The Coretta Scott King Book Awards 2020 were announced in Philadelphia, USA, on June 27, 2020.
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The awards commemorates the life and work of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., and honours his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. There are five categories of book awards; Author, Author Honor, Illustrator, Illustrator Honor, and the John Steptoe Award for New Talent.
The winners for the 2020 awards are;
- Author Winner: New Kid, Jerry Craft
- Illustrator Winner: Kadir Nelson, illustrator of The Undefeated written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versity, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author): Alicia D. Williams for “Genesis Begins Again,”
- John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Illustrator): April Harrison for “What Is Given from the Heart, published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair LaKeshia Darden said of New Kid, “Craft’s graphic novel offers a fresh, youthful voice, to the discussion on how Black youth navigate predominantly white faces. This story will resonate with many youth who have found themselves in similar situations as Jordan.”
On the illustrator winner, LaKeshia Darden said, “Kadir Nelson is a master visual storyteller of imagery and his choice of illustrations from “the unspeakable” spreads to deciding when it was appropriate to have little to no image on the page speaks to his expertise.”
Apart from these books, there were also three honour books recognised by the judges for authors and illustrators. This year’s honourees are;
Honour Books Author
- Look Both Ways, by Jason Reynolds, and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.
- The Stars and the Blackness Between Them, by Junauda Petrus, and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
- Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, by Kwame Mbalia, and published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
Honour Books Illustrator
- The Bell Rang, illustrated and written by James E. Ransome and published by Atheneum Books For Young Readers, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book
- Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace illustrated and written by Ashley Bryan and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.
- Sulwe, illustrated by Vashti Harrison and written by Lupita Nyong’o, and published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.