Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith

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Cynthia Leitich Smith is the 2021 NSK Neustadt Laureate and a New York Times bestselling author of books for young readers, including HEARTS UNBROKEN, which won the American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award. Her recent releases include the middle grade anthology ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS, winner of the Reading of the West Book Award for Young Readers and an ALA Notable Book, and the novel SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA, which received six starred reviews. Both books were named to numerous “best of the year” lists. Her debut tween novel RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME was named one of the 30 Most Influential Children’s Books of All Time by Book Riot. Her 2023 releases are the YA novel HARVEST HOUSE and the MG graphic novel the BLUE STARS: MISSION ONE: THE VICE PRINCIPAL PROBLEM, co-authored by Kekla Magoon and illustrated by Molly Murakami. Cynthia is also the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and the Katherine Paterson Inaugural Endowed Chair on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Cynthia is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and lives in Austin, Texas.
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