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Authors & Illustrators

Biographical information about writers and illustrators of books for young people.

2018 CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Eloise Greenfield

Thank you, Deborah Taylor and members of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Jury, for this honor. Virginia Hamilton was a writer of great power, dedicated to creating outstanding literature for children, and this award, in her name, is very special. This is going to be a speech of gratitude for the people […]

2018 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Ekua Holmes

Good morning, and thank you, everyone, for being here to celebrate these awards and honors with us. To all the honorees, I feel like we are at a family gathering. Isn’t it fitting that this event takes place on a Sunday? In my family, Sunday was the day for family and God. Set apart from […]

Profile of 2018 CSK Illustrator Award winner Ekua Holmes

In late 2011, I acquired a collection of poems from Carole Boston Weatherford about civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer. I was overwhelmed by Hamer’s courage and persistence, and I loved Weatherford’s forthright, muscular poems about her. After a round of editing, I began the customary conversation with the art department about what the eventual […]

2018 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Renée Watson

I know what it’s like to feel invisible. This is strange because in a place like Oregon you’d think a plus-size girl like me, with dark brown skin and natural hair, would stand out. But, growing up in Portland, so many times my white friends would tell me they didn’t see me as black, saying, […]

Profile of 2018 CSK Author Award winner Renée Watson

I was going to a gathering at Renée Watson’s apartment in Harlem, but I hadn’t met her before. I don’t like meeting new people, and I was a little worried that Renée might be all Mariah, coolly giving me “I don’t know her” vibes when I appeared on her doorstep. Okay, no, I wasn’t really […]

2018 Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Matthew Cordell

When I was five years old, I wanted to be a stuntman when I grew up. When I was ten years old, I wanted to be a ninja. When I was fifteen years old, I wanted to be a professional skateboarder. When I was twenty years old, I wanted to be a graphic designer. It […]

Profile of 2018 Caldecott Medal winner Matthew Cordell

I always knew Matt would win a Caldecott. Does that sound obnoxious? Let me explain. Matt and I have been married fifteen years this summer. Our relationship began as what I like to refer to as “Hipsters: A Love Story.” Matt had moved to Chicago from South Carolina to work as a designer for a […]

2018 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Erin Entrada Kelly

I’d like to thank the ALA and ALSC. I’d also like to congratulate Derrick Barnes, Jason Reynolds, Renée Watson, Matthew Cordell, Jacqueline Woodson, and all the honorees. It’s incredible to be in such esteemed company. I’m convinced that I’ve entered an alternate universe and that in some parallel reality I’m on my couch eating Cheez […]

Hello, Erin Entrada Kelly: Profile of the 2018 Newbery Medal winner

Chapter 1 The Bottom of the Earth One year ago, the mountain above Dimagabi cracked and fell on everything below. The village was invaded by heavy waves of soft mud, uprooted grass, and broken coconut trees, killing everything in less than five minutes. When the mud dried, all of Dimagabi was buried beneath it — […]

In Memoriam: Remembering Julius Lester

When I contacted Julius Lester (1939–2018) in 2014 to ask if he would join us at my gallery to accept the seventh annual Reader to Reader Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy, he said he was pleased to be celebrated and would get back to me after checking the football schedule. I wasn’t surprised. […]