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Coretta Scott King Award facts for kids

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Coretta Scott King Award
Presented by Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange (EMIERT), a round table of the American Library Association (ALA)
Country United States
First awarded 1970

The Coretta Scott King Award is an annual award presented by the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, part of the American Library Association (ALA). Named for Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., this award recognizes outstanding books for young adults and children by African Americans that reflect the African-American experience. Awards are given both to authors and to illustrators.

The first author award was given in 1970. In 1974, the award was expanded to honor illustrators as well as authors. Starting in 1978, runner-up Author Honor Books have been recognized. Recognition of runner-up Illustrator Honor Books began in 1981. In addition, the Coretta Scott King Awards committee has given the Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, starting in 2010, and beginning in 1996 an occasional John Steptoe Award for New Talent.

Like the Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal, the Coretta Scott King Awards have the potential to be used in classroom teaching and projects.

The Coretta Scott King titles represent a wide variety of literary genres at varying reading and interest levels. They not only deserve to be considered by teachers for student projects, but should also be incorporated into the curriculum as a teaching tool. – Claire Gatrell Stephens


Coretta Scott King Book Awards winners and runners-up
Year Work Recipient Title Citation
2021 author Woodson, JacquelineJacqueline Woodson Before the Ever After Winner
author Taylor, MildredMildred Taylor All the Days Past, All the Days to Come Honor
author Callender, KacenKacen Callender King and the Dragonflies Honor
author Dionne, EvetteEvette Dionne Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box Honor
illustrator Morrison, FrankFrank Morrison R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul Winner
illustrator Juanita, KaylaniKaylani Juanita Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration Honor
illustrator Cabrera, Cozbi A.Cozbi A. Cabrera Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks Honor
illustrator Cabrera, Cozbi A.Cozbi A. Cabrera Me & Mama Honor
2020 author Craft, JerryJerry Craft New Kid Winner
author Petrus, JunaudaJunauda Petrus The Stars and the Blackness Between Them Honor
author Mbalia, KwameKwame Mbalia Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky Honor
author Reynolds, JasonJason Reynolds Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks Honor
illustrator Nelson, KadirKadir Nelson The Undefeated Winner
illustrator Ransome, JamesJames Ransome The Bell Honor
illustrator Bryan, AshleyAshley Bryan Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace Honor
illustrator Harrison, VashtiVashti Harrison Sulwe Honor
2019 author Hartfield, ClaireClaire Hartfield A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Winner
author Cline-Ransome, LesaLesa Cline-Ransome Finding Langston Honor
author Johnson, VarianVarian Johnson The Parker Inheritance Honor
author Magoon, KeklaKekla Magoon The Season of Styx Malone Honor
illustrator Holmes, EkuaEkua Holmes The Stuff of Stars Winner
illustrator Freeman, LauraLaura Freeman Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race Honor
illustrator Morrison, FrankFrank Morrison Let the Children March Honor
illustrator Christie, R. GregoryR. Gregory Christie Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop Honor
2018 author Renée Watson Piecing Me Together Winner
author Derrick Barnes Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Honor
author Jason Reynolds Long Way Down Honor
author Angie Thomas The Hate U Give Honor
illustrator Ekua Holmes Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets Winner
illustrator Gordon C. James Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Honor
illustrator James Ransome Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman Honor
2017 author John Lewis and Andrew Aydin March: Book Three Winner
author Jason Reynolds As Brave as You Honor
author Ashley Bryan Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan Honor
illustrator Javaka Steptoe Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Winner
illustrator R. Gregory Christie Freedom in Congo Square Honor
illustrator Ashley Bryan Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney In Plain Sight Honor
2016 author Rita Williams-Garcia Gone Crazy in Alabama Winner
author Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely All American Boys Honor
author Jason Reynolds The Boy in the Black Suit Honor
author Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon X: A Novel Honor
illustrator Bryan Collier Trombone Shorty Winner
illustrator R. Gregory Christie The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore Honor
illustrator Christian Robinson Last Stop on Market Street Honor
2015 author Jacqueline Woodson Brown Girl Dreaming Winner
author Kwame Alexander The Crossover Honor
author Marilyn Nelson How I Discovered Poetry Honor
author Kekla Magoon How It Went Down Honor
illustrator Christopher Myers Firebird Winner
illustrator Christian Robinson Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker Honor
