Who cares about the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Grammy’s? It’s literary award time. And the mother of all literary awards for children’s authors of color, the Coretta Scott King Award will be given during the annual ALA Mid-Winter in just about a week.
We here at the Brown Bookshelf have a vested interest in the CSK. Not only because we’re writers and illustrators. But because, it’s a pretty small lit community and life could very well change for an author among our 28 Days Later contenders. So we have our eyes open.
But, the only thing more fun than finding out who’s won an award is trying to predict who will win.
So we thought we’d give our predictions for CSK winners.
Now me, I’m not a gambling gal. And, I’ve looked at the list of past winners enough to know that there are certain types of books that have a better chance of taking home the honor. Add those two elements together and you end up with a prediction that’s about as safe as it gets.
Christopher Paul Curtis will take home the CSK Author awardfor Elijah of Buxton.
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin
For the Illustrator Award, I have a toss up between Bryan Collier for Uptown, Kadir Nelson for Henry’s Freedom Box and E.B. Lewis. I’m going to give the edge to E.B. Lewis for Pitching in for Eubie.
1) Christopher Paul Curtis and all of my illustrator top picks are past CSK recipients.
Fact: Those who have won a CSK have a higher chance of winning one again. Nikki Grimes, Kadir Nelson, Mildred Taylor, Bryan Collier, Sharon Draper, Walter Dean Meyers, Angela Johnson and Jerry Pinkney are all multi-CSK recipients. Which means, in a year they wrote/illustrated a book, everyone else better hold their breath.
2) Elijah of Buxton is an excellent book. And you’re thinking that should have been #1. But the truth is, all of the recipients and honor books are excellent books. It’s a given. That’s why it’s the #2 reason.
3) The illustrations in Pitching in for Eubie are clean and crisp. There’s something about simple illustrations that really attracts my attention. It’s true that art is one of those types of things where you may not know what makes it good, but you do know when you’re looking at a really good piece of it.
4) M. Sindy Felin is a new author. But her book was a National Book Award Finalist, which is bound to bring attention to it. And because it deals with the issue of being a black immigrant in America, it’s a topic that’s new to the CSK mix. It could pump some fresh blood into an award that’s, for the most part, been focused keenly on the African AMERICAN experience.
So, let the predicting again. I’ve been known to be wrong…once. Okay, maybe twice.