Book Prizes

2022 Submissions for the book prizes are now open!

The Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice and Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice celebrate the power of the written word to create change in the name of justice for all people—a value shared by the publishing community and Goddard Riverside.

Adult Book Prize

Eligible works are full-length, nonfiction books with subject matter related to housing, early childhood and secondary education, older adult life, city arts, social policy and other important aspects of community life that support and promote Goddard Riverside’s mission of investing in people and strengthening community. The prize is named for former Goddard Riverside Executive Director Stephan Russo and honors his appreciation of the works that help us understand the issues of our day.

Youth Book Prize

Eligible works are nonfiction books for children or teens related to urban life and issues and supporting values such as community, equality, opportunity, mutual understanding, respect, caring and justice – in accordance with Goddard Riverside’s mission. This prize is administered in partnership with the Children’s Book Council.

For more information and to enter, please contact

Children Under Fire and Pura’s Cuentos Claim 2021 Social Justice Book Prizes
The covers of Pura's Cuentos and Children Under Fire displayed side by side on a tan background with a light green border

John Woodrow Cox’s exploration of the wide-ranging impacts of gun violence on our nation’s children joins Annette Bay Pimentel’s story of an iconic New York City librarian as our judges’ top picks.

Earlier this year we released a six-book shortlist for each prize, full of challenging and interesting titles on topics ranging from immigration to health care to housing.

Book Prize Judges

Meet the panels for both book prizes.


Thank you to our 2021 volunteer readers, who make the Book Prize possible!

Brianne Kilpatrick
Kathleen Pettinati
Jose Manzano
Gabrielle Shatan
Grant McKeown
Ivy Bullock
Macy Stockton
Chad Franklin
Jan Lorimer
Daniel Roberts
Brenda Bunnell
Nick Lyndon
Layhana Mapono

Past Winners


Adult Book Prize

John Woodrow Cox’s Children Under Fire: An American Crisis [Ecco/HarperCollins]

Youth Book Prize

Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories, by Annette Bay Pimentel; illus. by Magaly Morales [Harry N. Abrams]


Adult Book Prize

Anne Kim’s Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis Of Disconnection [The New Press]

Youth Book Prize

Michael W. Waters’ For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World [Flyaway Books]


Adult Book Prize

(Two Winners)
Jan Haldipur’s No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing [NYU Press]

Alex Kotlowitz’s An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago [Nan A. Talese]


Adult Book Prize

Bernice Yeung’s In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers [The New Press]


Adult Book Prize

Susan Burton’s Becoming Ms. Burton [The New Press]

Each year we interview the winners of the Book Prizes. Learn more on our Book Chats page.

Past Shortlists

See our past shortlists here