Book Prizes

Awarding Books that Create Change in the Name of Social Justice for All

The Book Prize Shortlists are Here!

A collage of books shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside book prizes

Ten terrific books on issues of social justice have been named in the shortlists for our 2022 youth and adult book prizes.


Goddard Riverside’s Book Prizes

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 Goddard Riverside and our longtime supporters in the publishing community.

The Russo Prize debuted in 2017. It is named in honor of our former executive director, Stephan Russo, and was inspired by his appreciation of books that help us understand the issues of our day. We added the CBC Prize in 2019 in partnership with the Children’s Book Council, to highlight the important role of books in teaching children about social justice.

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.

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 by the Children’s Book Council. For more information, please contact cbc.info@cbcbooks.org.

Book Prize Judges

Meet the panels for both book prizes.


2021 Winners

Children Under Fire and Pura’s Cuento’s Claim Prizes

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.

In 2021, 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.


Thank you to our volunteers!

Sheila Rojas
Diana Baez
Valerie Camejo
Emily Bramhall
Brianne Kilpatrick
Mary Beth Dunphe
Melissa Chiles
Amanda Hopper
Marta Kaminski
Grant McKeown
Gabrielle Shatan
Jenny Pfister
Nelly Gomez

Past Winners

2021

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]

2020

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]

2019

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]

2018

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]

2017

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