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2018: The Year in Words and Pictures

Who are we? What kind of community are we going to be, do we want to be? These are the ever-more-urgent questions that were being asked — and answered — in 2018, not just by book award committees but also by professional organizations devoted to children’s books and reading, in discussions...
      

Profile of 2019 CSK Illustrator Award winner Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes is love. I am but one grateful member of an immense and inspired community that cherishes, and is beloved by, Ekua. At its heart, this community is local, centered on the place of Ekua’s birth — Roxbury, Massachusetts — via Arkansas and the U.S. American South, via Africa....
      

A Vision for the CSK: Past, Present, and Future

My first novel came out ten years ago, and one year later, in 2010, it was honored with the John Steptoe Award for New Talent by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury. I was surprised and delighted on a number of levels when I got the call that January...
      

Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African...
      

Horn Book Magazine — May/June 2019: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards at 50

Cover art by Kadir Nelson Table of Contents   Features "Let Our Rejoicing Rise" by Rudine Sims Bishop Celebrating fifty years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. "An Interview with George and Bernette Ford" by Roger Sutton Two icons of Black children’s literature reflect on its history and future....
      

Let Our Rejoicing Rise: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards originated as a response to the failure of the children’s literature establishment to acknowledge the talents and contributions of African American writers and illustrators. As late as 1969, forty-seven years after the first Newbery Medal had been awarded, and thirty-one years after the awarding...
      

Preview May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The CSK Book Awards at 50

Special Issue: The Coretta Scott King Book Awards at 50 On the cover: original artwork by Kadir Nelson, a gatefold portrait of Coretta Scott King. Editorial page by special guests Rudine Sims Bishop and Andrea Davis Pinkney. A welcome letter from Claudette S. McLinn, current Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee Chair."Let Our Rejoicing...
      

Additional ALA Awards 2019

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Alex Awardfor the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com) The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir (Knopf) Circe by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown) Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House) The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A...
      

Review of Stevie

Stevieby John SteptoeHarper    24 pp.    $3.50A poignant story of childhood told in the first person and illustrated with paintings which have been compared to the work of Rouault. Stevie lives with Robert’s family for five days a week because his mother works; and Robert senses keenly the nuisance of having...
      

Reflections on Black Children’s Literature: A Historical Perspective

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The ideas expressed below were originally written in response to an opinion piece written by publisher Denene Millner, which ran in The New York Times on March 10, 2018. Though most of the write-up below speaks to this particular opinion article, it has been slightly modified to address some of...

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