Laurence Yep
ALMA nomination 2015

USBBY

11/1/13

ALMA Nominating Committee
LAURENCE YEP is the critically acclaimed author of over sixty books
for children and young adults, including two Newbery H...
BIOGRAPHY
Laurence Yep in brief:
Birthdate: June 14, 1948 (aged 65)
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA
Nationality: Chines...
class where he was able to pass without learning how to speak
the language.5
He felt like an outsider at school, thought o...
In 1975, Laurence received a doctorate degree in English
literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo, wher...
stories allowed Yep to create a world, a culture that he felt he
was lacking while growing up. Yep feelshis stories have a...
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Laurence Yep began publishing professionally with ‗‗The Selchey Kids‘‘ in If (1968), and
first novel Sweetwat...
L'ecureuilEnsorcele. Illus. Dirk Zimmer. Trans. Marie-ClaudFavrecu. SaintLambert: Heritage, 1989.
16. The Rainbow People.I...
40. The Case of the Lion Dance, New York: HarperCollins, 1998.
Mondadori (Italy)
41. The Cook’s Family, New York: Putnam, ...
Adult Short Fiction
 ―The Selchey Kids‖in Worlds of If (Feburary, 1968); subsequently reprinted in
World’s Best Science F...
Articles:
 "Writing Dragonwings." Reading Teacher. Vol. 30, No. 4 (January 1977): 359363.
 "Fantasy and Reality." Horn B...
Kind Hearts &
Gentle Monsters

Dragon of the
Lost Sea

The Mark Twain
Murders

• Published in
1982

• Published in
1982

•...
The Lost Garden

Dragon War

Dragon Gate

The Butterfly Boy

• Published in
1991

• Published in
1992

• Published in
1993...
Hiroshima

Ribbons

The Khan’s
Daughter

The Dragon
Prince

The Case of the
Goblin Pearls

• Published in
1995

• Publishe...
When the Circus
Came to Town

• Published in
2001

The Traitor

• Published in
2003

The Dragon's
Child

• Published in
20...
City of Fire

The Star Maker

Dragons of Silk

City of Ice

City of Death

• Published in
2009

• Published in
2011

• Pub...
AWARDS

2005: LAURA INGALLS
WILDER AWARD

1990: National
Endowment for the Arts
fellowship
1975: Doctorate degree
from Sta...
The Earth Dragon Awakes
• 2007 Children's Choices; International Reading Association
• 2007 Best Children's Books of the Y...
When the Circus Came to Town
• 2002-2003 Cochecho Readers' Award; Nominee; Dover, New
Hampshire
• 2003 Best Children's Boo...
The Case of the Firecrackers
• 2002 Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee
• 2002 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Gr...
The Dragon Prince
• 1997 Reading Magic Award; Parenting
• 1997 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Folklore, Po...
Dragon's Gate
• 1993 California Book Awards: Young Adult Literature
• 1994 John and Patricia Beatty Award
• 1994 John Newb...
The Man Who Tricked a Ghost
• 1996 North Carolina Children's Book Awards Winner: Picture Book

Dragon War
• 1995 Books for...
The Rainbow People
• 1989 Parenting Best Books of the Year
• 1989 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award
• 1989 Reading Magic ...
Dragon of the Lost Sea
• 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition;
H.W. Wilson; United States

S...
Dragonwings
• 1975 Listed - New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year
• 1976 John Newbery Medal Honor Book
• 1976 Childr...
REVIEWS
Laurence Yep's historical fantasy novels see the past in a special way. After meticulous
research, Yep breathes li...
CITY OF FIRE
Book #1 in the “City Trilogy”
Quotes:
“As usual, Yep successfully mixes adventure, history
(of the often over...
“This action-packed tale takes readers on an unforgettable journey through an alternate
version of our world in 1941—a wor...
CITY OF ICE
Book #2 in The City Trilogy
“The reader becomes immersed in the elaborately
complex saga complete with its int...
American Dragons
"If there is one animal that is synonymous with Asian
mythology and art--and the heart--it is the dragon,...
dreamlike legend that has been handed down through the generations.But while the
Owl-Spirit helps Casey to find her way as...
Dream Soul
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
September 25, 2000
In The Star Fisher, Yep drew on his mother's stories of
g...
―Yep has done a brilliant job weaving fact and fiction into this poignant story. He brings
to life the harsh treatment the...
For more than 15 yearsLaurence Yep has been writing accomplished fiction for young
readers about Chinese-Americans. "Drag ...
A Chinese folk tale Joan tells to Emily provides the metaphor for the complex theme of
mixed allegiances and mother-daught...
approaches, this seems unlikely: Uncle Chester loses money at the racetrack and can't
find work, and Artie, counting on hi...
compassion, community and tolerance, this story is among Yep's most assured. With
dry humor and a keen ear for dialogue, t...
Interviews, Biographies and More
May 16, 2008
Laurence Yep writes books that draw from his Chinese American background yet...
Marcia Baghban Conversation with Laurence Yep, Spring 2000
http://www.soentpiet.com/Baghban%20interview.pdf
Laurence Yep: Strategies For Living
Interview with Locus Online posted Wednesday 14 July 2010 @ 9:45 am PDT
http://www.loc...
stories, to have some person who doesn’t quite know the milieu. He’s the point of view, so the
audience can connect with t...
boy. They were such vivid characters that I tore up the first six drafts and started all over. It
turned into a novel call...
Were your parents immigrants, and if so, do you know what their journey to America was
like?
My mother was actually born i...
there's a dragon inside each of us. In fact, my wife hates it when I'm doing a dragon book,
because I turn very dragonish....
Oh yes, I loved Robert Heinlein because he taught me how to write first-person narratives. In
one page he made a character...
California. The way I was raised, I was always an outsider in both areas, even though I had
friends in both. So I think I'...
Do you have any final words for the audience?
Well, it's been a pleasure talking to you. I look forward to reading your bo...
Laurence Yep ALMA nomination
Laurence Yep ALMA nomination
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Laurence Yep ALMA nomination

1,473 views

Published on

These are Laurence Yep nomination materials for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. In this document you can view Laurence Yep's biography, read about his work, including bibliography, references to translations as well as list of reference material about Mr. Yep.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is an international award for children's and young adult literature. The award was established by the Swedish government in 2002.

It is presented annually to one or more laureates irrespective of language or nationality to writers, illustrators, storytellers or reading promoters.

The aim of the award is to strengthen and increase interest in literature for children and young adult all over the world. Children's rights globally is the foundation of our work.
http://www.alma.se/

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,473
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Laurence Yep ALMA nomination

