Learn more about our book prizes
Ten compelling titles are shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice and the Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice. The winners of both prizes will be announced online on October 13.
The Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice, now in its sixth year, celebrates the power of the written word to create change in the name of justice for all. It is named in honor of former Goddard Executive Director Stephan Russo.
The shortlisted titles are:
- Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families–and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World, by Dorothy E. Roberts (Basic Books) Drawing on decades of research, legal scholar and sociologist Dorothy Roberts reveals that the child welfare system is better understood as a “family policing system” that collaborates with law enforcement and prisons to oppress Black communities.
- His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa (Viking) This biography by two prizewinning Washington Post reporters reveals how systemic racism shaped George Floyd’s life and legacy—from his family’s roots in the tobacco fields of North Carolina, to ongoing inequality in housing, education, health care, criminal justice, and policing—telling the story of how one man’s tragic experience brought about a global movement for change.
- Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City, by Andrea Elliott (Random House) Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani, a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter.
- One Fair Wage: Ending Subminimum Pay in America, by Saru Jayaraman (The New Press) The author of Behind the Kitchen Door examines how the subminimum wage and the tipping system exploit society’s most vulnerable.
- Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success, by Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan (PublicAffairs) Using the tools of modern data analysis and ten years of pioneering research, this book provides new evidence about the past and present of the American Dream—debunking myths fostered by political opportunism and sentimentalized in family histories, and drawing counterintuitive conclusions
- The Stolen Year: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where We Go Now, by Anya Kamenetz (Public Affairs) An NPR education reporter shows how the pandemic disrupted children’s lives—and how our country has nearly always failed to put our children first.
The youth prize recognizes nonfiction books for children and teens related to urban life and issues that support values such as community, equality, opportunity, mutual understanding, respect, caring and justice – in accordance with Goddard Riverside’s mission.
The shortlist is:
- Our World is a Family, by Miry Whitehill and Jennifer Jackson, illustrated by Nomar Perez (Sourcebooks Explore) From the creators of Miry’s List, the nonprofit that has helped thousands of refugees, Our World is a Family is an all-ages picture book exploring the complicated topic of human migration in a gentle, loving, and affirming way.
- Your Planet Needs You: A Kids’ Guide to Reducing Waste and Recycling, by Philip Bunting (Bloomsbury Children’s) Your Planet Needs You! is packed with simple explanations of how kids and their families can reduce, re-use, and recycle to help clean up our planet.
- EVICTED! The Struggle for the Right to Vote, by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by Charly Palmer (Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers) This civil rights book for middle-graders examines the little-known Tennessee’s Fayette County Tent City Movement in the late 1950s and reveals what is possible when people unite and fight for the right to vote.
- Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women, by Christine McDonnell and Victoria Tentler-Krylov (Candlewick Press) The inspirational story of a singular woman and what her vision and compassion brought to life.
For more than 100 years, Goddard Riverside has been committed to investing in people and strengthening community by meeting New Yorkers’ most essential needs. Through 27 programs across 22 sites, Goddard Riverside provides comprehensive educational, cultural and recreational programs for New Yorker of all ages, including early childhood education, after school, employment support, college access, youth programs, homeless outreach, senior centers and legal assistance.
The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting the industry and promoting children’s books and reading. The CBC also coordinates the national programs of Every Child a Reader, including Children’s Book Week, now in its 103rd year; Get Caught Reading; and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, currently Jason Reynolds.