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Andrea Davis Pinkney
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Andrea Davis Pinkney (born 1963) is a New York Times-bestselling author of numerous books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and nonfiction and Coretta Scott King Award winner who writes about African-American culture. In addition to her work as an author, Andrea has had an illustrious career as a children's book publisher and editor, including as founder of the "first African American children's book imprint at a major publishing company": Jump at the Sun at Hyperion Books for Children, the Disney Book Group (now Disney Publishing Worldwide). She is also vice president and editor-at-large for Scholastic Trade Books.

Her books have won the Coretta Scott King Award and been a Coretta Scott King Honor book, have been ALA Notable Books five times, School Library Journal best books three times, New York Times Editor's Choice and Notable books, and more.

Andrea is a graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications and is a former member of the Newhouse School's Board of Trustees. She lives in New York City with her husband, award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their two children.


Andrea Davis was born September 25, 1963, in Washington D.C. and was raised in Connecticut. Her parents were involved in the civil rights movement and exposed Andrea to the cause from early on, even taking her to the annual conference of the National Urban League during many of her summer vacations.

Pinkney graduated from Syracuse University in 1985 with a degree in journalism and began working as an editor at Mechanix Illustrated. She then went on to work as a senior editor at Essence, as well as an editor for the book publishers Simon & Schuster and Scholastic.

While working at one of these early editing jobs, Andrea met Brian Pinkney, a Caldecott Honor-winning children's book illustrator, whom she later married. The two have collaborated on a number of books, including Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down, Duke Ellington, Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, and Dear Benjamin Banneker.

She was chosen to deliver the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture at the University of Minnesota Libraries, Children's Literature Research Collections, Saturday, May 3, 2014, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CDT). She was cited in January 2013 for "significant contributions to literature for young people provided through a body of work that brings a deeper understanding of African American heritage".

She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Honors and awards

  • Best Arts Feature award Highlights for Children Foundation, 1992
  • Parenting Publication award, 1993
  • Pick of the List designation-American Booksellers, 1993, for Seven Candles for Kwanzaa
  • National Council for the Social Studies/Children's Book Council, 1994, for Dear Benjamin Banneker
  • Notable Book citations, Society of School Librarians International, and American Library Association Notable Book, both 1996, both for Bill Pickett: Rodeo Ridin' Cowboy
  • Carter G. Woodson Book Award, 2001, for Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
  • Carter G. Woodson Book Award, 2011, for Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down
  • Coretta Scott King award, 2013
  • The George Arents Award (Syracuse University's highest alumni honor, presented annually to alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields)
  • Medgar Evers College Lifetime Achievement Award
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