  1. 1. Laurence Yep ALMA nomination 2015 USBBY 11/1/13 ALMA Nominating Committee
  2. 2. LAURENCE YEP is the critically acclaimed author of over sixty books for children and young adults, including two Newbery Honor award winners: Dragonwings and Dragon’s Gate.Winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for his contributions to children‘s literature, Mr. Yep grew up in San Francisco, CA, USA, where he was born. He attended Marquette University, graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and received his PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He lives in Pacific Grove, California, USA with his wife, author and editor Joanne Ryder.Learn more about the Author Laurence Michael Yep‘sillustrious list of published works includes the Newbery Honor BooksDragonwings and Dragon's Gate. He is a hugely prolific writer, penning such series of books as Tiger’s Apprentice and, most recently, City Trilogy.He has written numerous standalone novels and picture books, plus non-fiction on various topics, autobiography, plays, and retold Chinese and Chinese-American folktales and legends, notably in The Rainbow People.Learn more about Laurence Yep Books Two-time Newbery Honor Award winner, Laurence Yep was awarded a 1990 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and was the 2005 recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for contribution to children‘s literature. Full honor roll of numerous prestigious Awards is below. Reviews Interviews, Biographies & More “I love writing. I think of writing as a special way of seeing." Laurence Yep
  3. 3. BIOGRAPHY Laurence Yep in brief: Birthdate: June 14, 1948 (aged 65) Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA Nationality: Chinese-American Gender: Male Education: Ph.D., English literature Name in Chinese: 葉祥添; in Pinyin: YèXiángtiān; Laurence Yep was born June 14, 1948, in San Francisco, California, the son of Yep GimLew (Thomas Gim), a postal clerk and Franche Lee, a homemaker. His older brother, Thomas named him after studying a particular saint.1Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After troubling times during the Depression, he was able to open a grocery store in an African-American neighborhood.2Growing up in United States in a Chinese home in a predominantly African-American neighborhood where his parents operated a small grocery store above which he lived, Laurence often felt torn and an outsider. His father worked long hours in their corner grocery store, often with the help of Laurence and his brother.3 As a boy, Laurence attended a bilingual parochial school in San Francisco's Chinatown, even though his family did not speak Chinese at home.4 Just like Casey Young, a later character in his book Child of the Owl, Yep was placed in the lower-level Chinese 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Yep http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/yep.html 3 http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yep/ 4 http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yep/ 2 Yep on Yep: “I was born and raised in an African American neighborhood of San Francisco but went to school in Chinatown so I didn’t confront white American culture until high school. So, as a child, the popular American novels set in the white suburbs seemed preposterous to me. In those books, every child had a bicycle and seemed to leave their front door locked. In contrast, no one I knew had a bicycle and everyone had at least three locks on their doors. Instead, I loved science fiction and fantasy because in those books, children were taken from our everyday world and brought to a place where they had to learn a strange new language and customs. Those books talked about adapting and that’s something that I did every time I got on and off the bus. As a result of these experiences, I’ve always been fascinated by the figure of the Outsider and have pursued that figure in both my writing, teaching and research.
  4. 4. class where he was able to pass without learning how to speak the language.5 He felt like an outsider at school, thought of himself as a scientist and expected to become a chemist when he grows up.That added to his continuous feeling of being out of place, which he later expressed in many of his books. When he entered a Catholic high school in San Francisco, CA, USA he continued his interest in chemistry but became equally intrigued with writing. There he discovered science fiction and began his own writing.6One day his teacher told him and a couple of his friends that to get an “A” grade, they had to get a piece of writing accepted by a national magazine.7 While his first submission was rejected, he continued to write, publishing his first story at age 18. He was paid a penny per word by a science fiction magazine. However, the decision to become a writer did not come until he entered college at Marquette. Yep attended Marquette University in 1966, where he met and became friends with the literary magazine editor, Joanne Ryder. Couple of years later Laurence has transferred to the University of Californiaat Santa Cruz, which he graduated in 1970. The couple continued their friendship, and Joanne introduced him to children's literature and later asked him to write a book for children, while she was working at Harper & Row. The result was his first science fiction novel, Sweetwater, published by Harper & Row in 1973.8 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Yep http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a17464/Laurence-Yep/ 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Yep 8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Yep 6 Yep on Yep: When I was a senior in high school, I had an English teacher who said if I wanted to get an “A” in his course, I would have to get something accepted by a national magazine. He later retracted the threat when I proved I had tried by showing him the rejection letter. But I got bitten by the bug of writing. When I But I got bitten by the bug of writing. When I was 18, I sold my first story, a tale about a half-human hero, which was later selected for an anthology, World’s Best Science Fiction of 1969. I continued to publish science fiction stories about Outsiders—either about alienated heroes or even stories about aliens told in the first-person. When an editor asked me to write a novel for children, it was natural to write Sweetwater, about a human boy who is more comfortable with aliens than he is with his own kind.
  5. 5. In 1975, Laurence received a doctorate degree in English literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he wrote dissertation on William Faulkner's early novels.9 By age 28, Yep had not only written a long Ph.D. dissertation on William Faulkner, he had also won a prestigious Newbery Honor Award. That award impactedthe course of his career, allowing him to quit his itinerant teaching jobs to focus on writing.10 Laurence close friendship with Joanne slowly grew into love and the couple was married in 1984.11 They now live in Pacific Grove, California, where Yep continues to write and teach.12He has taught writing and Asian American Studiesat Foothill College, San Jose City College, the University of California at Berkeley, and UC Santa Barbara.13 As a testament to his popularity and longevity as a writer, Laurence Yep won a second Newbery Honor Award eighteen years later in 1994. Yep's greatest challenge may be that he has more ideas than time. Whether it's a character on the bus, pelicans on the beach, or an old history book at the library, Laurence Yep finds inspiration all around him — and then his imagination does the rest.14 Many of his books are about young people from multicultural backgrounds, with characters feeling alienated or not fitting into their surroundings and environment, something Yep has struggled with since childhood. Most of his life, he has had the feeling of being out of place, whether because he was the nonathlete in his athletic family or because he is Chinese and once lived in Chinatown but does not speak the language. He says that writing has helped him in his own search for cultural identity.15Laurence Michael Yep calls to the multicultural aspect of the young adult literary world. A Chinese-American, Yep writes realistic fiction, science fiction, and fantasy for children, young adults, and adults. His concerns are reflected in his many works by exhibiting viewpoints dealing with cultural alienation and racial conflict. The characters' use of imagination and the need for tolerance by others are prevalent themes in his work. These Yep on Yep: But at the same time that I had been writing science fiction, I had been also exploring my own roots as a Chinese American. In America in the 1960s, there was very little material available on Chinese American history so I had to do my own research. It was a bit like searching for toothpicks scattered about a field until I had enough to begin building a house. With my next novel, I not only used my historical research but also the insights I had gained writing about Outsiders in my earlier fiction. In Dragonwings, a 19th-century Chinese American and his son defy custom and tradition to build their own airplane. The book has won numerous awards, including a Newbery Honor. The Chinatown that I knew as a boy was small so everyone knew one another. The same thing happened with the Chinatown that I had created in my imagination. The characters from Dragonwings began telling me stories about their friends and family and became the Golden Mountain Chronicles, a series of 9 novels that covers 150 years and records how America has changed a Chinese American family and how they changed America in turn. Dragon’s Gate, another novel in the Chronicles, 9 http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/laurence-yep wasabout the building of the 10 http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yep/ transcontinental railroad. It later 11 http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2010/07/laurence-yep-strategies-for-living/ received my second Newbery 12 http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/Kids/AuthorsAndIllustrators/ContributorDetail.aspx?CId=12929 Honor. 13 http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2010/07/laurence-yep-strategies-for-living/ http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yep/ 15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Yep 14
