Taylor, Pinkney win 2002 Coretta Scott King Awards

Contact: Paige Wasson


For Immediate Release

January 21, 2002

Taylor, Pinkney win 2002 Coretta Scott King Awards

Mildred D. Taylor, author of "The Land," and Jerry Pinkney, illustrator of "Goin' Someplace Special," are the 2002 winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards honoring African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Jerome Lagarrigue, illustrator of "Freedom Summer" was recognized with the Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Talent Award. The announcements were made January 21 during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans.

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

"The Land," published by Phyllis Fogelman Books/Penguin Putnam, is a poignantly crafted story that chronicles the triumphs and struggles of life for Paul-Edward Logan, son of a white slave owner and an enslaved African-Indian woman. Set in Mississippi during the late 1800s, the book introduces readers to the grandfather of Cassie Logan, the impassioned hero of Taylor's 1976 Newbery Award winner "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry."

"Taylor offers an ingenious prequel to 'Roll of Thunder,'" said Award Committee Chair Fran Ware. "'The Land' unveils the precarious world of Paul-Edward Logan, a black boy who could pass for white and invites readers into his remarkable and painful journey to manhood. Taylor makes an exemplary contribution to chronicling the African-American experience with her finely developed characters and well-rounded storyline."

Taylor was born in Jackson, Miss., and grew up in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Toledo, she spent two years in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps. Taylor also has won Coretta Scott King Awards for "Road to Memphis" (1991), "The Friendship" (1988), and "Let the Circle Be Unbroken" (1982). She now lives near Boulder, Colo.

Pinkney's realistic watercolors take readers back to 1950s' Nashville in "Goin' Someplace Special," written by Patricia C. McKissack and published by An Anne Schwartz Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster. The book tells McKissack's own story of growing up in Nashville. As 'Tricia Ann makes her first trip alone to the public library, she confronts the humiliation of a segregated society. Members of her own community and a kind white woman help her rely on her own sense of self-worth to complete the journey to her 'someplace special.'

"With wonderful detail and colors, Pinkney brings us right along with 'Tricia Ann as she travels to the one place she can open the door to freedom," Ware said. "His expressive paintings portray the essence of 'Tricia Ann's emotions as she experiences both the reassurance of her community and the indignities of segregation."

Pinkney is the only illustrator to have won the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration four times, and he has received an impressive four Caldecott Honor Medals. His books include "Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman" (1997), "Mirandy and Brother Wind" (1989), and "The Patchwork Quilt" (1986). He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Occasionally awarded, the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award affirms new talent and offers visibility to excellence in writing or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published children's book creator. "Freedom Summer," written by Deborah Wiles and published by An Anne Schwartz Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, is the second picture book for fine artist Jerome Lagarrigue. Born in Paris, his work has appeared in the New Yorker and on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and teaches at the Parsons School of Design in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Two King Author Honor Books were selected: "Money Hungry" by Sharon G. Flake and published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion; and "Carver: A Life in Poems" by Marilyn Nelson and published by Front Street.

One King Illustrator Honor Book was chosen: "Martin's Big Words," illustrated by Brian Collier, written by Doreen Rappaport and published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion.

Members of the 2002 Coretta Scott King Task Force Award Jury are: Fran Ware, Chair, Montgomery (Md.) County Public Library; ayo dayo, Prince William County Virginia Public Library; Nancy Kraus, Council Rock (Pa.) Primary School; Chrystal Carr Jeter, Cleveland Public Library; Teffeny Edmondson; Atlanta-Fulton Public Library; and Veronica Stevenson-Mondame, Danbury (Conn.) Public Library.