Grace Lin grew up in Upstate New York with her parents and two sisters. While the other sisters became scientists, Grace became an artist. Surprisingly enough, being an artist was not Grace’s first choice. She first dreamed of being a champion ice skater, and drew many pictures of herself twirling and dancing on the ice. Unfortunately, Grace had neither the talent nor coordination to make it to skating stardom. However, the pictures she drew of herself held much promise and quickly became Grace’s career focus.
After attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Grace quickly set out to achieve her dream of creating children’s books. Her first book, The Ugly Vegetables, was published in 1999 and was quickly heralded. As well as being an American Booksellers Association’s “Pick of the List” and a Bank’s Street College Best Books of the Year, The Ugly Vegetables was nominated for the California Young Reader Children’s Choice Award and named a Growing Good Kids Book Award Classic.
Grace followed that success with the publication of over a dozen more books, including Dim Sum for Everyone! and Lissy’s Friends. Grace’s first children’s novel, The Year of the Dog was released to glowing praise in 2006 and nominated to the TX Bluebonnet list, which she followed with The Year of the Rat. Her novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was awarded the 2010 Newbery Honor, chosen for Al Roker’s Today Show Kid’s Book Club and was a NY Times Bestseller. Grace’s early reader Ling & Ting was awarded with the Theodor Geisel Honor in 2011.
As well as occasionally reviewing for the NYTimes, Grace has became an advocate for diversity. She is a commentator for New England Public Radio and created the video essay, “What to do when you realize classic books from your childhood are racist?” for PBSNewHour. Grace also delivered the popular TEDx talk, “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf.” Grace truly believes that “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.”
To that end, when the cover illustration for her novel When the Sea Turned to Silver (a 2016 National Book Award Finalist) was displayed at the White House, Grace, herself, was recognized as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.
Grace lives in Florence, MA with her husband and daughter. Please visit her website: www.gracelin.com for more info!