  6. 6. stories allowed Yep to create a world, a culture that he felt he was lacking while growing up. Yep feelshis stories have appeal for teens because the protagonists are often outsiders, a commonality shared with teens.16 Several of Yep's books have received numerous awards. Dragonwingswas named one of the New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year (1975), a Newbery Medal Honor Book (1976), a Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book (1976). Child of the Owl was named one of the School Library Journal's Best Books for Spring and one of the New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year (1977). The Rainbow People was named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book (1989).17 Laurence once said: “Probably the reason why much of my writing has found its way to a teenage audience is that I'm always pursuing the theme of being an outsider — an alien — and many teenagers feel they're aliens. All of my books have dealt with the outsider — from the aliens of Sweetwater to alienated heroes such as the Chinese-American aviator in Dragonwings”.18 Yep on Yep: At that same time that I was researching Chinese American history, I was also studying four millennia of Chinese myth and especially the folktales. I came to understand that folktales were strategies for living, giving the recipes for health, wealth and happiness. More than that, these tales could give perspective on poverty and death by setting them within the grander panorama of life. So I began re-telling them as picture books and collections of tales for which I have received several awards. I also began wondering what would happen if some of these Chinese gods and mythic creatures left China to come to America just as humans had. Would America change them just it had my own my own family and what impact would these magical creatures have on America? I’ve written several chapter books and three series of fantasy novels about what I think these transformations might be like.” 16 http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/yep.html http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a17464/Laurence-Yep/ 18 http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/laurence-yep 17
  7. 7. BIBLIOGRAPHY Laurence Yep began publishing professionally with ‗‗The Selchey Kids‘‘ in If (1968), and first novel Sweetwater appeared in 1973. He recently published a conclusion to his City Trilogy series with a book City of Death (2013). Below is a list of Laurence Yep works in date order, segregated by main type of work into: Children‘s Novels Children‘s Short Fiction Adult Novels Adult Short Fiction Plays Film scripts Game designs Edited work Articles Pictorial Bibliography Children’s Novels 1. Sweetwater. New York: Harper & Row, 1973. (London, Faber & Faber: 1973) 2. Dragonwings. New York: Harper & Row, 1975; Wisdom Culture Medium (Republic of China (Taiwan) Hangilsa (South Korea) Lanoo (Dutch language) ShobunSha (Japanese) 龙翼( Chinese) 3. Child of the Owl. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. 猫头鹰的孩子( Chinese) 4. Sea Glass. New York: Harper & Row, 1979. 5. Dragon of the Lost Sea. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. Hayakawa Shobo (Japanese) 6. Kind Hearts and Gentle Monsters. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. 7. The Mark Twain Murders. New York: Four Winds, 1982. 8. Liar, Liar. New York: Morrow, 1983. 9. The Serpent's Children. New York: Harper & Row, 1984. 10. The Tom Sawyer Fires. New York: Morrow, 1984. 11. Dragon Steel. New York: Harper & Row, 1985. 12. Mountain Light. New York: Harper & Row, 1985. 山光 (Chinese) 13. Shadow Lord: A Star Trek Novel No. 22. New York: Pocket Books, 1985. 14. Monster Makers, Inc. New York: Arbor House, 1986. 15. The Curse of the Squirrel. Illus. Dirk Zimmer. New York: Random House, 1987;
  8. 8. L'ecureuilEnsorcele. Illus. Dirk Zimmer. Trans. Marie-ClaudFavrecu. SaintLambert: Heritage, 1989. 16. The Rainbow People.Illustrated by David Wiesner. New York: Harper & Row, 1989. 彩虹人(Chinese) 17. Dragon Cauldron. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 18. The Star Fisher. New York: Morrow, 1991. 19. Tongues of Jade. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 20. The Lost Garden. Englewood Cliffs: Messner, 1991. 21. Dragon War. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. 22. Dragon's Gate. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. Wisdom Culture Medium (Republic of China (Taiwan) TokumaShoten (Japan) NahdetMisr(Arabic) 龙门( Chinese) 23. The Butterfly Boy. Illus. Jeanne M. Lee. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1993. 24. The Man Who Tricked a Ghost. Illustrated byIsadore Seltzer. Mahwah, NJ: Bridgewater, 1993. 25. The Shell Woman & the King: A Chinese Folktale. Illus. Yang Ming-Yi. New York: Dial, 1993. 26. The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes. Illus. Jean and Mou-sien Tseng. New York: Scholastic, 1994. 27. The Ghost Fox. Illus. Jean and Mou-sien Tseng. New York: Scholastic, 1994. Italian: Mondadori (Italy) French: Scholastic Canada (French edition) Spanish: Scholastic Espanol (Spanish edition) 28. The Junior Thunder Lord Illus. Robert Van Nutt. Mahwah, NJ: Bridgewater, 1994. The Canadian dance troupe, Sun Ergos, performs this story as a dance. 29. Tiger Woman. Illus. Robert Roth. Mahwah, NJ: Bridgewater, 1994. 30. The City of Dragons. Illus. Jean and Mou-sien Tseng. New York: Scholastic, 1995. 31. Later, Gator. New York: Hyperion, 1995. TokumaShoten (Japan) 32. Thief of Hearts. New York: Harper, 1995. 33. Tree of Dreams: Ten Tales from the Garden of Night. Illus. Isadore Seltzer. Mahwah, NJ: Bridgewater, 1995. 34. Hiroshima. New York: Scholastic, 1995. 35. Ribbons New York: Putnam, 1996. 36. The Khan’s Daughter. Illus. by Jean and Mou-sien Tseng. New York: Scholastic, 1996. Froebel House Co., Ltd (South Korea) 37. The Dragon Prince. Illustrated by KamMak. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. 38. The Case of the Goblin Pearls. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. Mondadori (Italy) 39. The Imp that Ate My Homework. Illustrated by Benrei Huang. New York: HarperCollins, 1998
  9. 9. 40. The Case of the Lion Dance, New York: HarperCollins, 1998. Mondadori (Italy) 41. The Cook’s Family, New York: Putnam, 1998. 42. The Case of the Firecrackers, New York: HarperCollins, 1999. Mondadori (Italy) 43. The Amah (New York: Putnam, 1999). 44. The Magic Paintbrush. New York: HarperCollins, 2000 45. Dream Soul. New York: HarperCollins, 2000 46. Cockroach Cooties (Bug Boy). Hyperion Book CH, 2000. 47. The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner, California, 1852 (My Name is America). New York: Scholastic Inc. 2000. 48. Lady of Ch'iaoKuo: Warrior of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531. New York: Scholastic Inc. 2001. 49. When the Circus Came to Town. New York: HarperCollins, 2001 50. Angelfish (New York: Putnam, 2001). 51. Spring Pearl, Middleton, WI: Pleasant Company, 2002. 52. Skunk Scout. Disney-Hyperion, 2003 53. The Traitor. New York: HarperCollins, 2003 54. Tiger’s Apprentice, New York: HarperCollins, 2003. AsunaroShobo (Japan) 55. Tiger’s Blood, New York: HarperCollins, 2005. 56. Tiger Magic, New York: HarperCollins, 2006. 57. When the Earth Dragon Wakes, New York: HarperCollins, 2006. 58. The Dragon’s Child, New York: HarperCollins, 2008. 59. Dragon Road, New York: HarperCollins, 2008. 60. Mia, Middleton, WI: American Girl, 2008. 61. Bravo, Mia, Middleton, WI: American Girl, 2008. 62. Auntie Tiger, New York: HarperCollins, 2008. 63. City of Fire, New York: Tom Doherty, 2009. 64. The Star Maker, New York: HarperCollins, 2011. 65. Dragons of Silk, New York: HarperCollins, 2011. 66. City of Ice, New York: Tom Doherty, 2011. 67. City of Death, New York: Tom Doherty, 2013. Children’s Short Fiction  ―The Lightwell‖ in Home edited by Michael Rosen (New York: HarperCollins, 1992)  ―The Great Rat Hunt‖ in When I Was Your Age Vol. I edited by Amy Ehrlich (Somerville, MA: 1996). Adult Novels  Seademons. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.  Shadow Lord: Star Trek The Original Series Novel No. 22(New York: Pocket Books, 1985)
  10. 10. Adult Short Fiction  ―The Selchey Kids‖in Worlds of If (Feburary, 1968); subsequently reprinted in World’s Best Science Fiction of 1969 edited by Donald Wollheim (New York: Ace Books, 1969)  ―In a Sky of Daemons,‖ Protostars edited by David Gerrold and Stephen Goldin (New York: Ballantine, 1971).  ―The Electric Neon Mermaid,‖ Quark 2 edited by Samuel R. Delany and Marilyn Hacker (New York: Paperback Books, 1971).  "My Friend, Klatu," in Signs and Wonders. Roger Elwood, comp. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1972. also in Visions of Tomorrow. Roger Elwood, ed. New York: Ace, 1976.  ―The Looking Glass Sea,‖ Strange Bedfellows edited by Thomas Scortia (New York: Random House, 1972).  ―The Eddystone Light,‖ Demon Kind edited by Roger Elwood (New York: Avon, 1973).  ―Monkey of the Mind,‖ Seattle Review Vol. XI, No. 1 (Spring/Summer, 1988).  The Chinese Teacher,‖ Zyzzyva (Spring, 2008). Plays:  ―In a Sky of Daemons,‖adapted from the story story and performed as part of the Science Fiction on Stage project of Playwrights Unlimited, The Exploratorium Theater, San Francisco, California, 1984.  Pay the Chinaman (one act), first performed by the Asian American Theater Company, 1987, and subsequently performed in 1991 by the Pan-Asian Repertory. It was published inBetween Worlds: Contemporary Asian-American Plays.MishaBerson, ed. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1990, pp.176-196.  Fairy Bones (one act), first performed by the Asian American Theater Company, 1987, subsequently performed in 1991 by the Pan-Asian Repertory.  Dragonwings, first performed by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 1991; subsequently performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, 1992. The play was published by Dramatists Play Service in New Yorkin 1993. Film scripts:  Dragonwings, 2008 Game Design:  Alice in Wonderland (Spinnaker, 1985). Edited Works:  American Dragons: Twenty-Five Asian American Voices. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.
