Blogger Jonathan Dolce

CSK Every Day – Peace, Non-Violent Social Change + Brotherhood

Coretta Scott King

April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.  — Coretta

Today, we celebrate one of the greatest civil rights leaders who ever lived.  While Coretta Scott King was the wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, her works, efforts, and message resonate powerfully through history.  Her works continued almost four decades beyond her husband’s death.  Think on what you can do to keep her legacy alive.

As public librarians serving tomorrow’s leaders, it is essential that we bring Coretta’s message to our youngest library patrons.  Weave her message into the fabric of our programming.  Committing to the path of the children’s librarian is not an act that we can carry out once and for all, but an act that must be renewed every day.

Peace, Non-Violent Social Change & Brotherhood

The Coretta Scott King award for excellence in African American literature and illustration for children’s and young adult books is awarded annually by ALA.  Exemplary works “demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal values” [ALA].

Weave CSK award-winning books into your every-day programming

  • Realize that these books have themes that will fit into weekly storytimes – love, dance, art, peace – these themes resonate with storytime attendees, and are universal
  • Plan in reverse” – start with the theme, then add these award winning books
  • CSK books touch on history, historical events, historic people that must be remembered for their contributions.  You aren’t just making a great storytime – you are teaching and guiding by example
  • Work with teens?  GREAT! CSK award winners include tons of poetry – Kwame Alexander is just one example – use these in poetry slams, for poetry month – or just plain poetry every day!

Speaking of Kwame!


  • Do you have a book club?  SUPER!  Use this year’s CSK award winner in your book club – it even won a Newbery Honor!

I’ll even throw in the reading guide!


Even if you Never Use these Amazing Books

  • Buy the books
  • Buy the spine labels and medals
  • Of course make displays of these books, but also make displays that incorporate CSK award winners
  • Guide young readers and adults alike to these books – they are of the highest quality and importance

Here’s your list for 2018!

2018 Illustrator Award Winner

Cover of the book "Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets"Mixed media art and quality poetry – what could be better?!


2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author)


Cover of the book "The Stars Beneath Our Feet"This book “provides a realistic lens on the Black American experience and infuses it with heart, soul, and imagination.” [ALA]


2018 John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Illustrator)

Follow Miriam Makeba’s career through a meteoric rise right alongside the struggles of South African apartheid.





2018 Author Honor Books

“Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denine Millner Book.

Editorial: Beautiful!

“Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds, published by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

On a personal note – this one’s my fav:



2018 Illustrator Honor Books

“Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes, and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book.

Editorial: OMG – this book is spectacular!

“Before She Was Harriet: The Story of Harriet Tubman” illustrated by James E. Ransome, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome, and published by Holiday House.


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