Best Selling Books by Rita Williams-Garcia

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Gone Crazy in Alabama

release date: Apr 21, 2015
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Gone Crazy in Alabama
The Coretta Scott King Award–winning Gone Crazy in Alabama by Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible. Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books, as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time. Readers who enjoy Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming will find much to love in this book. Rita Williams-Garcia's books about Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern can also be read alongside nonfiction explorations of American history such as Jason Reynolds's and Ibram X. Kendi's books. Each humorous, unforgettable story in this trilogy follows the sisters as they grow up during one of the most tumultuous eras in recent American history, the 1960s. Read the adventures of eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, as they visit their kin all over the rapidly changing nation—and as they discover that the bonds of family, and their own strength, run deeper than they ever knew possible. “The Gaither sisters are an irresistible trio. Williams-Garcia excels at conveying defining moments of American society from their point of view.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) Coretta Scott King Award winner * ALA Notable Book * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * Washington Post Best Books of the Year * The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book * Three starred reviews * CCBC Choice * New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing * Amazon Best Book of the Year

P.S. Be Eleven

release date: May 21, 2013
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P.S. Be Eleven
The Gaither sisters are at it again! A sequel to the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel will find a home in the hearts of readers who loved Brown Girl Dreaming and As Brave as You. After spending the summer in Oakland, California, with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence. That doesn't sit well with Big Ma, who doesn't like the way things are changing. Neither does Delphine. Pa has a new girlfriend. Uncle Darnell comes home from Vietnam, but he's not the same. And her new sixth-grade teacher isn't the fun, stylish Miss Honeywell—it's Mr. Mwila, a stern exchange teacher from Zambia. But the one thing that doesn't change during this turbulent year is the advice that Delphine receives from her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be eleven while she can.

One Crazy Summer

release date: Jan 26, 2010
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One Crazy Summer
In this Newbery Honor novel, New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. "This vibrant and moving award-winning novel has heart to spare."* Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer. This moving, funny novel won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the Coretta Scott King Award and was a National Book Award Finalist. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern's story continues in P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama. Readers who enjoy Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming will find much to love in One Crazy Summer. This novel was the first featured title for Marley D’s Reading Party, launched after the success of #1000BlackGirlBooks. Maria Russo, in a New York Times list of "great kids' books with diverse characters," called it "witty and original." *Brightly, in Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich's article "Knowing Our History to Build a Brighter Future: Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality"

Jumped

release date: Oct 06, 2009
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Jumped
Beloved author Rita Williams-Garcia intertwines the lives of three very different teens in this fast-paced, gritty narrative about choices and the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant ones can have. A National Book Award finalist. Jumped is the story of one day in the life of three very different girls at a huge high school in New York City. There’s Trinia, a pretty, self-involved artist who’s sure she’s bringing beauty and color to the lives of everyone around her, regardless of what they really think. There’s Leticia, who skates by on minimal effort; she’s more interested in her cell phone, her nails, and gossip than school. And there’s Dominque, an angry basketball player who’s been benched for low grades. When Trinia unknowingly offends Dominique, Dominique declares that she’s going to jump Trinia—and Leticia is the only witness. Will Leticia warn Trinia? Will she let the beatdown happen? Weaving in and out of the girls' perspectives, readers will find themselves with three different voices and sides to one story. Share this with readers who enjoy such books as Jason Reynolds's Long Way Down and Renée Watson's Piecing Me Together.

Blue Tights

release date: Jan 01, 1989
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Blue Tights
Growing up in a city neighborhood, fifteen-year-old Joyce, unsure of herself and not quite comfortable with her maturing body, tries to find a place to belong and a way to express herself through dance.

Every Time a Rainbow Dies

release date: Mar 17, 2009
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Every Time a Rainbow Dies
From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia, Every Time a Rainbow Dies is a moving, lyrical, and diverse love story—perfect for fans of One Crazy Summer who are ready for an older voice. Ever since he found her battered and raped in the alley near his home, Thulani hasn't been able to think about anything but Ysa. This is the first time since his mother died that he's given a thought to anything but the rock doves he keeps on the roof of his house in Brooklyn. Now that he has seen Ysa, Thulani finally has a reason to come down from the roof. But it's not so easy for him—especially when it seems that Ysa doesn't want him in her world at all.

No Laughter Here

release date: Oct 06, 2009
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No Laughter Here
In this groundbreaking novel, Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia uses her vividly realistic voice to highlight an often taboo practice that affects millions of girls around the world every year, and to explore a perspective not often depicted in YA fiction. Even though they were born in different countries, Akilah and Victoria are true best friends. But Victoria has been acting strange ever since she returned from her summer in Nigeria, where she had a special coming-of-age ceremony. Why does proud Victoria, named for a queen, slouch at her desk and answer the teacher's questions in a whisper? And why won't she laugh with Akilah anymore? Akilah's name means "intelligent," and she is determined to find out what's wrong. But when she learns the terrible secret Victoria is hiding, she suddenly has even more questions. The only problem is, they might not be the kind that have answers.

A Sitting in St. James

release date: May 25, 2021
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A Sitting in St. James
A tour-de-force from three-time National Book Award finalist Rita Williams-Garcia, this story of an antebellum plantation—and the enduring legacies of slavery upon every person who lives there—is essential reading for both teens and adults grappling with the long history of American racism. 1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family’s objections, to sit for a portrait. While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved. This astonishing novel from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia about the interwoven lives of those bound to a plantation in antebellum America is an epic masterwork—empathetic, brutal, and entirely human.

Gaither Sisters Trilogy Box Set

release date: Oct 02, 2018
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Gaither Sisters Trilogy Box Set
All three books in the Coretta Scott King Award-winning series by New York Times-bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia are now available in one beautiful, giftable box set! Each humorous, unforgettable story follows the Gaither sisters as they grow up during one of the most tumultuous eras in recent American history, the 1960s. Read the adventures of eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, as they visit their kin all over the rapidly changing nation—and as they discover that the bonds of family, and their own strength, run deeper than they ever knew possible. This box set includes One Crazy Summer, a Newbery Honor book, National Book Award finalist, and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award; P.S. Be Eleven; and Gone Crazy in Alabama, all of which will make the perfect addition to a young reader’s growing library. “A beloved middle grade series.” —School Library Journal (starred review) “Funny, wise, poignant, and thought-provoking.” —Horn Book (starred review) “The Gaither sisters are an irresistible trio. Williams-Garcia excels at conveying defining moments of American society from their point of view.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

She Persisted: Florence Griffith Joyner

release date: Jan 01, 2021
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She Persisted: Florence Griffith Joyner
"[I]nspired by She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger."
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