  11. 11. Articles:  "Writing Dragonwings." Reading Teacher. Vol. 30, No. 4 (January 1977): 359363.  "Fantasy and Reality." Horn Book Vol. 54 (April 1978): 136.  "Attack of the Giant Teenage Space Dogs: Notes of a Science Fiction Film Fan." Top of the News. Vol. 39, No.1 (Fall 1982): 92-94.  "The Green Cord." Horn Book.Vol 65 (May-June 1989): 318-22.  "A Cord to the Past." CMLEA. Vol. 15 (Fall 1991): 8-10.  "A Garden of Dragons." The ALAN Review. Vol. 19, No. 3 (Spring 1992): 6-8.  ―Laura Ingalls Wilder acceptance speech.‖ Horn Book, 2005. Pictorial Bibliography Laurence Michael Yep calls to the multicultural aspect of the young adult literary world. A Chinese-American, Yep writes realistic fiction, science fiction, and fantasy for children, young adults, and adults. His concerns are reflected in his many works by exhibiting viewpoints dealing with cultural alienation and racial conflict. The characters' use of imagination and the need for tolerance by others are prevalent themes in his work. These stories allowed Yep to create a world, a culture which he felt he was lacking while growing up. Yep feelshis stories have appeal for teens because the protagonists are often outsiders, a commonality shared with teens.19 Sweetwater Child of the Owl Seademons Sea Glass •Published in 1973 (reprinted in 2004) 19 Dragonwings • Published in 1975 • Published in 1977 • Published in 1977 •Published in 1979 http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/yep.html
  12. 12. Kind Hearts & Gentle Monsters Dragon of the Lost Sea The Mark Twain Murders • Published in 1982 • Published in 1982 • Published in 1982 The Serpent’s Children Dragon Steel Mountain Light • Published in 1985 • Published in 1985 The Curse of the Squirrel The Rainbow People • Published in 1987 • Published in 1989 • Published in 1984 Liar, Liar • Published in 1983 The Tom Sawyer Fires • Published in 1984 Shadow Lord: A Star Trek Novel Monster Makers, Inc. • Published in 1985 • Published in 1986 Dragon Cauldron The Star Fisher Tongues of Jade • Published in 1991 • Published in 1991 • Published in 1991
  13. 13. The Lost Garden Dragon War Dragon Gate The Butterfly Boy • Published in 1991 • Published in 1992 • Published in 1993 • Published in 1993 The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes The Ghost Fox American The Shell Woman Dragons: Twenty& the King: A Five Asian Chinese Folktale American Voices •Published in •Published in 1993 1993 Tiger Woman • Published in 1994 The City of Dragons • Published in 1995 • Published in 1994 • Published in 1994 Later, Gator Thief of Hearts • Published in 1995 • Published in 1995 The Man Who Tricked a Ghost • Published in 1993 The Junior Thunder Lord • Published in 1994 Tree of Dreams: Ten Tales from the Garden of Night • Published in 1995
  14. 14. Hiroshima Ribbons The Khan’s Daughter The Dragon Prince The Case of the Goblin Pearls • Published in 1995 • Published in 1996 • Published in 1996 • Published in 1997 • Published in 1997 The Imp that ate my homework The Case of the Lion Dance The Cook’s Family The case of the firecrackers The Amah • Published in 1998 • Published in 1998 • Published in 1998 • Published in 1999 The Magic Paintbrush Dream Soul Cockroach Cooties (Bug Boy) • Published in 2000 • Published in 2000 • Published in 2000 • Published in 1999 The Journal of Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Wong Ming-Chung: Warrior of the A Chinese South, Southern Miner, California, 1 China, A.D. 531 852 •Published in 2000 •Published in 2001
  15. 15. When the Circus Came to Town • Published in 2001 The Traitor • Published in 2003 The Dragon's Child • Published in 2008 Angelfish Spring Pearl Skunk Scout • Published in 2001 • Published in 2002 • Published in 2003 The Tiger’s Apprentice Tiger's Blood Tiger Magic • Published in 2005 • Published in 2006 Auntie Tiger Dragon Road Mia Bravo, Mia • Published in 2008 • Published in 2008 • Published in 2008 • Published in 2008 • Published in 2003 The Earth Dragon Awakes • Published in 2006
  16. 16. City of Fire The Star Maker Dragons of Silk City of Ice City of Death • Published in 2009 • Published in 2011 • Published in 2011 • Published in 2011 • Published in 2013
  17. 17. AWARDS 2005: LAURA INGALLS WILDER AWARD 1990: National Endowment for the Arts fellowship 1975: Doctorate degree from State University of New York The Star Maker • 2010 Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars • 2012 Choices; Cooperative Children's Book Center Auntie Tiger • 2009 Children's Catalog Supplement to Nineteenth Edition; H. W. Wilson Company, USA The Dragon’s Child • 2008 NY Public Library's "One Hundred Titles for Reading & Sharing" • 2009 CCBC Choices Winner • 2009 Bank Street College of Education Best Childrens Books of the Year Winner • 2009 West Virginia Children's Choice Book Award Nominee • 2009 Northern California Book Award, Nominee Children's Literature
  18. 18. The Earth Dragon Awakes • 2007 Children's Choices; International Reading Association • 2007 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education; Outstanding Merit • 2007 Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, Supplement; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2007-2008 Cochecho Readers' Award; Nominee; New Hampshire • 2007-2008 Georgia Children's Book Award; Nominee; Grades 4-8; Georgia • 2007-2008 Great Stone Face Award; Nominee; New Hampshire • 2007-2008 Texas Bluebonnet Award; Master List; Texas • 2008 Core Collection: Science Themed Youth Novels; Booklist • 2008-2009 Gate City Book Award; Nominee; New Hampshire • 2008-2009 South Carolina Children's Book Award; Nominee; South Carolina • 2010 Sunshine State Young Reader's Book Award Nominee • 2010-2011 Voice of Youth Award; Nominee; 3rd and 4th Grades; Illinois The Tiger’s Apprentice • 2004 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eighth Edition • 2006 Georgia Children's Book Award Nominee The Traitor • 2004 Teachers' Choices; International Reading Association • 2004 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 2004 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People; National Council for the Social Studies • 2004 Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement; H.W. Wilson • 2004 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2005 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2006 Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson
  19. 19. When the Circus Came to Town • 2002-2003 Cochecho Readers' Award; Nominee; Dover, New Hampshire • 2003 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 2003 Great Stone Face Children's Book Award nominee • 2003 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People; National Council for the Social Studies NCSS • 2003 Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2003-2004 South Carolina Children's Book Award; Nominee • 2004-2005 Children's Crown Award; Nominee; Grades 3-6 • 2005 California Young Reader Medal Nominee • 2005 Golden Sower Award Nominee • 2005 Massachusetts Children's Book Award Nominee • 2005 Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award; Nominee • 2006 Sasquatch Reading Award Nominee • 2007 Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee Dream Soul • 2001 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 2001 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2002 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, 13th Edition; National Council of Teachers of English • 2002-2003 Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award Nominee • 2003 Mark Twain Award Nominee • 2005 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition; H.W. Wilson The Magic Paintbrush • 2001 Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2002 Georgia Children's Book Award Nominee • 2006 Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson
  20. 20. The Case of the Firecrackers • 2002 Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee • 2002 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, 13th Edition; National Council of Teachers of English • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature; Book Wholesalers, Inc. The Case of the Lion Dance • 1999 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, 12th Edition; National Council of Teachers of English • 1999 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 2001 Young Reader's Choice Award Nominee; Pacific NW Library Assoc. • 2003 Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages; Bank Street College of Education • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature The Imp that Ate My Homework • 1999 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 2000 Georgia Children's Book Awards Grades 4-8 • 2000 Nevada Young Reader's Award Nominee • 2000 Prairie Pasque Award Nominee • 2002 Land of Enchantment Book Award Nominee • 2003 Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature; Book Wholesalers The Case of the Goblin Pearls • 1998 Sunshine State Young Reader's Book Award Nominee • 1998 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 2001 Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8, Third Edition; National Council of Teachers of English • 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature; Book Wholesalers • 2005-2006 Voice of Youth Award; Nominee; 5th and 6th Grade; Illinois
  21. 21. The Dragon Prince • 1997 Reading Magic Award; Parenting • 1997 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Folklore, Poetry, and Song • 1997 Pick of the Lists (ABA) • 1997 Parenting Best Books of the Year Ages 4-8 • 1997 Los Angeles' 100 Best Books; IRA Children's Literature and Reading SIG and the Los Angeles Unified School District • 1997 Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of the Social Studies; National Council for the Social Studies NCSS • 1998 Best Children's Books of the Year; Bank Street College of Education • 1998 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People; National Council for the Social Studies NCSS • 2000 Oregon Patricia Gallagher Children's Choice Picture Book • 2000 Georgia Children's Literature Awards; Nominee; Grades K-4; Georgia, USA • 2003 Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages; Bank Street College of Education The Lost Garden • 2001 Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2002 Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve; California Department of Education • 2005 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition; H.W. Wilson Thief of Hearts • 1997 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1997 Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8, Second Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2001 Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes • 1995 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation
