Saturday, April 30, 2011

I love independent bookstores!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is still on the Indie Bestseller List! And it's moved up from #9 to #6!

The number 6 is also a lucky number in Chinese culture. It is a homonym for the word smooth or easy, which hopefully means the rise of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on the list will be smooth and easy, too!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

tomorrow at the Eric Carle Museum

I've been so bad about announcing my upcoming events...and one is coming up tomorrow!

This Friday night, April 29th at 6:00 pm, join producer Steven Withrow, director Edward Dalaney, authors Jane Yolen and Richard Michelson, and ME, in a screening of the film in our cozy Auditorium, followed by a panel discussion and small reception at the Eric Carle Museum in Northampton, MA. More info here.

I hope some of you can make it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And the Winners are...

I'm happy to announce the winners of paperback edition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Celebration! Eight people will receive the print of their choice from the Grace Lin Gallery, my etsy store. The winners, chosen completely at random (which means I just picked some numbers and then counted the order the e-mails came in) are...drumroll please....

Jennifer Beckstead
Patty Davis
Jessica Armato
Laurie Slagenwhite Walters
Carolynne Lathrop
Martha Bisek
Jo Wong
Jennifer Hopwood

Congratulations to you! You should receive an e-mail notifying you of your prize and to arrange other details (if not, just contact

So sorry I could not give an etsy store print to everyone who entered. But stay tuned as I plan on having more great giveaways in the future!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach

IndieBound Description: Starting sixth grade at a new school is never easy, especially when your name is Hero. Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, Hero isn’t at all interested in this literary connection. But when she’s told by an eccentric neighbor that there might be a million dollar diamond hidden in her new house and that it could reveal something about Shakespeare’s true identity, Hero is determined to live up to her name and uncover the mystery.

My Thoughts:Ohh, I love Elise Broach's books. I loved Masterpiece and I love this one too. I remember this came out when everyone was saying Chasing Vermeer was like a Da Vinci Code for kids. While I could see the similarities, I think Shakespeare's Secret is a better comparison!

Monday, April 25, 2011

on my desk monday

Writing supplies!

I'm trying to write my new novel "Return to Sky" which means I need hair clips to hold back my growing-out bangs (I chose ones with goldfish to bring me luck!) and candied ginger. All my novels have been fueled by a steady ingestion of candied ginger. I usually eat the Trader Joe's brand but for some reason my local Trader Joe's has been sans candied ginger lately...which means I've resorted to Whole Foods and their expensive Australian version. Sigh. Hopefully, this will at least last me a chapter or two!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, April 22, 2011

fortune cookie friday

"Even from such a well-sealed thing as an egg, a chicken is hatched."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, April 21, 2011

orchard house

Spring is here! To celebrate, I ventured out and saw something that has been long on my "to do" list. I went to Orchard House!

Orchard House? What is that, you ask? Does this help?

Yes, it was the home of Louisa May Alcott, the author of one of my most memorable childhood books, Little Women!

I live only 40 minutes away from this historical site, but until this spring I had never visited. Now I no longer have to hang my head in shame.

It was a great fun. I admit don't love Little Women as much as I love Anne of Green Gables (my trip to PEI does still rank a bit higher) but it was rather awe-inspiring to be walking through the same rooms where such classic literature had been written.

They didn't allow any photos to be taken in the house, but in the gift shop they did sell..Graces! To be honest, I'm not sure what these were, exactly.

And I did get to peek into the Concord School of Philosophy, established by Mr. Alcott who had some good ideas (like schools should have recess) and some wacky ones (like trying to exist on only plants that reached to the sky--so it went beyond vegan, no potatoes or carrots--the family had to almost starve before he gave that one up):
But of course it was Louisa May and the parallels of her life and Little Women that interested me the most. Our guide was quite knowledgeable and everything she told us was fascinating.

For example, all the characters of Little Women were based on Louisa May's family. However, she changed all the names (even her own for, of course Jo was based on herself) except for Beth. Beth had already died when Louisa wrote Little Women and she couldn't bear to write her differently. She wanted the character of Beth to be as exactly as she remembered her sister, name and all.

The other thing I found gratifying was the real life story of the character of Amy, based on Louisa's sister May. I've had issues with Amy, (probably because I felt she was the sister I had the most in common with) and it was nice to hear that all the money and effort that the family poured into May's art education was not in vain.

She never became a great master artist of her own name (the first edition of Little Women was illustrated by her but received negative reviews), but she was the teacher and the key reason that Daniel Chester French became an artist and sculptor. According to the guide, everyone thought Daniel Chester French was a loser but May stepped in and said he was an artist and taught him...the tools he used to sculpt Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial were the ones May Alcott gave to him.
Pretty neat, huh?

All in all, it was a great time and the perfect way to spend a spring day! Go if you have the chance.

Now I'm off to reread my copy of Little Women...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

booktalk tuesday

The Wizard of OZ by Frank L. Baum

IndieBound Description:
"Follow the yellow brick road!"

Since it first appeared in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has brought joy to generations. In it, a girl's dream world comes to life as the cyclone lifts Dorothy from Kansas, depositing her in the enchanted land of the Munchkins. H ere she meets the famous Oz characters: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. Her adventures along the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City and the Wizard himself evoke the rich, universal appeal of a classic fairy tale.

My Thoughts: Well, anyone who has read my book The Year of the Dog probably knows that I have always dreamt of being Dorothy. But strangely, even with this fixation I didn't set out to make a "Chinese Wizard of Oz" when I wrote Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. It was actually inspired by a Chinese folktale called "Olive Lake" which is much older than the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps both Frank Baum and I were inspired by the same tale!

