The winning authors and illustrators of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards represent a vast array of talent from all walks of life. Their work celebrates what is best within us all, and they are to be admired for having the courage to create exciting new works for young readers. Their lives are interesting, and they set an example for young people everywhere. Many of them, such as Walter Dean Myers, struggled to succeed against difficult odds. Others, such as Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick L. McKissack, came to writing after successful careers in other fields. Their stories are inspiring for young people faced with the difficult decisions of today's world. Sharing information about authors with students is another way of getting them involved with the works they are reading. It gives the stories more impact and opens avenues of exploration for young readers curious to discover more about the creative minds behind the words and pictures.
In the following pages, you will find a selected group of these authors and illustrators, along with photographs and brief biographies. Because students often want to know more about the author of a book or story, this information will surely be useful in the classroom. Another avenue of author information is the marketing department of his or her publisher. The publisher frequently has flyers and brochures available about their writers, and they will often send them to teachers and students at no cost. Teachers interested in promoting contact with various authors might also refer to recent volumes of Something About the Author, published by Gale Research; the biographical information often contains an address where the author or illustrator receives mail.