Patricia and Fredrick McKissack are the 2014 recipients of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2014


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


PHILADELPHIA — Authors Patricia and Researcher Fredrick McKissack are the recipients of the 2014 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The announcement was made today by the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan.24 – 28 in Philadelphia.

“Patricia and Fredrick McKissack’s award-winning books have given children and young adult readers a penetrating perspective into the culture and history of African Americans,” stated award chair Loretta Dowell.

Patricia McKissack and her late husband Fredrick McKissack, both natives of Tennessee, began their writing and research partnership in the 1980’s.Their subject matter from family-based folklore to nonfiction titles, are scholarly researched and written with accurate, authentic text, creating a cultural transmission of history. Their immense range of topics are informative, readable and enjoyable, covering accounts from slavery days to biographical studies of noted men and women in African American History past and present.

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 (i.e. 2014, 2016, 2018…) 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.

In odd years (i.e. 2013, 2015, 2017…), the award is presented to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award-winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. The recipient may be a public librarian, academic librarian, school librarian (public or private), an educator (pre K-12 or any level therein, or higher education) or youth literature advocate whose vocation, work, volunteer service or ongoing promotion of books with and/or on behalf of youth is significant and sustained. 

Virginia Hamilton was an award-winning author of children's books. She wrote more than 35 books throughout her career, including “M. C. Higgins, the Great,” for which she won the 1975 Newbery Medal. During her lifetime, Hamilton received numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Members of the 2014 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are: Chair Loretta Dowell, retired, Winter Springs, Fla.; Rita Auerbach, retired, New York; Carolyn Brodie, Ph.D, Kent State University, SLIS; Henrietta Smith, professor emerita, University of South Florida, Delray Beach, Fla.; and Darwin Henderson, University of Cincinnati College of Education, Cincinnati.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 57,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

For more information on the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit




Patricia McKissack: Something About the Author Vol. 199, Detroit: Gale 2009, p. 134-143

Fredrick McKissack: Something About the Author Vol. 162, Detroit: Gale 2006, p. 100-105 - Video