Novelist Christopher Paul Curtis receives 2024 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/22/2024


ALA Media Relations

Communications, Marketing & Media Relations Office

American Library Association

BALTIMORE — Christopher Paul Curtis received the 2024 Coretta Scott King (CSK) – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award was announced today during the Youth Media Awards at the American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held Jan. 19–22.

“To be honored by the Newbery and CSK juries for the same book on three different occasions leaves no doubt that Curtis is a literary trailblazer,” said Award Committee Chair Emma K. McNamara.

As a historical fiction novelist, Curtis writes in accessible ways for emerging readers to understand the world around them. His novels have received numerous starred reviews awards throughout ALA, like Association for Library Service to Children Notables, Odyssey, and Young Adult Library Services Association Best Books for Young Adults.

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The award is presented in odd numbered years to someone who has made substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award-winning African American literature for children or young adults using reading and related activities and programs. The recipient may be a public librarian, academic librarian, school librarian (public or private), an educator (pre-K to 12th grade or higher education) or youth literature advocate whose vocation, work, volunteer service or ongoing promotion of books on behalf of youth is significant and sustained.

In even numbered years, the award is presented to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of their published books for children or young adults. The recipients will have made a significant and lasting literary contribution.

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 Atlanta Globe-Horn Book Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Members of the 2024 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Committee are Chair Emma K. McNamara, Ohio State University and the University of the District of Columbia; Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy, School of Library and Information Sciences, North Carolina Central University, Durham; Rose T. Dawson, Alexandria Library, Virginia; Chrystal Carr Jeter, children's literature consultant & storyteller, Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, retired, Willoughby Hills, Ohio; and Idella Washington, Retired High School Librarian, West Jefferson High School, Jefferson Parish Schools, Harvey, Louisiana.

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

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

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