Here’s more news about this year’s award-winning books announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The Coretta Scott King Award honors African American authors and illustrators of “outstanding books for children and young adults.”
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson wrote Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall, this year’s King Author Book winner. We just received more copies of this book! This one always draws readers’ attention because it is a great, big picture book biography with big, bold graphics.
Author tanita s. davis was also honored for Mare’s War (a young adult novel), the only title selected as a King Author Honor Book.
My People, a Langston Hughes poem illustrated with photos by Charles R. Smith, Jr., was selected as the King Illustrator Book winner. This is another title that tends to fly off the shelves. I mean, who can resist that face? Mr. Smith has also illustrated several other books, many combining sports photos and poetry, including an unusually athletic take on Rudyard Kipling’s poem If.
The King Illustrator Honor book was also a book made from a Langston Hughes poem: The Negro Speaks of Rivers, illustrated with watercolor paintings by E.B. Lewis. The words of the poem take you from Africa to the Americas and from ancient to modern times. Mr. Lewis was well-prepared to illustrate it, because his body of work includes illustrations for picture books set in Africa and America in a variety of historical settings and the present-day.
The Coretta Scott King Awards also include the John Steptoe Awards for New Talent. They are meant to recognize authors or illustrators (John Steptoe was both) who are just beginning their careers. John Steptoe is probably best known for Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. This year, the award goes to The Rock and the River (a young adult novel) by kekla magoon.
The Coretta Scott King Awards included the Virginia Hamilton Award for lifetime achievement for the first time this year. Walter Dean Myers is the winner. His work ranges from nonfiction to picture books to teen novels about war, junior fiction mysteries, poetry, “My Name is America” series books, and more. He has collaborated several times with his son, Christopher Myers, a children’s book illustrator. The author for whom the award is named, Virginia Hamilton, also wrote a very broad range of books ranging from realistic fiction to ghost stories, folklore, history, and picture books. -Miss Sarah