No Laughter Here by Rita Williams-Garcia

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Even though they were born in different countries, Akilah and Victoria are true best friends. But Victoria has been acting strange ever since she returned from her summer in Nigeria, where she had a special coming-of-age ceremony. Why does proud Victoria, named for a queen, slouch at her desk and answer the teacher's questions in a whisper? And why won't she laugh with Akilah anymore?

Akilah's name means "intelligent," and she is determined to find out what's wrong, no matter how much detective work she has to do. But when she learns the terrible secret Victoria is hiding, she suddenly has even more questions. The only problem is, they might not be the kind that have answers.

In this groundbreaking novel, Coretta Scott King Honor winner Rita Williams-Garcia uses her vividly realistic voice to explore an often taboo practice that affects millions of girls around the world every year. Readers will identify with headstrong, outspoken Akilah, whose struggle to understand what's happened to Victoria reveals a painful truth in an honest and accessible way.


About Rita Williams-Garcia

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Rita Williams-Garcia is currently a faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children and Young Adults Program. She has two adult daughters, Stephanie and Michelle, and a son-in-law, Adam, and lives in Jamaica, NY. You can visit her online at
Published February 19, 2009 by Amistad. 152 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Ten-year-old Akilah waits for her friend Victoria to return to Queens from a summer trip to Victoria’s birthplace, Nigeria.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this disturbing and poignant coming-of-age novel, Williams-Garcia (Fast Talk on a Slow Track ; Like Sisters on the Homefront

Dec 22 2003 | Read Full Review of No Laughter Here

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