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Five Questions for Rita Williams-Garcia


Poor Rita–three times in PUBLIC I made her join me in singing the first line of “It Was Right on the Tip of My Tongue (and I Forgot to Say I Love You)” by Brenda and the Tabulations, a group referenced in One Crazy Summer. Rita, I promise I will learn the rest of the song, and I’m working on “Dry Your Eyes,” too.

Fans will be pleased to know there will be another book about Delphine, but not just yet–Rita is working on a novel about virtual reality. I like it when writers step out of their boxes, even when it’s just to write about mice.

Rita is the same age as I (thus our overlapping mental jukeboxes), and I asked her what she thought was the most important lesson of the 1960s. She said that the 60s made everyone make choices–the status quo was so indeterminate that you had to find your own way. I’m sure glad she found her way to writing.

Thanks for stopping by, Rita–and thanks to to HarperCollins, who threw a swell dinner for Rita’s Scott O’Dell win. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Hall, Odell’s widow and the award’s administrator, was defeated by the weather and could not join us, but I had a fine time singing (again) with Rita, meeting her daughter, and spending some time with her sworn sister, Rosemary Brosnan.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >So why is it that we have such a surfeit of mice in children's literature? That's not to say I don't like them now or didn't love them as a child—just curious about our fascination with them. Lots of cute animals inhabit our world. Wrens, for instance, or chipmunks—why do we zero in on mice?

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