"I was born in Queens, N.Y, on April 13, 1957. My mother, Miss Essie, named me 'NoMo' immediately after my birth. Although I was her last child, I took my time making my appearance. I like to believe I was dreaming up a good story and wouldn’t budge until I was finished. Even now, my daughters call me 'Pokey Mom', because I slow poke around when they want to go-go-go. "I learned to read early, and was aware of events going on as I grew up in the 60s. In the midst of real events, I daydreamed and wrote stories. Writing stories for young people is my passion and my mission. Teens will read. They hunger for stories that engage them and reflect their images and experiences."Author of four award winning novels, Rita Williams-Garcia continues to break new ground in young people's literature. Known for their realistic portrayal of teens of color, Williams-Garcia's works have been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Award Committee, PEN Norma Klein, American Library Association, and Parents' Choice, among others. She recently served on the National Book Award Committee for Young People's Literature and is on faculty at Vermont College MFA Writing for Children and Young People.