African American young adult authors
2016 Author Award Winner
The 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner is given to Rita Williams-Garcia, author of “Gone Crazy in Alabama.”
“Gone Crazy in Alabama, ” published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the final book in Williams-Garcia’s trilogy about the Gaither sisters. She blends cultural and family history in a vivid, readable way, laced with humor. Each sister is a distinct individual, growing, changing, and helping to change the perspectives of their elders.
Rita Williams-Garcia is the author of several award-winning books for young people, including the 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Award for “P.S. Be Eleven” and “One Crazy Summer, ” recipient of the 2011 Coretta Scott King Book Award and Newbery Honor title. Williams-Garcia is also the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. She lives in Jamaica, N.Y., and is on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.
“Rita Williams-Garcia has written a convincing, often humorous portrayal of three young sisters from Brooklyn spending the summer in the South, living and learning in the bosom of a complicated but loving multigenerational family, ” said Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop.
2016 Illustrator Award Winner
The 2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner is given to Bryan Collier, illustrator of “Trombone Shorty."
In “Trombone Shorty, ” written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Bill Taylor, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, Collier creates vibrant, bold color collages and realistic images that portray the musical growth of a young boy in the jazz tradition of the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans.
“Collier’s illustrations beautifully capture important events in Andrews’s life, as well as the spirit of his beloved city and the music that is at the heart of both New Orleans and Trombone Shorty, ” said Bishop.
Bryan Collier is the illustrator of over 25 picture books and the recipient of multiple awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, Caldecott Honor, and Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award. He lives with his family in upstate New York, where he creates illustrations and visits classrooms to share his books and art.
2016 John Steptoe Award for New Talent
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African American creator of children’s books. This year’s winners are Ronald L. Smith, author of “Hoodoo, ” published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; and Ekua Holmes, illustrator of “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, ” written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press.
“Hoodoo” is the rich, atmospheric tale of a boy trying to ward off an evil spirit in 1930s small-town Alabama. When the foreboding Stranger comes to town, Hoodoo Hatcher must use the folk magic passed down in his extended family to save the day.
“Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” is a powerful biography of the heroic Civil Rights leader. Told with inspiring poetry and vivid images, Hamer’s humanity shines through in this impressive collection.