2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

February 6th, 2017 by

coretta-scott-king-awardsLast week, we gave a rundown of the 2017 Newbery winners. Since February is Black History Month, we wanted to follow that up with a rundown of the 2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards winners.

You’ve probably heard of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who was the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and an activist in her own right. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize outstanding books for young adults and children by African-American authors and illustrators that reflect the African-American experience.

Since they were founded in 1969, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards have grown to include several categories. For us here at Kidsmomo, the most exciting is the Author Award. Check out this year’s winner and honor books (descriptions provided by the publishers):
 

THIS YEAR’S WINNER

march-book-threeMarch: Book Three written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world.

By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: “One Man, One Vote.”

To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.

With these new struggles come new allies, new opponents, and an unpredictable new president who might be both at once. But fractures within the movement are deepening… even as 25-year-old John Lewis prepares to risk everything in a historic showdown high above the Alabama river, in a town called Selma.

[Note from Kidsmomo: This book is recommended for ages 12 and up.]

 

HONOR BOOKS

as-brave-as-youAs Brave as You by Jason Reynolds

When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires — literally — in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King/Johnson Steptoe Award.

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia — in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and — being a curious kid — Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house — as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into — a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out — he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.

Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his 14th birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder — is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do?

[Note from Kidsmomo: This book is recommended for ages 10 and up.]

 
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as… a lantern.

You, an object. An object to sell.

In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN’T be bought or sold — dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his “workers,” Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about — their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you’ve seen.

 

Which books have you already read, or are most interested in reading? Vote in the poll below!

Your Coretta Scott King Pick:

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