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Joyce Carol Thomas
Thomas was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the fifth of nine children in a family of cotton pickers. In 1948 the family moved to Tracy, California, to pick vegetables. She learned Spanish from Mexican migrant workers and earned a B.A. in Spanish from San Jose State University. She took night classes in education at Stanford University, while raising four children, and received a master's degree in 1967.
For her 1982 novel Marked by Fire, Thomas won a National Book Award for Young People's Literature|National Book Award in category Children's Fiction (paperback)  and an American Book Award. Thomas has been one of three to five finalists for the Coretta Scott King Award three times, in 1984 for Bright Shadow, in 1994 for Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea, and in 2009 for The Blacker the Berry in 2009. Part of the American Library Association program, every year the King Award honors the "most distinguished portrayal of African American experience in literature for children or teens". She also received a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year Award and an Outstanding Woman of the 20th Century Award.
She lived in Berkeley, California.
- Prize-winning author Joyce Carol Thomas dead at 78
- "National Book Awards – 1983". National Book Foundation.
"Coretta Scott King Book Award – All Recipients, 1970–Present". American Library Association (ALA).
"About the Coretta Scott King Book Awards". ALA. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
- "Joyce Carol Thomas".Tennessee Authors. The University of Tennessee. Archived 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2013-11-24.