Monday, April 18, 2011

on my desk monday

Gifts from a school I visited in Chicago! I couldn't fit them in my luggage so I left them with my sister in Chicago for her to mail to me and I just got them (she gets busy). The gifts are Where the Mountain Meets the Moon-themed--the vase has a fish and the wind-chime is made of chinese copper coins and red threads!

Don't forget to enter the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon paperback celebration drawing! You can win a free art print of your choice from my etsy store just by e-mailing gracelin.manager And to accommodate KidsBuzz Readers, I've just extended the entry deadline April 27th! Read here for more details.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

IndieBound Bestseller List!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is #9 on the IndieBound Bestseller List this week!

9 is a lucky Chinese number signifying longevity so I'm hoping it's a good sign...

Don't forget to enter the paperback celebration contest! You can win a free print of your choice from my etsy store just by e-mailing gracelin.manager And to accommodate KidsBuzz Readers, I've just extended the entry deadline April 27th! Read here for more details.

Friday, April 15, 2011

fortune cookie friday

"A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, April 14, 2011

School Visit Photo Album, Ohio

Recently, I've been blessed with a run of amazing school visits.
The latest schools were in Lima and Finlay, OH. Both schools did incredible jobs preparing the students. Even though I was a bit fatigued, the energy of the students carried me through. First they welcomed me with Lissy and some origami friends (from Lissy's Friends):
Some students compared Ling and Ting to themselves:

And one grade picked their favorite Seasons:

(summer seemed to be the big winner in the popularity contest)

Fourth graders illustrated scenes from The Year of the Dog:

And, inspired by Thanking the Moon, one class wrote their secret wishes:

I love this one, I wanted to be a unicorn too when I was a kid!

This display had me a little confused. I didn't remember doing a book about fans.

But then I read the sign:
Ha ha!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

they say the camera adds ten pounds

When I arrived at my hotel room in Ohio, this was waiting for me:

Boxes of books that needed to be signed for the next day's visit! There were so many of them! I was happy to sign them, but when I began the clock said:

And when I finished the clock said:
Which is why I am so haggard looking HERE!

Edited to add: I just noticed that the clip of me on the news may have been deleted (here's the text excerpt). I guess I must have looked THAT bad!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective
By Donald J. Sobol
IndieBound Description:
Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood's ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information--it's classic Encyclopedia Brown!

My Thoughts: Another childhood favorite! I have a shelf of these books, bought fairly recently but still enough in the past that the cover does not look like the one above!
I bought them a couple of years ago when I harbored dreams of writing a mystery series. I put that idea on the backburner when I realized that the idea I had was pretty similar to the Hannah West series that are being published. Oh well, maybe someday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

on my desk monday & Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Paperback Celebration!

On my desk are paperback editions of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

Yes, I'm thrilled to announce that the paperback edition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is NOW available. The interior illustrations are still printed in full color and there is extra-special back matter that show photos from my inspiration trip to China. If the hardcover was just a little too pricey, the paperback is now here!

AND to celebrate the paperback edition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, I’m giving away a FREE PRINT OF YOUR CHOICE from my etsy shop to 8 random people. To enter, just email* with the title of your favorite print!

Winners announced next Wednesday on April 27th (so you have more than 2 weeks to enter).

*please note that if you enter you will most likely end up receiving my monthly e-newsletter in the future but it is very easy to opt out of, if you wish (a click at the bottom of the newsletter)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Chinese School

Welcome to Sunday Chinese School, where we learn a Chinese word (or phrase) a week with my mom!
Today's word is:

Friday, April 8, 2011

fortune cookie friday

"When a worthless man has much wealth, it increases his faults."
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: Board Game

Even though I've already wrote about this in my newsletter, I wanted to post this on my blog, too--it just impressed and amazed me so much! On my facebook page, a lovely reader named Emme posted the photo on the left. Apparently, she had read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and as a project for her class made a board game based on the book. Wow, right?!!

It was so well done that I asked her if she would let me make her game available for others to play as well. She enthusiastically agreed and I am so pleased to have her work included as part of the Activities Page of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on my website.

I think it's the perfect activity for small book clubs or even any family that has read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon together.

My favorite part is the following message that Emme includes in the instructions:

Thank You for Playing
Based on Grace Lin’s Novel That Honors Chinese Legends

Reading a book is like taking a journey. Some of the things that
happen do not make sense until the journey is over or the book is
finished. The book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is
one of those journeys. I highly recommend you check out this
book and begin your journey of discovery and harmony
the same way that Minli did.


Isn't that just wonderful?

To play, just download the links below and print:
Game Instructions
Game Board
Dragon Character Pawns - Set of 4
Minli Journey Cards - Fact & Opinion Questions, Set 1
Minli Journey Cards - Fact & Opinion Questions, Set 2
Minli Journey Cards - Fact & Opinion Questions, Set 3

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

booktalk tuesday

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

IndieBound Description: Ralph the mouse ventures out from behind the piney knothole in the wall of his hotel-room home, scrambles up the telephone wire to the end table, and climbs aboard the toy motorcycle left there by a young guest. His thrill ride does not last long. The ringing telephone startles Ralph, and he and the motorcycle take a terrible fall - right to the bottom of a metal wastebasket. Luckily, Keith, the owner of the motorcycle, returns to find his toy. Keith rescues Ralph and teaches him how to ride the bike. Thus begins a great friendship and many awesome adventures. Once a mouse can ride a motorcyle ... almost anything can happen!

My Thoughts:
A true classic that holds up to the test of time. I loved this book as a child, when my 1st grade teacher read it aloud to my class and I still love it now. Before reading this book, I never really had peanut butter (remember, my parents were Asian!) but after this book, I remember begging for peanut butter sandwiches.