illustrator Frank Morrison Little Melba and Her Big Trombone Honor
2014 author Rita Williams-Garcia P.S. Be Eleven Winner
author John Lewis and Andrew Aydin March: Book One Honor
author Walter Dean Myers Darius & Twig Honor
author Nikki Grimes Words with Wings Honor
illustrator Bryan Collier Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me Winner
illustrator Kadir Nelson Nelson Mandela Honor
2013 author Andrea Davis Pinkney Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America Winner
author Jacqueline Woodson The Dear One Honor
author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Micheaux, Harlem Bookseller Honor
illustrator Bryan Collier I, Too, Am America Winner
illustrator Daniel Minter Ellen's Broom Honor
illustrator Christopher Myers H.O.R.S.E. Honor
illustrator Kadir Nelson I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. Honor
2012 author Kadir Nelson Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Winner
author Eloise Greenfield The Great Migration: Journey to the North Honor
author Patricia C. McKissack Never Forgotten Honor
illustrator Shane W. Evans Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom Winner
illustrator Kadir Nelson Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Honor
2011 author Rita Williams-Garcia One Crazy Summer Winner
author Walter Dean Myers Lockdown Honor
author Jewell Parker Rhodes Ninth Ward Honor
author G. Neri Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty Honor
illustrator Bryan Collier Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave Winner
illustrator Javaka Steptoe Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix Honor
2010 author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal Winner
author Tanita S. Davis Mare's War Honor
illustrator Charles R. Smith Jr. My People Winner
illustrator E. B. Lewis The Negro Speaks of Rivers Honor
2009 author Kadir Nelson We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball Winner
author Hope Anita Smith Keeping the Night Watch Honor
author Joyce Carol Thomas The Blacker the Berry Honor
author Carole Boston Weatherford Becoming Billie Holiday Honor
illustrator Floyd Cooper The Blacker the Berry Winner
illustrator Kadir Nelson We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney The Moon Over Star Honor
illustrator Sean Qualls Before John Was a Jazz Giant Honor
2008 author Christopher Paul Curtis Elijah of Buxton Winner
author Sharon Draper November Blues Honor
author Charles R. Smith Jr. Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali Honor
illustrator Ashley Bryan Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals Winner
illustrator Nancy Devard The Secret Olivia Told Me Honor
illustrator Leo and Diane Dillon Jazz on a Saturday Night Honor
2007 author Sharon Draper Copper Sun Winner
author Nikki Grimes The Road to Paris Honor
illustrator Kadir Nelson Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom Winner
illustrator Christopher Myers Jazz Honor
illustrator Benny Andrews Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes Honor
2006 author Julius Lester Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue Winner
author Tonya Bolden Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl Honor
author Nikki Grimes Dark Sons Honor
author Marilyn Nelson A Wreath for Emmett Till Honor
illustrator Bryan Collier Rosa Winner
illustrator R. Gregory Christie Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan Honor
2005 author Toni Morrison Remember: The Journey to School Integration Winner
author Shelia P. Moses The Legend of Buddy Bush Honor
author Sharon G. Flake Who Am I without Him?: Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in Their Lives Honor
author Marilyn Nelson Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem Honor
illustrator Kadir Nelson Ellington Was Not a Street Winner
illustrator Jerry Pinkney God Bless the Child Honor
illustrator Leo and Diane Dillon The People Could Fly: The Picture Book Honor
2004 author Angela Johnson The First Part Last Winner
author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack Days Of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States Honor
author Sharon Draper The Battle of Jericho Honor
illustrator Ashley Bryan Beautiful Blackbird Winner
illustrator Colin Bootman Almost to Freedom Honor
illustrator Kadir Nelson Thunder Rose Honor
illustrator Leo and Diane Dillon Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles Honor
2003 author Nikki Grimes Bronx Masquerade Winner
author Brenda Woods The Red Rose Box Honor
author Nikki Grimes Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman Honor
illustrator E. B. Lewis Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman Winner
illustrator Bryan Collier Visiting Langston Honor
2002 author Mildred Taylor The Land Winner
author Sharon G. Flake Money-Hungry Honor
author Marilyn Nelson Carver: A Life in Poems Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney Goin' Someplace Special Winner
illustrator Bryan Collier Martin's Big Words Honor
2001 author Jacqueline Woodson Miracle's Boys Winner
author Andrea Davis Pinkney Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters Honor
illustrator Bryan Collier Uptown Winner
illustrator Bryan Collier Freedom River Honor
illustrator R. Gregory Christie Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth Honor
illustrator E. B. Lewis Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys Honor
2000 author Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy Winner
author Karen English Francie Honor
