Smith, Cynthia Leitich


Harvest House (Candlewick Press), Young Adult Novel, 2023

BIO: Cynthia Leitich Smith is an acclaimed, NYTimes bestselling author, the 2024 Southern Mississippi Medallion Winner, and the 2021 NSK Neustadt Laureate. Reading Rockets named her to its list of 100 Children’s Authors and Illustrators Everyone Should Know.

Her debut picture book, JINGLE DANCER, is widely considered a modern classic, and her chapter book INDIAN SHOES was among the first children’s titles to represent urban Native life. 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, which also listed her among 10 Must-Read Native American Authors. She became a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller with ETERNAL, the second book in the Gothic fantasy TANTALIZE series, which was named a Young Adult Library Association Top 10 Pick for Popular Paperbacks, New York Public Library Book for the Teenage, and was featured at the National Book Festival.  

More recent titles include HEARTS UNBROKEN, winner of an American Indian Youth Literature Award; the anthology ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS, which was an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Reading of the West Book Award; an Indigenous PETER PAN retelling titled SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA, which received six starred reviews; and the YA ghost mystery HARVEST HOUSE, which is one of five Bram Stoker Award® Nominees for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel. 

Her 2024 middle grade releases are the graphic novel MISSION ONE: THE VICE PRINCIPAL PROBLEM (BLUE STARS #1), a Junior Library Guild selection, also by Kekla Magoon and Molly Murakami, and Cynthia’s middle grade road-trip novel titled ON A WING AND A TEAR. Cynthia is also the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint of HarperCollins and was the inaugural Katherine Paterson Chair at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program. Cynthia is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and makes her home in Austin, Texas.