  22. 22. Dragon's Gate • 1993 California Book Awards: Young Adult Literature • 1994 John and Patricia Beatty Award • 1994 John Newbery Medal Honor Book • 1994 Notable Children's Books; ALSC; USA • 1996 High Interest-Easy Reading; NCTE; USA • 1996 Young Adult Reading Program; Grades 7-12; South Dakota • 1997 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1997 Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K8, Second Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1999 Immigrant Experience; Bank Street College of Education • 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2001 Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2002 Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve; California Department of Education; California • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature; Book Wholesalers • 2005 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2006 Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA American Dragons • 1994 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults; ALA • 1995 Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Twelfth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1996 High Interest-Easy Reading; NCTE • 1997 Senior High School Library Catalog, 15 Edition; H.W. Wilson • 1997 Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8, Second Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1998 Fighting Bigotry with Books; Bank Street College of Education • 2000 Middle & Junior High School Library Catalog, 8 Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2001 Sharing Cultures: Asian American Children's Authors; ALSC American Library Association; USA • 2002 Senior High School Library Catalog, 16 Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2005 Middle & Junior High School Library Catalog, 9 Edition; H.W. Wilson • 2007 Senior High Core Collection, 17 Edition; The H. W. Wilson
  23. 23. The Man Who Tricked a Ghost • 1996 North Carolina Children's Book Awards Winner: Picture Book Dragon War • 1995 Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Twelfth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA Tongues of Jade • 1991 Kirkus Book Review Stars • 1993 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, Tenth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1994 Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature; Book Wholesalers The Star Fisher • 1991 Lasting Connections; American Library Association; USA • 1991 Bulletin Blue Ribbons; Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books; USA • 1991 Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of the Social Studies; National Council for the Social Studies NCSS; USA • 1992 Christopher Award - Ages 10 and up • 1992 Teachers' Choices; International Reading Association; USA • 1993 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, Tenth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1995 West Virginia Literary Merit Award from the West Virginia Library Association (“for his contribution to Appalachian Literature”) • 1995-1996 Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award; Nominee; Minnesota • 1996 Nutmeg Children's Book Award; Nominee; Connecticut • 1999 Immigrant Experience; Bank Street College of Education • 2000 Dealing with Alienation; Bank Street College of Education • 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2001 Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA
  24. 24. The Rainbow People • 1989 Parenting Best Books of the Year • 1989 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award • 1989 Reading Magic Award Winner; USA • 1989 Notable Children's Books,; ALSC American Library Association; USA • 1989 Children's Editors' Choices (BL) • 1989 Children's Books (NY Public Library) • 1989 Notable Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC) • 1989 Children's Books (Library of Congress) • 1990 The USA Through Children's Books (ALA) • 1990 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book) • 1991 Indian Paintbrush Book Award; Nominee; Wyoming • 1993 Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, Tenth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2002 Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve; California Department of Education • 2003 Eureka! California in Children's Literature; Book Wholesalers, Inc.; USA • 2005 Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2006 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read; Cooperative Children's Book Center; USA Mountain Light • 1987 Young Adults' Choices; International Reading Association; USA Dragon Steel • 1986 listed - Child Study Association of America's Children's Books of the Year • 1988 Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Tenth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA
  25. 25. Dragon of the Lost Sea • 2000 Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson; United States Sea Glass • 1979 Commonwealth Club of California Silver Medal • 1982 Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Eighth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA Child of the Owl • 1977 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Fiction • 1977 listed - School Library Journal's Best Books for Spring • 1977 listed - New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year • 1978 Jane Addams Children's Book Awards • 1982 Best Books - Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Eighth Edition; National Council of Teachers of English; USA • 1982-1983 Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award; Nominee; Minnesota • 1992 Friends of Children and Literature (FOCAL) Award • 2000 Best Books - Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2001 Best Books - Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W. Wilson; USA • 2002 Best Books - Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve; California Department of Education • 2004 Best Books - Children's Books on Aging; ALSC American Library Association; USA
  26. 26. Dragonwings • 1975 Listed - New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year • 1976 John Newbery Medal Honor Book • 1976 Children’s Book Award from American Library Association • 1976 Carter G. Woodson Book Awards • 1976 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book • 1976 International Reading Association (IRA) Children's Book Awards • 1977 Boston Globe Book Award Honor Book • 1978 Mark Twain Award Nominee • 1979 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award • 1980 listed - New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age, &'81, '82 • 1984 Friends of Children and Literature (FOCAL) Award • 1995 Phoenix Award from the Children’s Literature Association • 2000 Best Books - Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition; H.W. Wilson USA • 2001 Best Books - Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition; H.W.Wilson USA • 2002 Best Books - Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve; California Department of Education, USA • 2005 Best Books - Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition; H.W. Wilson USA • 2006 Best Books - Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition; H.W.Wilson USA
  27. 27. REVIEWS Laurence Yep's historical fantasy novels see the past in a special way. After meticulous research, Yep breathes life into obscure historical events through memorable characters who are often cultural outsiders. While his writing is most known for engaging an adolescent audience, Yep is just as adept at capturing the imaginations of younger readers. Dragons, Chinese-American immigrants, fantasy, folklore, science fiction, and adventure are just a few of the common threads that are woven throughout Yep's work.20 Reviews related to following Laurence Yep works: City of Fire City of Ice American Dragons Child Of The Owl Dragonwings Dream Soul The Dragon’s Child The Rainbow People The Star Fisher The Star Maker Tongues of Jade When the Circus Came to Town Butterfly Boy 20 http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yep/
  28. 28. CITY OF FIRE Book #1 in the “City Trilogy” Quotes: “As usual, Yep successfully mixes adventure, history (of the often overlooked variety), colorful period detail, and magic with characters that young readers will want to follow into the next book in this promising planned trilogy.”—Publishers Weekly “…the cast is as engaging as it is diverse.”—Kirkus “…readers will be on tenterhooks awaiting the next episode of this exhilarating chase.”—Booklist “Readers will enjoy the bond that develops among the characters…Yep does a fine job of telling the story through multiple perspectives, and the descriptions of historical artifact, dragons, lap griffins (Scirye’s feathered pet with wings,) and shape shifters are vivid, giving this first installment in a trilogy just the right blend of history and fantasy. Yep fans will be pleased.”—VOYA 4Q 3P M “Yep’s varied human, animal, and mythic cast is reminiscent of those found in Lewis Carroll and L. Frank Baum. Readers who follow the diverse protagonists as they come to understand and love one another as family will be eager to follow their adventures into the next volume.”— School Library Journal “Yep’s writing is absolutely fantastic, and the blending of many cultures is done with grace and skill…it’s a lot of fun and promise sequels of equal caliber.”—School Library Journal Book Reviews by Young Adults “In his new book, *Yep+ again combines his regular themes of history, fantasy, and Asian culture into an exciting YA story set in an alternate world of 1941. City of Fire brings to life ancient myth and legend, in an easy and fun to read book…and should entertain readers looking for something new and different in a sea of Harry Potter-cloned books.”—Sacramento Book Review “A gifted storyteller, the author blends history and mythology with two young central characters who are on a quest that will be developed in two more novels…even reluctant readers will love this book. Rating: Five Golden Rings out of Five”—The Californian, Salinas, CA “Yep begins what promises to be a fantastical trilogy in City of Fire. The mixing of history and fantasy is well conceived and executed.”—Washington State Young Adult Review Group
