Coretta Scott King Book Awards 50th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence_0In 2019, join thousands of libraries and classrooms from across the country in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Award,

Given annually, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards serve as a guide for parents, librarians and caregivers to the most outstanding books for youth by African American authors and illustrators that affirm African American culture and universal human values.

Since 1969, such outstanding African American authors and illustrators as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Walter Dean Myers, Virginia Hamilton, Jerry Pinkney and Christopher Paul Curtis have been honored by the American Library Association (ALA) as Coretta Scott King Book Award recipients. Winners are selected by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and announced annually to a waiting national audience at the ALA Youth Awards Press Conference, held on the Monday of the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Award recipients are selected within three categories, including the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. The awards are sponsored by ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) and supported by ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS). Award founders Glyndon Flynt Greer, a school librarian in Englewood, New Jersey; Mabel McKissick, a school librarian in New London, Connecticut; and John Carroll, a book publisher; envisioned an award that would recognize the talents of outstanding African-American authors and encourage them to continue writing books for children and young adults.

The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. Additional information regarding the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit 

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