Wednesday, April 30, 2014

11 days left to see Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

After today, there will only be 11 days left to see Wheelock's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production. Don't procrastinate any longer or you'll miss:

 Ba (Michael Tow) telling stories toMinli (Caroline Workman)

 The goldfish man(Gary Ng) selling his fish (to villager Kirin Maypole)

Minli (Caroline Workman) riding Dragon through the forest
all photos are by Kippy Goldfarb

You don't want to miss that, do you? Get your tickets now before it's too late!

Do you want to see the show with me? I'm going one more time, to benefit ATASK:

The Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence is honored to be collaborating with the Wheelock Family Theatre to host a special performance of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, an adaptation by Jeannine Coulombe of Grace Lin's 2010 Newbery Honor book of the same name.

Prior to the performance, starting at 1:30pm, guests are invited to meet Grace Lin and there will be an opportunity to have books inscribed by the author. Copies of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon will be available for sale for $20, including tax, with a portion of the sales benefiting ATASK. The performance begins at 3:00pm. The afternoon will conclude with a post-performance talkback and opportunity to meet the performers and production team.
A limited number of spots for 'dim sum with Grace' preceding the event are also still available for $88 per person.  This package includes lunch, personal meet & greet with the author, signed hardcover book, and a ticket to the performance.  Please contact James at to make arrangements.

Hope to see you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Participate in WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS and win a gift from me!

Kate also challenged independent bookstores to handsell  The Great Green Heist. To sweeten the pot, I will give any bookstore who participates a print from my etsy storeOnce you start selling, just contact me at with your mailing address and I'll get the print out to you! Let's make The Great Green Heist a bestseller!

So this whole WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS campaign* has really gotten my ginger up. Like I said, it bothers me that there are more cats than people of color invited to the BookCon and, now, most recently the official response to the controversy is that only industry people find the line-up problematic, not readers and customers. 

The sad thing is that to companies that run Bookcons it probably seems true. As author Kate Messner said in a recent blog post"At the end of the day, publishing is a business that needs to make money to survive. Given that reality, the best way for readers to ask for more diversity in children’s literature is not with words and tweets and blog posts alone but also with dollars."

Which is probably why the 3rd portion of the WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS campaign asks people to purchase diverse books and photograph them. Not sure what book to get?  In that same recent blog post by Kate**, she also challenged everyone to preorder the mg novel The Great Green Heist (which looks awesome!) 

So, to encourage participation in the  WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS campaign, I am having a giveaway!

I have pre-ordered the The Great Green Heist:

I have  a paperback copy of Starry River of the Sky

and I have restocked the prints in my etsy store:

If you participate in the WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS campaign, I will put your name in for a random drawing for one of these prizes. There are 3 parts of the campaign and you can enter for each part you participate in!

All you have to do is copy and paste the url of your photo (of your sign and/or your bookshelf as requested by the campaign, I'll just go by the honor system for the twitter chat!) in the comments section of this post. If there are a lot of entries, I'm happy to offer even more prizes! 

So, please spread the word and participate!

* I am not an organizer of the campaign nor did I have anything to do with its origins. I just think it's awesome and want people to support it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

We Need Diverse Books Campaign

So thanks to Facebook, I caught wind of the WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS campaign. I really encourage everyone participate! It's pretty sad that there are more cats than people of color invited to a premier book national book event (not that I don't like cats).  So, please take part in this campaign--I'm going to try to join the twitter chat on May 2nd even though I've never done one before (and I might be late because I'll be coming into MN about that time)!

Here's all the info, plus a link for the FB event:

Recently, there’s been a groundswell of discontent over the lack of diversity in children’s literature. The issue is being picked up by news outlets llike the NYT, CNN, EW, and many more. But while we individually care about diversity, there is still a disconnect. BEA’s Bookcon recently announced an all-white-male panel of “luminaries of children’s literature,” and when we pointed out the lack of diversity, nothing changed.

Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored. Here’s how:

On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.

For the visual part of the campaign:

• Take a photo holding a sign that says “We need diverse books because ___________________________.” Fill in the blank with an important, poignant, funny, and/or personal reason why this campaign is important to you.

