Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cynthia L. Smith  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1967 in Kansas City


-- Website -- http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com
-- Cynthia L. Smith on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=cynthia+l.+smith


Illinois Connection

Smith lived in Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a New York Times best-selling author, a writing teacher, and a speaker. She writes fiction for children and young adults.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Jingle Dancer
ISBN: 0688162428

HarperCollins. 2000

The affirming story of how a contemporary Native American girl turns to her family and community to help her dance find a voice.

Jenna loves the tradition of jingle dancing that has been shared by generations of women in her family, and she hopes to dance at the next powwow. But she has a problem—how will her dress sing if it has no jingles?

The cone-shaped jingles sewn to Grandma Wolfe's dress sing tink, tink, tink, tink.

Jenna's heart beats to the brum, brum, brum, brum of the powwow drum as she daydreams about the clinking song of her grandma's jingle dancing.

The warm, evocative watercolors of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu complement author Cynthia Leitich Smith's lyrical text in this picture book. Perfect for classroom and library sharing.

Rain Is Not My Indian Name
ISBN: 0688173977

HarperCollins. 2001

"Smith tells Rain’s story with confidence and heart and authenticity. Rain is a great representation for younger Native kids, especially ones of mixed heritage." (Casey Stenaniuk in Book Riot, writing about "books that young Indigenous women can identify with, and that will offer windows for other readers.")

In a voice that resonates with insight and humor, Cynthia Leitich Smith tells of heartbreak, recovery, and reclaiming one's place in the world.

It's been six months since her best friend died, and up until now Rain has succeeded in shutting herself off from the world. But when controversy arises around her aunt Georgia's Indian Camp in their mostly white midwestern community, Rain decides to face the outside world again—at least through the lens of her camera.

Hired by her town newspaper to photograph the campers, Rain soon finds that she has to decide how involved she wants to become in Indian Camp. Does she want to keep a professional distance from the intertribal community she belongs to? And just how willing is she to connect with the campers after her great loss?

Indian Shoes
ISBN: 0060295317

HarperCollins. 2002

What do Indian shoes look like, anyway? Like beautiful beaded moccasins...or hightops with bright orange shoelaces?

Ray Halfmoon prefers hightops, but he gladly trades them for a nice pair of moccasins for his Grampa. After all, it's Grampa Halfmoon who's always there to help Ray get in and out of scrapes -- like the time they are forced to get creative after a homemade haircut makes Ray's head look like a lawn-mowing accident.

This collection of interrelated stories is heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about what it's like to grow up as a Seminole-Cherokee boy who is just as happy pounding the pavement in windy Chicago as rowing on a take in rural Oklahoma.

Tantalize
ISBN: 076364059X

Candlewick. 2008

"Readers will be tantalized by this dark, romantic, and disturbing fantasy of vampires, werewolves, and a strong no-nonsense heroine. " — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

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Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.


Awards

Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies and Selector's Choice 2001, TLA 2x2 Reading List 2001, Oklahoma Book Awards finalist, runner up Storyteller Award from Western Writers of America, Editor's Choice from Library Talk for ''Jingle Dancer''.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)