Coretta Scott King Award
by April Harrison Year Published: 2019
The 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Illustrator is April Harrison for “What Is Given from the Heart,” published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Harrison’s soft illustrations, a mix of collage and acrylic painting, tell the story of James who knows what it’s like to have very little. When his close friend Sarah’s family loses all they own in a fire, he struggles to come up with a suitable gift to give her. The carefully pieced together illustrations and earthy tones are a suitable pairing for this tale that reminds the reader that a gift that comes from the heart is always priceless.
by Alicia D. Williams Year Published: 2019
The 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Author goes to Alicia D. Williams for “Genesis Begins Again,” published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book. There are 96 things that Genesis hates about herself, and her dark skin is at the top of the list. Genesis tries to hold her family together as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Williams’ authentic youthful storytelling explores how Genesis navigates poverty, family relationships, bullying, and overcomes the feelings of self-hate due to the trauma of colorism.
by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson Year Published: 2019
The 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is Kadir Nelson, illustrator of "The Undefeated" written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versity, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. "The Undefeated" is an emotional deep dive into the unapologetic brilliance of the Black experience in the face of unspeakable injustice. Capturing the excellence of iconic figures in Black history, as well as the known and unknown victims of brutality, this book showcases the raw humanity of generations of determination and will. Themes of survival, hope, and resilience permeate in this masterful picture book.
by Jerry Craft Year Published: 2019
The 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is Jerry Craft, author of "New Kid". “New Kid” published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, tells the story of Jordan Banks, an artistic Black middle school student who has transferred from public school to an elite, predominantly White private school and must contend not only with typical middle school challenges but also with microaggressions and code-switching. Told in a graphic novel format, Jordan’s experiences are rendered highly accessible to young people and include his own doodles, journal entries and handbooks for middle school students.
The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. In even years (i.e. 2017, 2018, 2020…), the award is presented 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.