author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers Honor
author Walter Dean Myers Monster Honor
illustrator Brian Pinkney In the Time of the Drums Winner
illustrator E. B. Lewis My Rows and Piles of Coins Honor
illustrator Christopher Myers Black Cat Honor
1999 author Angela Johnson Heaven Winner
author Nikki Grimes Jazmin's Notebook Honor
author Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York's African Burial Ground Honor
author Angela Johnson The Other Side: Shorter Poems Honor
illustrator Michele Wood I See the Rhythm Winner
illustrator Floyd Cooper I Have Heard of a Land Honor
illustrator E. B. Lewis The Bat Boy and His Violin Honor
illustrator Brian Pinkney Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra Honor
1998 author Sharon Draper Forged By Fire Winner
author James Haskins Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement Honor
author Joyce Hansen I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl Honor
illustrator Javaka Steptoe In Daddy's Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers Winner
illustrator Ashley Bryan Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry Honor
illustrator Christopher Myers Harlem Honor
illustrator Baba Wagué Diakité The Hunterman and the Crocodile Honor
1997 author Walter Dean Myers Slam Winner
author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack Rebels Against Slavery: American Slave Revolts Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman Winner
illustrator R. Gregory Christie The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children Honor
illustrator Reynold Ruffins Running the Road to ABC Honor
illustrator Synthia Saint James Neeny Coming, Neeny Going Honor
1996 author Virginia Hamilton Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales Winner
author Christopher Paul Curtis The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 Honor
author Rita Williams-Garcia Like Sisters on the Homefront Honor
author Jacqueline Woodson From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun Honor
illustrator Tom Feelings The Middle Passage Winner
illustrator Leo and Diane Dillon Her Stories Honor
illustrator Brian Pinkney The Faithful Friend Honor
1995 author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters Winner
author Joyce Hansen The Captive Honor
author Jacqueline Woodson I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This Honor
author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack, Jr. Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues Honor
illustrator James Ransome The Creation Winner
illustrator Teresa Shaffer The Singing Man Honor
illustrator Floyd Cooper Meet Danitra Brown Honor
1994 author Angela Johnson Toning the Sweep Winner
author Joyce Carol Thomas Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea Honor
author Walter Dean Myers Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary Honor
illustrator Tom Feelings Soul Looks Back in Wonder Winner
illustrator Floyd Cooper Brown Honey in Broom Wheat Tea Honor
illustrator James Ransome Uncle Jed's Barbershop Honor
1993 author Patricia C. McKissack The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural Winner
author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman? Honor
author Walter Dean Myers Somewhere in the Darkness Honor
author Mildred Pitts Walter Mississippi Challenge Honor
illustrator Kathleen Atkins Wilson The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth Winner
illustrator Wil Clay Little Eight John Honor
illustrator Brian Pinkney Sukey and the Mermaid Honor
illustrator Carole Byard Working Cotton Honor
1992 author Walter Dean Myers Now is Your Time: The African American Struggle for Freedom Winner
author Eloise Greenfield Night on Neighborhood Street Honor
illustrator Faith Ringgold Tar Beach Winner
illustrator Ashley Bryan All Night, All Day: A Child's First Book of African American Spirituals Honor
illustrator Jan Spivey Gilchrist Night on Neighborhood Street Honor
1991 author Mildred Taylor The Road to Memphis Winner
author James Haskins Black Dance in America Honor
author Angela Johnson When I Am Old with You Honor
illustrator Leo and Diane Dillon Aida Winner
1990 author Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter Winner
author Eloise Greenfield Nathaniel Talking Honor
author Virginia Hamilton The Bells of Christmas Honor
author Lillie Patterson Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Freedom Movement Honor
illustrator Jan Spivey Gilchrist Nathaniel Talking Winner
illustrator Jerry Pinkney The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South Honor
1989 author Walter Dean Myers Fallen Angels Winner
author James Berry A Thief in the Village and Other Stories Honor
author Virginia Hamilton Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney Mirandy and Brother Wind Winner
illustrator Amos Ferguson Under the Sunday Tree Honor
illustrator Pat Cummings Storm in the Night Honor
1988 author Mildred Taylor The Friendship Winner
author Alexis De Veaux An Enchanted Hair Tale Honor
author Julius Lester The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit Honor
illustrator John Steptoe Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale Winner
illustrator Ashley Bryan What a Morning! The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals Honor
illustrator JoeSam The Invisible Hunters: A Legend from the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua Honor
1987 author Mildred Pitts Walter Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World Winner
