Coretta Scott King Author Award

Kids and/or Teens

Recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults

Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society.

Award Web Site: Coretta Scott King Book Awards

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Author: Claire Hartfield
2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Winner

On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the "white" beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one. Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations. This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture. 

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Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

It's 1946. Langston's mother has just died, and now they're leaving the rest of his family and friends. He misses everything-- Grandma's Sunday suppers, the red dirt roads, and the magnolia trees his mother loved. In the city, they live in a small apartment surrounded by noise and chaos. It doesn't feel like a new start, or a better life. At home he's lonely, his father always busy at work; at school he's bullied for being a country boy. But Langston's new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the Chicago Public Library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston--a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.

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Author: Varian Johnson
2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?

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Author: Kekla Magoon
2019 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade--exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets--secrets so big they could ruin everything.

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Author: Renee Watson
2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Winner
Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.
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Author: Derrick Barnes
2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cuthair.

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Author: Jason Reynolds
2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

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Author: Angie Thomas
2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

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Author: John Lewis
2017 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Selection

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.

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Author: Jason Reynolds
2017 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires--literally

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Author: Ashley Bryan
2017 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away

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Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
2016 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Winner
Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it's like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.
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Author: Jason Reynolds
2016 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor
When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.
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Author: Jason Reynolds
2016 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor
Soon after his mother's death, Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man.
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Author: Ilyasah Shabazz
2016 Coretta Scott King Author Award - Honor
Co-written by Malcolm X's third daughter, this vivid, fictionalized account of the activist's early life draws on stories from his family and childhood friends and neighbors.