American Library Association (ALA) Book Awards

Use these lists to find award winning books for children and teens.

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

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Title: Firebird
Author: Misty Copeland

Firebird is illustrated by Christopher Myers, who is the King Illustrator Book winner.

American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own, by telling her that she, too, had to learn basic steps and how to be graceful when she was starting out, and that some day, with practice and dedication, the little girl will become a firebird, too. Includes author's note about dancers who led her to find her voice.

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Author: Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrated by Christian Robinson, King Illustrator Honor winner.

A portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

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Author: Katheryn Russell-Brown

Illustrated by Frank Morrison, King Illustrator Honor winner.

A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources

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Author: Daniel Beaty

A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone. At first, he feels lost. But his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times he cannot be there

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Author: Kadir Nelson

Presents a biography of the former South African president best known for his political activism and fight to end apartheid.

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Author: Langston Hughes

Presents the popular poem by one of the central figures in the Harlem Renaissance, highlighting the courage and dignity of the African American Pullman porters in the early twentieth century. Illustrated by Bryan Collier.

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Author: Christopher Myers

Two friends try to outdo each other on the basketball court in an out-of-this-world game of H.O.R.S.E

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Author: Kelly Starling Lyons

This story of an African American wedding explains the history of the custom of jumping the broom, and the time when slaves had not been allowed to legally marry before the post-slavery Reconstruction era. Illustrated by Daniel Minter. 

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Author: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

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Author: Shane Evans

A family silently crawls along the ground. They run barefoot through unlit woods, sleep beneath bushes, take shelter in a kind stranger's home. Where are they heading? They are heading for Freedom by way of the Underground Railroad. 9781596435384