author Ashley Bryan Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales Honor
author Joyce Hansen Which Way Freedom Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney Half a Moon and One Whole Star Winner
illustrator Ashley Bryan Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales Honor
illustrator Pat Cummings C.L.O.U.D.S. Honor
1986 author Virginia Hamilton The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales Winner
author Virginia Hamilton Junius Over Far Honor
author Mildred Pitts Walter Trouble's Child Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney The Patchwork Quilt Winner
illustrator Leo and Diane Dillon The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales Honor
1985 author Walter Dean Myers Motown and Didi Winner
author Candy Dawson Boyd Circle of Gold Honor
author Virginia Hamilton A Little Love Honor
illustrator     None
1984 author Lucille Clifton Everett Anderson's Goodbye Winner
author Virginia Hamilton The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl Honor
author James Haskins Lena Horne Honor
author Joyce Carol Thomas Bright Shadow Honor
author Mildred Pitts Walter Because We Are Honor
author Coretta Scott King (editor) The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr Special
illustrator Pat Cummings My Mama Needs Me Winner
1983 author Virginia Hamilton Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush Winner
author Julius Lester This Strange New Feeling Honor
illustrator Peter Magubane Black Child Winner
illustrator John Steptoe All the Colors of the Race Honor
illustrator Ashley Bryan I'm Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals Honor
illustrator Pat Cummings Just Us Women Honor
1982 author Mildred Taylor Let the Circle Be Unbroken Winner
author Alice Childress Rainbow Jordan Honor
author Kristin Hunter Lou In the Limelight Honor
author Mary E. Mebane Mary: An Autobiography Honor
illustrator John Steptoe Mother Crocodile: An Uncle Amadou Tale from Senegal Winner
illustrator Tom Feelings Daydreamers Honor
1981 author Sidney Poitier This Life Winner
author Alexis De Veaux Don't Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday Honor
illustrator Ashley Bryan Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum Winner
illustrator Carole Byard Grandmama's Joy Honor
illustrator Jerry Pinkney Count on Your Fingers African Style Honor
1980 author Walter Dean Myers The Young Landlords Winner
author Berry Gordy Movin' Up Honor
author Eloise Greenfield and Lessie Jones Little Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir Honor
author James Haskins Andrew Young: Young Man with a Mission Honor
author James Haskins James Van Der Zee: The Picture Takin' Man Honor
author Ellease Southerland Let the Lion Eat Straw Honor
illustrator Carole Byard Cornrows Winner
1979 author Ossie Davis Escape to Freedom Winner
author Lillie Patterson Benjamin Banneker Honor
author Jeanne W. Peterson I Have a Sister, My Sister is Deaf Honor
author Virginia Hamilton Justice and Her Brothers Honor
author Carol Fenner Skates of Uncle Richard Honor
illustrator Tom Feelings Something on My Mind Winner
1978 author Eloise Greenfield Africa Dream Winner
author William J. Faulkner The Days When the Animals Talked: Black Folk Tales and How They Came to Be Honor
author Francina Glass Marvin and Tige Honor
author Eloise Greenfield Mary McCleod Bethune Honor
author James Haskins Barbara Jordan Honor
author Lillie Patterson Coretta Scott King Honor
author Ruth Ann Stewart Portia: The Life of Portia Washington Pittman, the Daughter of Booker T. Washington Honor
illustrator Carole Byard Africa Dream Winner
1977 author James Haskins The Story of Stevie Wonder Winner
author Lucille Clifton Everett Anderson's Friend Honor
author Mildred Taylor Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry Honor
author Clarence N. Blake and Donald F. Martin Quiz Book on Black America Honor
illustrator     None
1976 author Pearl Bailey Duey's Tale Winner
author Shirley Graham Julius K. Nyerere: Teacher of Africa Honor
author Eloise Greenfield Paul Robeson Honor
author Walter Dean Myers Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff Honor
author Mildred Taylor Song of the Trees Honor
illustrator     None
1975 author Dorothy Robinson The Legend of Africania Winner
illustrator     None
1974 author Sharon Bell Mathis Ray Charles Winner
author Alice Childress A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich Honor
author Lucille Clifton Don't You Remember? Honor
author Louise Crane Ms. Africa: Profiles of Modern African Women Honor
author Kristin Hunter Guest in the Promise Land Honor
author John Nagenda Mukasa Honor
illustrator George Ford Ray Charles Winner
1973 author Alfred Duckett I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson Winner
1972 author Elton Fax 17 Black Artists Winner
1971 author Charlemae Rollins Black Troubadour: Langston Hughes Winner
author Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Honor
author Shirley Chisholm Unbought and Unbossed Honor
author Mari Evans I Am a Black Woman Honor
author Lorenz Graham Every Man Heart Lay Down Honor
author June Jordan and Terri Bush The Voice of the Children Honor
author Gladys Groom and Barney Grossman Black Means Honor
author Margaret W. Peters Ebony Book of Black Achievement Honor
author Janice May Udry Mary Jo's Grandmother Honor
1970 author Lillie Patterson Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man of Peace Winner