  29. 29. “This action-packed tale takes readers on an unforgettable journey through an alternate version of our world in 1941—a world filled with magical beings such as dragon in human form, tiny “lap griffins,” reincarnations of legendary Chinese warriors, Japanese folk creature, and goddesses in disguise.”—Robots and Vamps.com “A story filled with action and attractive characters, this first novel in Laurence Yep's new series will delight any youngster who enjoys the interplay between mythical creatures (especially dragons) and humans. A gifted storyteller, the author blends history and mythology with two young central characters who are on a quest that will be developed in two more novels. It makes sense to follow this new series from the very beginning, and even reluctant readers will love this book.”—The Salinas Californian Rating: Five golden dragons out of five for "City of Fire." “Brilliant, exciting, and highly original, City of Fire is an absolutely magnificent fantasy adventure!”—T. A. Barron,bestselling author of The Great Tree of Avalon “This is the first book in a planned three-book series and should entertain readers looking for something new and different in a sea of Harry Potter-cloned books.”—San Francisco Book Review “Stolen relics, a journey on a antique flying carpet, chasing Badik and the evil Mr. Roland to the Hawaiian Islands, and traversing the inside of a volcano range are just a few of the adventures. Readers will yearn for the next tow books to continue the adventure.”—LMC Library Media Connection “Don't miss this exciting coming-of-age-and-into-adventure series!”—Bookloons.com
  30. 30. CITY OF ICE Book #2 in The City Trilogy “The reader becomes immersed in the elaborately complex saga complete with its intriguing narrative and intricate characters. Yep has displayed his considerable skill in building a magnificent adventure, mixing both history and fantasy. The characters, who narrate alternating chapters in both volumes, are both strong and frail, heroic yet frightened, accountable and immature. This reader is looking forward to the final book in this most enjoyable trilogy.”— VOYA 5Q 5P MJS “Yep’s second entry in the City Trilogy sings and crackles with as much detail and action as the first, and he deftly develops the tensions between Leech and Bayang. New readers have enough clues to feel instantly at home. Makes a great read aloud too.”—Booklist “Readers … will be eager to read more about Scirye’s adventures.” –School Library Journal “Readers who enjoy inner conflicts, barbed dialogue, casts replete with supernatural creatures and fantasy epics that don’t take themselves too seriously will find it a treat.” –Kirkus “Book 2 of the City Trilogy is a must for any collection seeing excitement over the prior book.”—The Midwestern Book Review “Another thrilling, fast-paced and imaginative adventure.”—Bookloons.com “The second Scirye alternate history fantasy continues the non-stop adventures of the heroine and her friends as they go from the heat of Hawaii to frozen Waste of the Artic. The story line is fast-paced…middle school children will want to join Scirye and her team and they traverse the iced tundra on their save the world quest.”—The Midwest Book Review “Middle school children will want to join Scirye and her team as they traverse the iced tundra on their save the world quest.” –Harriet Klausner, Baryon Magazine 120
  31. 31. American Dragons "If there is one animal that is synonymous with Asian mythology and art--and the heart--it is the dragon," writes Yep (The Rainbow People, Dragonwings), who adds that when Asians came to America, "these dragons left their tracks as they wandered into…that vast psychological wilderness created by the American Dream." His enlightening anthology of 25 stories, poems and essays by Asian Americans delves deeply, examining the inner lives of young people with roots in japan, China, India, Korea and Southeast Asia. Selections are set in the past and future as well as in the present, and nearly all raise questions about identity as protagonists choose to preserve or reject the values of their ancestors. For example, in "Who's Hu?" by LenseyNamioka, a Korean math wiz discovers that being true to herself is more important than gaining popularity by playing the role of an all-American girl. In "Rain Music," Longhang Nguyen traces the emotional pain of a Vietnamese girl who fulfills her parents' dream instead of her own desires. Relationships between adolescents and their parents, grandparents and peers remain a central focus throughout this volume. Arranged thematically in five sections accompanied by brief and eloquent commentaries by the editor, these writings speak to both Asian Americans and the general population; accordingly, they preserve and promote tolerance for minority cultures. Ages 12-up.‖ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)June 14, 1993 Child Of The Owl "I knew more about race horses than I knew about myself--I mean myself as a Chinese," says Casey, a street-wise, jeans-wearing twelve-year-old. Then her father Barney's gambling habit lands him in the hospital, the victim of a beating, and Casey is sent to live with her Paw-Paw (grandmother) in the small, tight world that was San Francisco's Chinatown during the early Sixties. Marked as an outsider by her inability to speak Chinese and, for the first time, questioning the Americanized values of friends like Tallulah ""Booger"" Chew (whose ambition is to design clothes for Katy Keene comics) and Gilbert, who models himself after James Dean, Casey comes to think of herself as a child of the Owl-Spirit--the family's ancestress according to Paw-Paw and the central figure of a long,
  32. 32. dreamlike legend that has been handed down through the generations.But while the Owl-Spirit helps Casey to find her way as an alien caught between two cultures and to feel close to the mother she never knew, it is the toughness she's learned from Barney that sends her out on a hunt for the burglar who steals Paw-Paw's valuable owl charm. Visions of herself as both a Kung Fu heroine and child of the owl clash when Casey, Booger, and Paw-Paw's elderly friend, Mr. Jeh, capture the thief and are horrified to discover his identity. Yet even the surprise ending fits seamlessly into Yep's vision, which combines the chiseled fantasy of Dragonwings (1975) with the hard-edged anxieties of growing up poor and non-white in the early Beatles era. This is played out against a background of underheated walk-up flats, cheap souvenir shops, and memories of the old China where dream-souls wandered the earth at night, a beautifully transmuted Chinatown legend, and an odds-on popular favorite as well.‖ Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)April 1, 1977 Dragonwings Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) July 1, 1975 In the beginning, all is strangeness to Moon Shadow as he leaves the Middle Kingdom to join his father in the Land of the Golden Mountain. . . only to end up in the Tang people's quarter of San Francisco where the drunken "demons" often beat up Tang men and his uncle Black Dog, an opium smoker and a crook, keeps the family all too involved with the brotherhoods. Later, Moon Shadow actually makes friends with a red-faced demon, the doughty Mrs. Whitlaw, and lives in the demon part of town until the earthquake comes. But this is mostly the story of Moon Shadow's devotion to his dreamer father, who is given the name Windrider by the Dragon King himself in a vision and who fulfills his destiny by building, at enormous sacrifice, a twelve horsepower airplane similar to the one the Wrights had flown only a few years before. Windrider (based loosely on an actual Chinese-American aviator) is a fascinating figure who believes deeply in the old myths and is entranced by the new magic of electricity, motor cars and aeronautics. Other elements, such as Moon Shadow's rapprochement with Mrs. Whit. law--he learns to drink a disgusting substance called cow's milk, she rethinks her old ideas about dragons--depend more on familiar tensions and humorous accommodations. Even so, this is a realm of exprience almost unknown to us demons. And the dream that becomes the plane Dragonwings lifts this into a world where truth and imagination are one.
  33. 33. Dream Soul Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) September 25, 2000 In The Star Fisher, Yep drew on his mother's stories of growing up Chinese in 1920S West Virginia; here, the same family heads into a culture clash at Christmas. Joan, the 15-year-old narrator, and her younger siblings itch to accept their neighbor's invitation to a Christmas party; their parents, however, think they should be celebrating Chinese holidays, "not American ones." Memorable characterizations and carefully articulated settings heighten the impact of this original and surprising story, which reconciles two seemingly opposing points of view by staying true to each. Ages 812. (Sept.) The Dragon's Child Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) April 21, 2008 This short novel about a father and son's journey from rural China to San Francisco in 1922 will firmly grip the target audience. The nine-year-old narrator, who is modeled on Laurence Yep's (Dragonwings) father, describes his shy reintroduction to his own father, a ―Guest of the Golden Mountain‖ (someone who lives in America) who has returned to his family's village in China, this time to bring the narrator back to San Francisco with him. The narrator perceives his father as rich and successful, but he also sees that his father sticks out ―like a flagpole‖ in his village. As the journey begins, the boy slowly learns hard truths: the father's impressive clothes have been rented, and he works as a houseboy (―The clan would have laughed at the notion,‖ the son notes grimly). All the while the two prepare for immigration tests to be administered at Angel Island outside San Francisco, knowing that failure means deportation; only during this test do readers finally learn the boy's name. Yep's use of the boy's perspective enables the reader to experience a spectrum of emotions (curiosity, homesickness, fear) in tandem with learning historical facts—a trick that lends the book both authenticity and charm. B&w photos not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
