Two time Coretta Scott King Award recipient Rita Williams-Garcia to discuss diverse voices at AASL’s author banquet

For Immediate Release
Thu, 07/16/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – New York Times bestselling and award winning author Rita Williams-Garcia will appear as one of three featured speakers at an author banquet presented during the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 17th National Conference & Exhibition. Williams-Garcia will discuss books, characters and voices of color alongside Matt de la Peña and Sonia Manzano at the Friday, Nov. 6, event themed “Diverse Authors, Diverse Voices.” Registration and more information regarding the event can be found at

Williams-Garcia is the author of nine distinguished novels for young adults. The first two books in her series on the Gaither sisters, “One Crazy Summer” and “P.S. Be Eleven,” have won numerous awards, including the 2011 and 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Award honoring African American authors of outstanding books for children and young adults. The books follow Delphine, Vonetta and Fern as they navigate life in the turbulent 1960s.

“Rita’s trilogy about the Gaither sisters, culminating with this year’s publication of ‘Gone Crazy in Alabama,’ captures the 1960s with personality and nuance,” said author Co-Chair Karen Perry. “Her characters demonstrate the tensions of this decade, as American society was going through a cultural tsunami.”

In an interview with Eisa Ulen for the National Book Foundation, Williams-Garcia spoke shared her thoughts about “One Crazy Summer,” a 2010 National Book Award Finalist in Young People's Literature: “I wanted ‘One Crazy Summer’ to introduce and show The [Black Panther] Movement through the eyes of a child…This is a movement rarely mentioned during Black History Month studies and celebrations, yet we still reap its benefits. I hope ‘One Crazy Summer’ will help to spark interest in this period as seen through the eyes of its youngest witnesses, and that we would have more of an account from them directly.”

 “As school librarians, we all serve diverse populations,” explains Mary Ann Scheuer, author co-chair. “We want to provide books that are windows into other worlds, as well as mirrors of our own experiences. The We Need Diverse Books campaign appeals to all of our core values and we are thrilled to share these authors with our attendees.”

Williams-Garcia’s AASL national conference appearance is made possible by HarperCollins Children's Books. An additional registration fee of $65 is required in advance of the banquet. Register today at

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 17th National Conference & Exhibition, “Experience Education Evolution,” taking place Nov. 5-8, 2015, will feature preconference workshops, author events, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.