Steptoe Award for New Talent

From 1996 the Coretta Scott King Awards program includes the occasional John Steptoe Award for New Talent. Through 2012, seventeen new talents have been recognized in 18 years.

  • 1995: Sharon Draper, author of Tears of a Tiger (Simon & Schuster)
  • 1996: none
  • 1997: Martha Southgate, author of Another Way to Dance (Delacorte)
  • 1998: none
  • 1999: Sharon Flake, author of The Skin I'm In (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion)
  • 1999: Eric Velasquez, illustrator of The Piano Man, written by Debbie Chocolate (Walker Books for Young Readers)
  • 2000: none
  • 2001: none
  • 2002: Jerome Lagarrigue, illustrator of Freedom Summer, written by Deborah Wiles (Atheneum)
  • 2003: Janet McDonald, author of Chill Wind (Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • 2003: Randy DuBurke, author and illustrator of The Moon Ring (Chronicle Books)
  • 2004: Hope Anita Smith, author of The Way a Door Closes, illustrated by Shane W. Evans (Henry Holt)
  • 2005: Barbara Hathaway, author of Missy Violet and Me (Houghton Mifflin)
  • 2005: Frank Morrison, illustrator of Jazzy Miz Mozetta, written by Brenda C. Roberts (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • 2006: Jaime Adoff, author of Jimi & Me (Jump at the Sun, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children)
  • 2007: Traci L. Jones, author of Standing Against the Wind (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • 2008: Sundee T. Frazier, author of Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books)
  • 2009: Shadra Strickland, illustrator of Bird, written by Zetta Elliott (Lee & Low Books)
  • 2010: Kekla Magoon, author of The Rock and the River (Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division)
  • 2011: Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon, authors of Zora and Me (Candlewick Press)
  • 2011: Sonia Lynn Sadler, illustrator of Seeds of Change, written by Jen Cullerton Johnson (Lee & Low Books)
  • 2012: none
  • 2013: none
  • 2014: Theodore Taylor III, illustrator of When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop (Roaring Brook Press)
  • 2015: Jason Reynolds, author of When I Was the Greatest (Atheneum)
  • 2016: Ronald L. Smith, author of Hoodoo (Clarion Books)
  • 2016: Ekua Holmes, illustrator of Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (Candlewick Press)
  • 2017: Nicola Yoon, author of The Sun Is Also a Star (Delacorte Press)
  • 2018: David Barclay Moore, author of The Stars Beneath Our Feet (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • 2018: Charly Palmer, illustrator of Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song (Farrar Straus Giroux Books)
  • 2019: Oge Mora, illustrator of Thank You, Omu
  • 2019: Tiffany D. Jackson, author of Monday's Not Coming
  • 2020: Alicia D. Williams, author of Genesis Begins Again
  • 2020: April Harrison, author of What is Given from the Heart
  • 2021: Tracy Deonn, author of Legendborn

Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

From 2010 the Coretta Scott King Awards include the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, or Virginia Hamilton Award. It is presented to creators and practitioners alternately: in even years, to an African American writer or illustrator of books for children or young adults; in odd years, to a practitioner for "active engagement with youth using award-winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs."

  • 2010: Walter Dean Myers, author
  • 2011: Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith, professor emerita at the University of South Florida, Tampa, School of Library and Information Science
  • 2012: Ashley Bryan, storyteller, artist, author, poet, and musician
  • 2013: Demetria Tucker, family and youth services librarian for the Pearl Bailey Library, a branch of the Newport News (Va.) Public Library System
  • 2014: Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, children's authors
  • 2015: Deborah D. Taylor, young adult librarian
  • 2016: Jerry Pinkney, illustrator
  • 2017: Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita of Education at Ohio State University
  • 2018: Eloise Greenfield, author
  • 2019: Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy, Professor of Library Science and Director of the Office of University Accreditation at North Carolina Central University
  • 2020: Mildred Taylor, author
  • 2021: Dorothy L. Guthrie, retired librarian, district administrator, author and school board member
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