  34. 34. ―Yep has done a brilliant job weaving fact and fiction into this poignant story. He brings to life the harsh treatment these people had to undergo just to be a part of both their Chinese and American worlds.‖ ―He also has a vivid grasp of description, bringing his pages to life ("I loved to watch the crops grow and ripen until the land was covered by a living green fur. Then, when the water was drained away, the fur turned a beautiful gold. And when the wind blew, it was like a giant hand stroking a lion."). By Chris Shanley-Dillman, author of FINDING MY LIGHT and THE BLACK POND The Rainbow People Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) May 15, 1989 Here, the author of such sensitive depictions of the Chinese-American experience as Dragonwings anthologizes 20 folk tales told by Chinese immigrants in California. Culled from 69 stories collected in a 30's WPA project, the tales are organized into sections with themes like "Tricksters" or "Virtues and Vices," each with a thoughtful introduction placing the individual stories in the context of the feelings and background of the original tellers (most of them living in Oakland). Yep's telling is vigorous, often poetic, imbued with earthy humor and realism touched with fatalism. Most moving are a Rip Van Winkle-like tale of a man who gambles with the gods and comes home thousands of years later ("Homecoming"); and the title story, about a wanderer who sets the rainbow people free only to lose the one among them whom he's beginning to love. In his introduction, Yep mentions Kenneth Burke's description of folk tales as "strategies for living," a theme he has integrated effectively here in this trenchant tribute to the resonance of storytelling in a particular culture--a richly entertaining collection for readers and storytellers. A handsomely designed collection--Wiesner's understated b&w chapter openers are beautifully composed, counterpointing rather than competing with the stories. The Star Fisher The New York Times Book Review October 13, 1991 THE STAR FISHER ByLaurence Yep. 150 pp. New York: Morrow Junior Books. $12.95. (Ages 8 to 12)
  35. 35. For more than 15 yearsLaurence Yep has been writing accomplished fiction for young readers about Chinese-Americans. "Drag onwings," set in San Francisco, where Mr. Yep grew up, was a Newbery Honor book. Mr. Yep's grandparents, mother, aunts and uncles were the first Chinese family to settle in Clarksburg, W.Va., in 1927. He remembered the stories they told, and later kept files of them, so that, as he says, "West Virginia has always been more real to me than China." After "obtaining my mother's permission" Mr. Yep, who also teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley, has written a short novel for middle grade readers that is rich in detail culled from those family records and additional historical research. "The Star Fisher" is a skillful mix of fact and intuited understanding about his family's experiences, telling how the Lee family moved from Ohio to establish a laundry and home in a former schoolhouse in Clarksburg, as his grandparents had done. Though the school was real, it also serves as a symbol of the disparity between hope and reality for Papa Lee, a scholar and poet who is shunned by ignorant and bigoted neighbors. The narrator, 15-year-old Joan, American born, admires her father's scholarly pursuits, but she too confronts disdain from her peers when she answers teacher's questions that other students cannot. The quality of "The Star Fisher," and the power of its message, do not lie in the plot but in the characters. Joan's younger siblings, Bobby and Emily, for example, are energetic and independent. Emily's first act in Clarksburg is to stomp the toe of foul-mouthed Mr. Snuff. Although all the Lees are lively, it is Mama Lee, based on Mr. Yep's grandmother, who gives this book its real distinction. Mrs. Lee is sustained by her firm belief that the family will eventually return to China. She is also the practical parent, creating her own system of bookkeeping, which keeps the business and family in order. She has learned little English, her wretched cooking skills end in burned pots and pans. She is befriended by Miss Lucy Bradshaw, their elderly patrician landlady. Mrs. Lee's miserable attempts to bake, and to eventually produce a good enough apple pie for the auction at the church social, provide some light relief to her endless frustrations. Yet for all her own struggle to assimilate, Mrs. Lee is filled with loving anxiety as she sees her children become Americans. At a touching moment near the end of the novel, she watches her children, walking to a picnic with Miss Lucy, as they turn to listen to a mockingbird: "As Mama watched them go, she bit her lip. From the context, she had understood some of the exchange between Miss Lucy and Emily. 'They'll learn all about American birds and not about Chinese ones,' she fretted. 'What'll they do when they go home?' "
  36. 36. A Chinese folk tale Joan tells to Emily provides the metaphor for the complex theme of mixed allegiances and mother-daughter stress, and accounts for the title. Joan feels that she herself is like the daughter of the star fisher bird, a magical creature, half bird and half woman, who is made to marry a human and live on earth against her will. Eventually the star fisher escapes and returns to her true home in the sky. Her daughter joins her, but she is torn between the two worlds. Joan compares herself to the bird: "I always seemed to be reaching out my hand [ to her mother ] and getting it slapped. And those were the times when I sometimes looked at Mama and saw a stranger. I saw her with American eyes: saw the little woman with the funny skin and the odd eyes. "And suddenly I knew how the star fisher's daughter must have felt: belonging to both the earth and the sky; she must have seen everything through a double pair of eyes. And I wondered if she felt just as angry and mixed-up inside as I did." Joan is not without empathy for her mother, and comments poignantly that the only Chinese women's faces they will ever see are each other's and Emily's. This thought helps heal their conflicts, and gives them both strength. "The Star Fisher" is a thoughtprovoking, engaging novel about a fundamental human drama -- immigration and cultural isolation. The Star Maker Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) November 15, 2010 Drawing from his rich cache of childhood memories, Yep (The Dragon's Child) offers an affectionate celebration of family, cultural traditions, and San Francisco's Chinatown in the early 1950s. Like his beloved, bighearted Uncle Chester, eight-year-old Artie is the youngest of his generation, and both are used to getting an earful ("All the ‗grown-ups' want to do is pick on me," Uncle Chester jokes). Constantly belittled by his cousin Petey, Artie boasts that he'll have so many firecrackers on Chinese New Year that he'll "give them away" to family members. Uncle Chester promises to help Artie keep his pledge, but as the holiday
  37. 37. approaches, this seems unlikely: Uncle Chester loses money at the racetrack and can't find work, and Artie, counting on his uncle, has spent his savings. Yep skillfully portrays the significance and emotional nature of common childhood dramas, from fears of going back on one's word to worries of losing a favorite uncle to a new girlfriend. Though Artie and Chester shine brightest, Yep has crafted other memorable characters, including Chinatown itself, which sparkles with energy and camaraderie. Ages 8–12. (Jan.) Tongues Of Jade Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) November 1, 1991 An award-winning author presents a second gathering of folktales as remembered by Chinese immigrants to California. Like those in The Rainbow People (1989), these were collected in the 30's as part of a WPA project and originally appeared in a book entitled The Golden Mountain. Yep arranges them into broad subject areas, prefacing each section with a brief discussion of how the tales illustrate aspects of Chinese culture that would be important for an immigrant (either returning to China or staying "in the land of the Gold Mountain") to remember. The collection as a whole is informed by the idea of jade as preserver: hence, a storyteller's jade tongue preserves a heritage. Many of these 17 stories are unfamiliar. Yep's retellings maintain their freshness and vitality; his essays are cogent introductions to the cultural values portrayed, reinforcing connections between story and birthright. Wiesner provides handsome b&w watercolors, enhancing the attractive format and making an intriguing visual hook for each story. Once again, as entertainment and enrichment, a bravura accomplishment. (Folklore. 8-12) When The Circus Came To Town Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) December 24, 2001 Yep leaves his oft-visited literary stomping grounds of San Francisco's Chinatown in this heartwarming historical tale based on real events. Ursula loves living in tiny Whistle, Mont., or what her Pa calls the Back of Beyond. She helps her parents run the stagecoach station, roams the wild hills and, after reading a penny dreadful that a stagecoach passenger leaves behind, invents a rollicking pirate adventure game for her friends. But everything changes after smallpox leaves her face deeply scarred. She retreats to her room: "Pirate Ursula was dead now. There was only Monster Ursula, and Monster Ursula did not go outside." When her parents hire a Chinese cook, he and Ursulafind they share a sense of isolation, and gradually they become friends. Eventualyl, Ah Sam succeeds in coaxing Ursula out of her self-imposed exile when he invites his cousins to stage a circus. Ursula returns the favor: after a blizzard scuttles Ah Sam's plans to spend Chinese New Year in San Francisco, she ralles the whole town to plan an elaborate celebration of that holiday. Bolstered by themes of
