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A Sitting in St. James: Rita Williams-Garcia's 2021 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Award Speech

My twelve-year-old self thought she would write fast and a lot. Back then, I raced through homework to get to the next pages of my autobiographical novel: Rita at Highland ­Elementary by Rita Highland Williams. The “­Highland”? As everyone knows, a serious writer should have three names! I chose the...
      

BGHB 2021: A Sitting in St. James

We've reached the culmination of Fiction and Poetry week in our month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Nicholl Denice Montgomery introduces the 2021 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Winner A Sitting in St. James:   The 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry is presented...
      

A Note from Me (Jun 25, 2021)

Dear friends: How about them Boston Globe–Horn Book winners? Nothing like good news on a Wednesday to make people happy. Thank you again to our judges Luann Toth (chair), Shoshana Flax, and Nicholl Denice Montgomery; and thank you to our winners’ publishers for hearing the news with such happiness. I...
      

Rita Williams-Garcia Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Known for intense YA novels about contemporary Black teenagers and, most recently, novels about younger Black kids for middle graders, Rita Williams-Garcia — well, to say “tries something new”...
      

Presenting the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners

  On Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 12 pm EDT, Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton announced the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. If you want to relive the excitement, you can watch the archived video here:     2021 BOSTON GLOBE–HORN BOOK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED Prestigious Program...
      

Review of A Sitting in St. James

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    480 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-236729-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-236732-7    $10.99 Williams-Garcia, whose YA titles include the 1995 classic Like Sisters on the Homefront and Jumped (rev. 3/09), offers an unusual angle on the subject of slavery with this...
      

Lift Every Voice: From One Book to Many

When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school hired a new librarian. I don’t remember her name. I only know that she was young, white, and had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. This new librarian taught us African songs and dances, and would then put on music...
      

Look Here. Not There. — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

I am honored to give this year’s Zena Sutherland Lecture, named for an important educator and champion of children’s literature. Where the world saw shock and controversy in such now-iconic children’s books as Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, Zena Sutherland saw imagination and humanity. Where the world saw idealization of...
      

“Waiting in the Deep”: A Character Development Workshop with Rita Williams-Garcia

When I first heard about the Kweli Journal’s annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference for writers (the 2018 conference marked its seventh year), I couldn’t wait to attend. A conference dedicated to books about children of color and the people who create those books? What an amazing opportunity! And a...
      

Rita Williams-Garcia Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here.Sponsored byFor our last Talks with Roger of the year, Rita Williams-Garcia and I spoke just before Thanksgiving about her latest novel, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground. Roger Sutton:...
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