Morrison, Nelson win 2005 Coretta Scott King Awards

Contact: Larra Clark/Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

January 17, 2005

Morrison, Nelson win 2005 Coretta Scott King Awards

BOSTON – Toni Morrison, author of “Remember: The Journey to School Integration,” and Kadir Nelson, illustrator of “Ellington Was Not a Street,” are the winners of the 2005 Coretta Scott King Awards honoring African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Barbara Hathaway, author of “Missy Violet and Me,” is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award winner; and Frank Morrison, illustrator of “Jazzy Miz Mozetta,” is the Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award winner.

The awards were announced today at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, January 14-19.

“Remember: The Journey to School Integration,” published by Houghton Mifflin Company, is Morrison’s first historical work for young people using archival photographs to take the reader on a journey remembering “the narrow path, the open door and the wide road” to integration.

“What a treasure! Toni’s powerful words combine the experiences of school integration with simple text and archival photographs,” said Award Committee Chair Chrystal Carr Jeter. “In this easy-to-read book, readers are asked to remember and understand the past, present and future of African Americans in society.”

Toni Morrison, master storyteller, is currently the Robert F. Goheen Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. “Beloved,” her ground-breaking novel, won the 1988 Pulitzer in Fiction. In 1993, she became the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

In “Ellington Was Not a Street,” published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Kadir Nelson evokes the feelings of a family album in rich, deep-toned oil paintings which provide a tribute to the legendary African American men whose contributions changed the culture of 20th century America.

“Nelson’s illustrations effectively depict this era in history known as the Harlem Renaissance,” said Jeter. “They offer an understanding of the relationships among the company of men ‘who changed the world.’” Ntozake Shange’s poem “Mood Indigo” serves as the text of this picture book, while Nelson’s eye for detail of the family setting, facial expressions of the guests, and their physical characteristics are exquisitely rendered.

Kadir Nelson, who lives in San Diego, Calif., began drawing at the age of three. He is a graduate of the prestigious Pratt Institute and his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. He is the recipient of the 2004 Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Illustration.

Occasionally awarded, the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award affirms new talent and offers visibility to excellence in writing and/or illustrations at the beginning of a career as a published children’s book creator. “Missy Violet and Me,” by Barbara Hathaway, introduces Viney, an 11-year-old who is faced with having to help the family pay a debt. She learns that her summer will be spent working with a local midwife, Missy Violet. She also learns about “catching” babies, which changes her life forever. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

“Jazzy Miz Mozetta,” illustrated by Frank Morrison and written by Brenda C. Roberts, is dynamic, lively and whimsical. It describes in a bold and animated style the night that jazzy Miz Mozetta decided to take a stroll, catching off guard the young and the old. The book is published by Farrar Straus Giroux.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected: “The Legend of Buddy Bush” by Shelia P. Moses, published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster; “Who Am I Without Him?: Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives,” written by Sharon G. Flake, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children; and “Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem” by Marilyn Nelson, published by Front Street.

Two King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “God Bless the Child” illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr., and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.; and “The People Could Fly: The Picture Book,” illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, written by Virginia Hamilton, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

The Coretta Scott King Award is presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Committee of the ALA’s Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT).

Members of the 2005 Coretta Scott King Award Jury are: Chair Chrystal Carr Jeter, Cleveland Public Library; Yolanda Foster Bolden, Forsyth County (N.C.) Public Library; Loretta Dowell, San Francisco Public Library; Darwin L. Henderson, University of Cincinnati, Ohio; Dorothy Guthrie, Gaston County (N.C.) Schools; Claudette S. McLinn, Los Angeles Unified School District; Idella A. Washington, Benjamin Franklin Senior High School, New Orleans, La.