About Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestselling YA author of the TANTALIZE series and FERAL trilogy.

Her debut picture book, JINGLE DANCER, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu is widely considered a modern classic.

She was named Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers for RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME and won the American Indian Youth Literature Award for Young Adult Books for HEARTS UNBROKEN,

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Writing Life

(Or… Why’d You Go to Law School Anyway?)

It’s not a bad question.

I’ve wondered once or twice myself.

After all, the experience did result in a decent amount of stress, lost sleep, and about seventy thousand dollars in student debt (though I did meet some of my best friends and learned I could compete academically on a national level).

At the time, I’d planned to become a legal reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper.

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Awards & Honors

for Jingle Dancer

  • Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich SmithNotable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies and a Selector’s Choice for 2001
  • Named to the 2001 2 x 2 Reading List of twenty books recommended for children ages two through second grade by the Texas Library Association
  • Finalist, children’s/YA division, the Oklahoma Book Awards
  • Runner-up for the Storyteller Award from the Western Writers of America
  • Named a CCBC Choice for 2001
  • NEA Native American Book List
  • Featured in “Debuts That Deliver”

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About the Author: Long Version

At the Illumine Award Banquet

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling YA author of HEARTS UNBROKEN and both the FERAL trilogy and TANTALIZE series. These novels were released by Candlewick Press in the U.S., Walker Books in the U.K. and Australia/New Zealand, and additional publishers around the globe.

HEARTS UNBROKEN is the 2020 winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award in the YA division,

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Teacher Guides for Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Books

Reading Group Guide for Blessed

Blessed

BLESSED (Candlewick, 2011).

About BLESSED

Reading Group Guide: Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith: features introduction; excerpt; discussion questions; author biography; author interview; and acclaim. Quick-print format.

Reading Group Guide for Eternal

EternalETERNAL (Candlewick, 2008, 2010).

About ETERNAL

Reading Group Guide: Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith: features introduction;

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