• The photo can be of you or a friend or anyone who wants to support diversity in kids’ lit. It can be a photo of the sign without you if you would prefer not to be in a picture. Be as creative as you want! Pose the sign with your favorite stuffed animal or at your favorite library. Get a bunch of friends to hold a bunch of signs.

• However you want to do it, we want to share it! There will be a Tumblr at that will host all of the photos and messages for the campaign. Please submit your visual component by May 1st to with the subject line “photo” or submit it right on our Tumblr page here and it will be posted throughout the first day.

• Starting at 1:00PM (EST) the Tumblr will start posting and it will be your job to reblog, tweet, Facebook, or share wherever you think will help get the word out.

• The intent is that from 1pm EST to 3pm EST, there will be a nonstop hashtag party to spread the word. We hope that we’ll get enough people to participate to make the hashtag trend and grab the notice of more media outlets.

• The Tumblr will continue to be active throughout the length of the campaign, and for however long we need to keep this discussion going, so we welcome everyone to keep emailing or sending in submissions even after May 1st.

On May 2nd, the second part of our campaign will roll out with a Twitter chat scheduled for 2pm (EST) using the same hashtag. Please use #WeNeedDiverseBooks at 2pm on May 2nd and share your thoughts on the issues with diversity in literature and why diversity matters to you.

On May 3rd, 2pm (EST), the third portion of our campaign will begin. There will be a Diversify Your Shelves initiative to encourage people to put their money where their mouth is and buy diverse books and take photos of them. Diversify Your Shelves is all about actively seeking out diverse literature in bookstores and libraries, and there will be some fantastic giveaways for people who participate in the campaign! More details to come!

We hope that you will take part in this in any way you can. We need to spread the word far and wide so that it will trend on Twitter. So that media outlets will pick it up as a news item. So that the organizers of BEA and every big conference and festival out there gets the message that diversity is important to everyone. We hope you will help us by being a part of this movement.
Hope you will all be joining me!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

and another (yes, another!) one of my books hits the stage!

As if seeing Where the Mountain Meets the Moon onstage wasn't enough, I am so over-the-top-thrilled that Starry River of the Sky has also been adapted for the stage! It premieres TOMORROW at Stages Theatre in Hopkins, MN!

Here's a sneak peak of the set (all photos stolen from the Stages Theatre Facebook page! Hope they don't mind):
doesn't it look great?

as well as Peiyi and Rendi (displaying their mutual dislike!):

It seems hard to believe that I would have two novels adapted for the stage, but it makes more sense  when one realizes that Stages Theatre is the company who first adapted Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Their script is the one that Wheelock used to put on their show, which I think, in turn inspired places like the Bay Area Children's Theater and others see the book's stage potential. Stages Theatre is truly the visionary and not just in bringing my books to life (which is a feat in itself) but, also by having the courage to take on what others have thought as "ethnic stories" and revealing them as stories to be enjoyed by all.  Having both Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky produced as plays (hopefully to extreme success!) is, as my friend Janet Wong put, "a huge milestone for diversity in children's literature."

So, I am extremely grateful to them! I wasn't able to see the Stages Theater  production  of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (I had a production of my own to attend to), but I'm not missing this one! While I won't be at the premiere tomorrow, I will be at the May 3rd show! Schedule below:

Saturday, May 3rd 2014
Hopkins Jaycees Studio Theatre
1111 Mainstreet
Hopkins, MN 55343

Prior to the 1:00 pm Performance:
12:30 - 1:00 PM: Grace Lin book signing 
1:00 PM: Performance of Starry River of the Sky
2:15-2:45 PM: Talk with audience

Prior to the 7:00 pm Performance:
6:30-7:00 PM: Pre-show reception and Grace Lin book signing
7:00-8:15 PM: Performance of Starry River of the Sky

So, if you are local to the area--please, go see the show! If you aren't local, please spread the word! If it does well, maybe, just like what happened with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, it'll catch the eye of other places and Starry River of the Sky could be performed in a theater near you! I can dream, anyway...

