SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Author Rita Williams-Garcia visited Duggan Academy Wednesday for a book discussion on her award-winning novel.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Springfield Public Schools, “One Crazy Summer” is set in California during the 1960s and is about three girls who travel to Oakland in search of their mother who abandoned them. Their mother, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, does not allow them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spending time with her daughters, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a new education.

The book was recognized back in 2011 with the Newbery Honor Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, and Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Williams-Garcia is a graduate of Hofstra University and has been a distinguished writer of novels for children and young adults. Her book entitled “P.S. Be Eleven” is a Junior Literary Guild selection, and also a New York Times Editors Choice Book. In 2014, it earned the Coretta Scott King Award.

“I am here to give them a little background of myself as a writer, to hopefully inspire them,” said Williams-Garcia. “You never know who the next author will be out there.”

Her book called “Gone Crazy in Alabama” won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2016. “Clayton Byrd Goes Underground,” was a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature in 2017.

Williams-Garcia visited Duggan Academy from Jamaica, New York because the “One Crazy Summer” book is part of the school’s 7th grand English Language Arts curriculum.