Book Prizes

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

Logos of the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice and Goddard Riverside CBC Book Prize for Social Justice

The 2023 Shortlists are Out!

Book covers of the 2023 Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice shortlist
Book covers of the 2023 Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice shortlist

This year’s shortlists run the gamut from hunger to housing and urban planning to aging. The winner of each prize will be announced at our annual Bash on October 4th at Monarch Rooftop. Get your tickets today!

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.

Book Prize Judges

We’re grateful to the people who put so much time and thought into evaluating the books for our prizes: the judges! Meet the panels for both book prizes.

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

Past Winners


Adult Book Prize

Andrea Elliott’s Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City [Random House]

Youth Book Prize

Christine McDonnell’s Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women illus. by Victoria Tentler-Krylo [Candlewick Press]


Adult Book Prize

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

Youth Book Prize

Annette Bay Pimentel’s Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories; 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