More info about the show HERE!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Belated Hong Kong post: A Banner Day!

I've been so wrapped up in current happenings, that I've been remiss in posting about past events! I've had some wonderful memories that need to be noted, if only for my own posterity.

My trip to Hong Kong was filled with memorable moments! They talk about banner years, banner days--well, I had a banner visit! Literally!

First, there was the banner on awesome HKIS librarian Amy Robinson:

And then there was a contest for the students, where they designed welcomed banners for your truly:

And the winners of the contest had their designs made into actual banners:

Aren't they neat?

Friday, April 18, 2014

fortune cookie friday

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
- Lao Tzu

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

an "epoch" in my life

There's a scene in the book Penderwicks on Gardam Street  where one of the sisters, Jane, has her play performed and she thrilled beyond measure--when she realizes, “... all this was the result of her imagination come to life.”

Well, this weekend, I felt the same way! I truly had, as Anne of Green Gables would say, an "epoch" in my life. Because, for the first time, I was able to see my book performed as a play!

Being the author of the book, Wheelock let me have some sneak peaks before the show. Unfortunately, I was so captivated by everything, I didn't take that many photos! But here are some that I did take.

First, there was the set. It simple, but so effective! One of my favorite parts of the show is the fact that the never had the moon and the mountain onstage together until the very end...until the "mountain meet the moon." Such a subtle but effective touch!

 And then there were the costumes and props! They were amazing! I'm really sad that I didn't take more pictures. There were more than 70 costumes to create and the wardrobe people made all of them (working until the crack of dawn before the show, I am told). I was so impressed! These are the heads for the stone lions and the green tiger:

And then right before the curtain opened, I sneaked in and saw the performers:

 including some of my favorite characters, the monkeys:

And then it was SHOWTIME!

And it was wonderful.

Truly, truly, I loved it! I thought it was the perfect stage adaptation. The actress, Caroline Workman,  who played Minli was incredible, I couldn't believe she was only 14 years old. She had the perfect balance of earnestness, enthusiasm and optimism. And Ba (played by Michael Tow) truly captured the kindness of the character I envisioned while Ma (Grace Napier) was played with just the right mix of vulnerability and bitterness. For her part, Rain Dragon adored Dragon (Stewart Evan Smith) and has been talking about "Red Dragon" ever since the show.  But ALL the actors and actresses were marvelous!

And Wheelock, true to their "color-blind casting" added some surprising but completely cool things. For example, one small part was given to a deaf actor who signed in Chinese sign language!

So, obviously I ♥ the show!

At the end of Saturday's show, they asked me to come onstage, which was another thrill...

Which I will truly remember my whole life!

Many people have asked me if the show will be coming to their area. All I can say is, I wish it would! Wheelock decided to produce Where the Mountain Meets the Moon after someone on their advisory board heard (and saw) the Stages production in MN. After seeing that show, she brought the script to Wheelock and the rest is history!

So if you'd like to have the show come to your area, I'd suggest doing the same. Find a local theater company and recommend  the play. The script is available and I think Wheelock might even rent out their costumes and props!  Or if you are interested in the musical version, you could even contact the Bay Area Children's Theater about their script! I'd love to see the story performed everywhere, and not just for selfish reasons.

But, in the meantime, please see the Wheelock show! You won't be disappointed!

Monday, April 14, 2014

on my desk monday

It's a goldfish prop from the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon play! I had the most amazing weekend participating in its premiere--I'll post more tomorrow, but in the meantime go see the show! If you enjoyed the book, you'll love the play!

Friday, April 11, 2014

fortune cookie friday

"If you hurry through long days, you will hurry through short years."
- Chinese Proverb

Thursday, April 10, 2014

still talking

I'm at the Texas Library Association and for the first time in what feels like forever, I reunited with my Hi-YAH! sisters, Justina Chen and Janet Wong:
Justina Chen, me and Janet Wong 

I call them my Hi-YAH! sisters because a million years ago (in 2006) the three of went on what we called the Hi-YAH! tour;  a nationwide tour to bring attention to Asian YA and Children's Literature in honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month:

the three of us in 2006
During that tour we talked about the lack of diversity in children's literature, the problems books with minority characters had breaking the stereotype of being niche and unmarketable and how to make readers see that multicultural literature was literature for everyone. 

