display unconditional love for each other. The revealing authentic dialogue deftly captures the essence of the characters' inner turmoil and layer by layer uncovers their strength and determination to survive," said Pauletta Brown Bracy, chair of the King Awards Jury.

A resident of New York City, Woodson was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Greenville, S.C. After receiving a B.A. in English, she worked as a drama therapist for runaways and homeless children in New York City, but now writes full-time. Woodson has also received the Kenyon Review Award in Literary Excellence in Fiction and two Coretta Scott King Honor Awards.

Collier's simple narrative and stirring illustrations bring to life "Uptown," published by Henry Holt and edited by Laura Godwin. The book creates a wonderful sense of adventure through a visual tour of Harlem. With a confident young boy as a tour guide, Collier's vibrant-colored collage illustrations shares the pride of his neighborhood. The movement, smells, and sounds of jazz at the Apollo Theater, chicken and waffles, brownstones and barber shops invites the reader to pay a visit to Uptown.

"Bryan Collier's innovative collage-illustrations combine photographs and paint to create architecture, urban landscape and people in an original way. Through his positive and pride-filled look at contemporary Harlem, Collier builds form using textual pieces of cut-paper collage, patterns, shapes, and even chocolate bars juxtaposed to one another in a vibrant array of color and character," said Bracy.

Collier grew up in Pocomke City, Md., where he began painting at the age of fifteen. In 1985, he won first place in a national competition and had his art exhibited in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. That same year, he was also awarded a scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., and went on to earn a B.F.A. with honors. Bryan Collier now lives in Harlem, N.Y., where he is the director of the Harlem Hospital's Horizon Art Studio for children and their parents.

In addition to receiving the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Collier was named one of the 2001 King Honor Illustrators for his artwork in "Freedom River," written by Doreen Rappaport and published by Jump at the Sun. The awards jury also named two additional King Illustrator Honor Books: "Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys," illustrated by E.B. Lewis, authored by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, and published by Simon & Schuster and "Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth," illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, authored by Anne Rockwell and published by Knopf.

One King Author Honor Book was selected: "Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters," by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, "Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters," was published by Harcourt/Gulliver Books.

Members of the 2001 Coretta Scott King Task Force Award Jury Members Roster are: Pauletta Brown Bracy, Chair, School of Library and Information Sciences, North Carolina Central University, N.C.; Khafre Abif, Brooklyn Public Library, N.Y.; Mary F.M. Cooper, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington, D.C.; Teffeny Edmonson, East Point Branch Library, Ga.; Nancy Kraus, N.Y.; Susan Pine, New York Public Library, N.Y.; and Fran Ware, Jersey City Free Public Library, N.J.

More information on the Coretta Scott King Award can be found at