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Rita Williams-Garcia

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Williams-Garcia in 2014

Rita Williams-Garcia is an American author. She was born on April 13, 1957 in Queens, New York.[1] She has written many award-winning novels. They include Blue Tights, Fast Talk on a Slow Track, Like Sisters on the Homefront, Diamond Land, Jumped, No Laughter Here, Catching the Wild Waiyuuzee, One Crazy Summer, and Every Time a Rainbow Dies. Her works have won five selections and citations (ALA, Notable Books for Children and Adults citation, Booklist Editors’ Choice selection, Coretta Scott King Honor Book selection).[1]

Early life

Williams-Garcia's family traveled before they settled in Seaside, California.[1] Her father was in the army.[2] People often made racist remarks to her when she was a child. She has spoken about it in her books and in interviews.[1] Williams-Garcia attended Hofstra University. She paused her writing career to major in economics and pursue her dreams in performing arts. After college, she wrote her first book, Blue Tights. It was repeatedly sent back to her, so Rita stopped writing and took time to have children.[1] Finally, Blue Tights was published and won awards.[1] Williams-Garcia wrote more books.

Awards and accomplishments

Book Date Published Awards
One Crazy Summer 2011

2011 Coretta Scott King Award Winner
2011 Newbery Honor Book
2011 Scott O’Dell Prize for Historical Fiction
2010 National Book Award Finalist Junior Library Guild Selection
Texas Library Association Best Book for 2010

No Laughter Here 2004 2004-BOOKLIST’s Top 10 Black History Titles for Youth
Jumped 2009

Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice
National Book Award Finalist

Every Time a Rainbow Dies 2001

2003 Silver Kiss (Bologna Children's Book Fair)
2003-4 Kentucky Blue Grass List
2003-4 Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award Master List
2002-3 Texas Library Assoc. YA Roundtable List
2002 ALA Best Books
2002 ALA Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults
2002 Children’s Literature Choice List
2002 New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

Blue Tights 1987

1991 PEN/Norma Klein Citation (w/FastTalk on a Slow Track)
1989 Youth Advisory Board “A List for Imagination and Survival”
1989 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
1988 Recommended list for the National Conference of Christians and Jews
1988 Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (YALSA)
1988 Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices

Catching the Wild Waiyuuzee 2000 2001 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books for the Year
Fast Talk on a Slow Track 1991

1991 PEN/Norma Klein Citation
1991 Best Book for Young Adults (American Library Association)
1991 Parents’ Choice Honors for Storytelling
1992 Recommended list for the National Conference of Christians and Jews
1992 Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (YALSA)

Like Sisters on the Homefront 1995

LA Best Book of the Decade
1997 PEN\Norma Klein Honor
1997 Texas Library Assoc. YA Roundtable List
1996 Coretta Scott King Honor Book
1995 Best Books – School Library Journal
1995 Best Books – Publishers Weekly
1995 Best Books – American Library Association
1995 Books Recommended for Reluctant Readers – ALA
1995 Horn Books Fanfare Award
1996 CBC Notable in the Field of Social Studies- NCSS



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Rita Williams-Garcia." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 87. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Biography in Context. Web. Accessed 23 March 2015.
  2. Authors and Artists for Young Adults. "Rita Williams-Garcia." Biography in Context. Gale, 1997. Web. 23 March 2015.