Well, it's been eight years since we that tour and, ironically, we're still having the same conversation, over and over again.

It's tempting to think that nothing has changed, but they have. Not huge, big steps but there have been steps. I know I have been going on and on about the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon play  and the other performances of my book that have and will occur, but, honestly,  it isn't solely about me. Eight years ago, perhaps a theater wouldn't have taken a chance with such an "ethnic" play.  But  now  places like Wheelock are producing it and I truly want it to be a success. Because if it does really well it's another step that shows that a story like Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, an "Asian, multicultural, ethnic story," is a story everyone can enjoy. 

And would be a great way to continue an eight year conversation. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Belated Hong Kong post: Man Mo Temple

After the Big Buddha, we went to Man Mo Temple--another place I had visited last time.  I thought the incense was less stifling this time (however, I was soon to find out that was just because my nasal passages were blocked as my illness was just starting to get going) and I was able to gaze at the mesmerizing incense coils:

And be enchanted by the lanterns:

As well as the overall ambiance:

But I admit it was the less picturesque  things outside that made me happiest. I found out I  am supposed to have a wonderful year this year! This chart--with its recommended "lucky accessory" list--told me so:

And, even with the year's past illness and upcoming craziness, I believe I will.  Even though they weren't on the list,  I have two accessories that I am sure are extremely lucky.

Don't you agree?

Monday, April 7, 2014

on my desk monday

It's the Korean version of Starry River of the Sky! It's on my desk as I am just finishing up my monthly (well, it's supposed to be monthly but lately it's been every other month) newletter. I'm giving this Korean edition away to a newsletter subscriber (I do a book giveaway every newsletter). If you want to subscribe to my newsletter, you can HERE.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Another event!

In honor of the  Where the Mountain Meets the Moon performance, I will be participating in another (yes, another) event!

Benefiting the Chinese Historical Society of New England, I will be giving a special "Embracing the Multicultural Label" presentation as well as discussing the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon performance adaptation.

Sunday, April 13th at 1 pm
Film Lecture Hall
Newton North High School
457 Walnut St., Newton, MA
Tickets available HERE!
A book signing and reception will follow.

Please come! I know it's a little late notice, so please spread the word even if you can't come yourself. But I hope to see you!

As usual, please check my event calendar for updates and changes to where I'll be!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

belated Hong Kong post: seeing the big buddha again

Before I got so sick in Hong Kong, we were able to one fun thing--visit the Big Buddha! Seeing the Big Buddha was definitely a highlight on my last trip so I'm really glad I got to go again, this time bringing the Sasquatch and Rain Dragon!

It was a lot colder and mistier than last time though:

But that just gave the Big Buddha more ambiance: 

Last time, I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and was looking much more stylish:

But I think I accessorized better this time:

And when I went up last time, I had a lot less weight to carry:

But I think I carry that extra 20 pounds or so pretty well, don't you think?

I think the Big Buddha was happy to see us! I know I was really happy to see him again.

Because he has a beautiful view:

It's inspired what I think may be the title of my new novel! But, I won't share it just yet...

Right now, I'm going to keep it a secret between me and the Big Buddha.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Where I'll be at Wheelock!

If you haven't noticed, I'm super excited about the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon production at Wheelock! It opens next week, but it's still not too late to get tickets. I'm going to be there the opening weekend as part of their grand festivities. Below is my event schedule as well as all the fun things they have planned! I hope to see you!!

Friday, April 11th 2014
150 The Riverway, Boston
6-7:30 pm: Celebrate and Chat with Grace Lin, Puppet-Making workshop, Presentation of the WHEEL Award, and Grand Procession of Puppets

Saturday, April 12th 2014
150 The Riverway, Boston 
1-3pm: Draw a Dragon with Grace Lin, Traditional Chinese Dragon Dance Performance and Dragon Dance Workshop for Kids

Check my event calendar for any updates!