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2016 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Rita Williams-Garcia

williams-garcia_gone crazy in alabama

Good morning, family. I am overjoyed to once again stand before you. Honestly, I hoped for a Coretta Scott King Honor. I just wanted to be here at the table, as one of the many being honored. You would think that by now, I’d have it together. I would know: put the phone by the […]

Jerry Pinkney’s 2016 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award speech

Jerry Pinkney Author Photo_300

Good morning, and congratulations to my fellow honorees. Let me begin by saying how special this morning is to me and my family. Over the years, I have attended many of the Coretta Scott King breakfasts, and these events always leave me feeling filled to the brim with admiration for the CSK Book Awards Committee. […]

ALA Awards 2016: Horn Book reviews of the winners

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The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Matt de la Peña for Last Stop on Market Street and Sophie Blackall for Finding Winnie on January 11, 2016, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Boston. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta […]

Reviews of the 2016 CSK Illustrator Award winners

andrew_trombone shorty

Winner: Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; illus. by Bryan Collier Primary   Abrams   40 pp. 4/15   978-1-4197-1465-8   $17.95 In New Orleans parlance, “Where y’at?” means “hello.” As an opening greeting (repeated three times, creating a jazzy beat), it also signals the beginning of this conversational and personable 
autobiography. Andrews, a.k.a. Trombone Shorty, concentrates on […]

Reviews of the 2016 CSK Author Award winners

williams-garcia_gone crazy in alabama

Winner: Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia Intermediate, Middle School   Amistad/HarperCollins   291 pp. 4/15   978-0-06-221587-1   $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-221588-8   $17.89   g e-book ed. 978-0-06-221590-1   $9.99 Williams-Garcia says goodbye to the Gaither family (One Crazy Summer, rev. 3/10; P. S. Be Eleven, rev. 5/13) in this involving and emotional concluding installment. It’s been a year […]

A Thousand Winters: 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award Acceptance

In Jackie Woodson's Brooklyn living room, "on hiatus from saving the world." Photo: Nataki Hewling

I am a poet. On the morning of the youth media announcements, Jacqueline Woodson and I are texting each other. There is a shift happening in the wonderful world of children’s books, and we feel it, and I guess we want to share that moment. “Jackie, this is awesome, isn’t it? We need to get […]

Coretta Scott King Awards 2015

woodson_brown girl dreaming

Some of the most eagerly awaited announcements during the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference are the Coretta Scott King Awards. This year, with all the discussion about diversity, anticipation was high about what would captivate the CSK jury. Would previously decorated authors and illustrators receive additional accolades to gild already outstanding bodies of work? […]

Dream Keepers: 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Award Acceptance

woodson_brown girl dreaming

It is Friday afternoon and I’m sitting in a restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. In an hour, I will give my final talk of a two-day visit. In these two days, I’ve visited a number of schools in Vancouver — both independent and public. As I stood in front of each crowd, I was astonished by […]

Profile of 2015 CSK Author winner Jacqueline Woodson

Photo: Marty Umans

One of the greatest joys of my career has been seeing Brown Girl Dreaming come to life and reverberate as it has been handed from reader to reader. I have been lucky enough to work with Jacqueline Woodson for almost twenty years. She was the very first author I signed up when I became the […]

2015 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance

copeland_firebird

I’ve just about given up on the world. A friend of mine, a book-wise, hanger-thin Jamaican, whose spider fingers dance across endless stories, whose easy smile softens the formality of his dress, sent me an essay he wrote, about how much safer he felt as a child in the gangster-riddled streets of 1980s Kingston than […]