  38. 38. compassion, community and tolerance, this story is among Yep's most assured. With dry humor and a keen ear for dialogue, the author includes deft characterizatiosn and offers a window onto Asian-American history and culture. Wang, who illustrated Yep'sThe Magic Paintbrush, contributes detailed b&w drawings that underscore the volume's more serious themes. Ages 8-10. Butterfly Boy Publishers Weekly Yep's simple language is exquisite in its clarity and, like a pebble thrown into water, creates ripples of meaning. …Quiet strength and inner serenity pervade this masterly combination of text, artwork and design.
  39. 39. Interviews, Biographies and More May 16, 2008 Laurence Yep writes books that draw from his Chinese American background yet speak to common feelings and experiences. In this exclusive video interview with Reading Rockets, Laurence Yep discusses his love for his work and the gratification of writing stories. http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/yep/ Books about Laurence Yep: The lost garden by Laurence Yep (Book) Presenting Laurence Yep by Dianne Johnson-Feelings (Book) Meet Laurence Yep by Alice B McGinty (Book) Laurence Yep by Katherine Lawrence (Book) Laurence Yep by Hal Marcovitz (Book)
  40. 40. Marcia Baghban Conversation with Laurence Yep, Spring 2000 http://www.soentpiet.com/Baghban%20interview.pdf
  41. 41. Laurence Yep: Strategies For Living Interview with Locus Online posted Wednesday 14 July 2010 @ 9:45 am PDT http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2010/07/laurence-yep-strategies-for-living/ Excerpts from the interview: “I grew up in an African-American neighborhood in San Francisco, and went to school in Chinatown. The children’s librarians would give me their best book, and it would be something like Homer Price and His Donut Machine. In those books every kid had a bicycle, and everyone left their front doors unlocked. I lived in one ghetto and went to school in another ghetto. Nobody I knew had a bicycle, and everybody had at least three locks on their door. So these socalled realistic books seemed like fantasy to me. “At that time, there were a few books about Asian-American children, but they were written by white authors who had maybe done a few interviews – they did not live in Chinatown and did not know the culture. I never could get into those books. Instead I read fantasy and science fiction, because in those books children are taken away from our everyday world, go off to another place where they have to learn strange new customs and even a new language, and they talked about adapting. That’s something I did every time I got on and off the bus. So to me, fantasy and science fiction were much more realistic.” “I must seem like a dinosaur, but I really believe that in storytelling there are things that pull people along a certain path with you. I learned how to write from two science fiction writers, Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton. I loved how in three paragraphs Heinlein could create a character you wanted to travel across the galaxy with, and I loved Andre Norton for the worlds she could create – especially worlds on the edge of change. So I like the old-fashioned story arc. “I say this despite having studied with John Barth, writing experimental pieces in a seminar. I did my dissertation on William Faulkner, so it took me years to learn how to put in commas again! But eventually I realized I didn’t belong in the avant garde. There’s a story by John Fowles called ‘The Ebony Tower’, in which he talks about art: he feels that artists have moved into a dead end. (One young critic goes to meet a Picasso-like artist who is very modern and yet somehow manages to link to the energy and vitality of the past, and this young guy is trying to understand how he did that.) I was feeling that way about a lot of experimental fiction, so I started getting back to my roots, which was traditional storytelling.” “Dragonwings was historical fiction but won some awards. I can translate Chinese, but only very painfully. It takes me about an hour for four words, specially if it’s Classical Chinese! My parents still speak Chinese at home, but I’m one of those kids who didn’t know the background. With Dragonwings, it’s more than a narrative device when I have the story told from the viewpoint of an eight-year-old boy. I was really that boy. If there was meat on a plate, I had to be told that it was roast duck and prepared in a special way. If there was a picture on the wall, I had to be told it was a kitchen god. So (for the sake of these kids) I really try, in every one of my
  42. 42. stories, to have some person who doesn’t quite know the milieu. He’s the point of view, so the audience can connect with that person and learn along with him.” “Originally, the adaptation of Dragonwings appeared as a school play, so I had to condense a 250-page novel down into about an hour, and we could only afford five actors. Now there are plans to make it into a movie, and all of a sudden there’s a cast of several hundred! Cartoon Network is also planning to do Tiger’s Apprentice as a TV movie. I’m sure they’ve made changes, but the script was done by David Magee, who was nominated for an Oscar forFinding Neverland. “I’m working on the third book after City of Fire. But I also have a book that’s in galleys, about my memories of Chinese New Years. There’s something about the smell of cordite that just makes me nostalgic! A child’s ankles are smaller, but you’d be ankle-deep in red paper in Chinatown. And there’s one other book I’m doing, about my grandmother. She was a wonderful person, a very strong personality, but when we went shopping she had very liberal ideas about the rights of a customer!” Laurence Yep Interview with Scholastic students. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/laurence-yep-interview-transcirpt At what age did you start writing? I started writing at the age of seventeen, because I had a teacher in high school who said that we had to get something accepted by a national magazine to get an A. The teacher later withdrew that threat, but the writing bug bit me. I sold my first story when I was eighteen to a science fiction pulp magazine called World's Fifth for a penny a word, which is what Dickens made in his day. But pennies went a lot further then! Where do you get your ideas for your stories? I get the ideas from everything. Children sometimes think you have to have special experiences to write, but good writing brings out what's special in ordinary things. So all you really need is a brother — I actually wrote a book about the time I gave my brother a pet alligator. But really, writing only requires taking one step to the side and looking at something from a slightly different angle. So you can find unicorns in the garden, and monsters sitting next to you. When you start a story, do you create the characters or the plot first? Well, both happen. It depends on the story. Sometimes a story grows from a picture in my head, and I'm just describing the scene. In Dragonwings, the idea came from a picture in my head of a plane flying over a hill. I wrote that last chapter first, where that happens, and then I had to write the rest of the book describing why it happens. I work from an outline, but the outline isn't rigid. It's like the scaffolding around a ship — sometimes halfway through a battleship, I realize I should be making an aircraft carrier, and so I have to change the scaffolding.I once did a fantasy novel that was like a Narnia book. It had gone through seven drafts, and I thought it was ready. But in the seventh draft, I wrote about a dragon and her pet
  43. 43. boy. They were such vivid characters that I tore up the first six drafts and started all over. It turned into a novel called Dragon of the Lost Sea, and there ended up being three more books about the adventures of that dragon and her boy. How do you choose names for your characters? The names come from various sources. Some of them are nicknames I hear in Chinatown, because the Chinese Americans from a certain generation had colorful nicknames like Doggie. Sometimes I like the sound of a name, or sometimes there's a hidden meaning. Like in Dragonwings, Ms. Whitelaw is actually “white law.” In the novel I'm working on now, there's a character called Purdy because I had an English teacher by that name. It also comes from “by God,” or “par Dieu” in French. Do you have a favorite character from your books? That's a good question, but it's like asking a mother who her favorite child is. Different characters have different associations. I like all my characters for various reasons. The hardest ones to do are the villains, like my old Chinese schoolteacher. When I write about them I start to see them from their own points of view. Then I realize my old Chinese schoolteacher probably had reasons to whack me with a ruler. What is your favorite kind of story to write? Well, I like all kinds of stories, and I usually work on several stories at once. When I run out of gas on one, I start work on the other. So I might do a contemporary novel at the same time I'm doing a mystery and a historical fiction. Right now I'm writing four books. One is called Cockroach Cooties and it's a sequel to the alligator book. The second one is a book about the Gold Rush, which is for Scholastic's Dear America series. The third one is a mystery book about Chinatown, and the fourth one is about the Rock Springs massacre in Wyoming in 1885. Two of them are historical — one is a diary, and the other is historical fiction for young adults. Different age groups have different problems and issues in text, so it's a challenge. How much research do you do before writing a book? Well, the research can be as short as six months if I'm writing about my family, or it can take 20 years. It took me 20 years to write about building the railroad — sometimes the research is like building a house out of toothpicks. But before you can build that house, you have to find the toothpicks scattered all over a country. So wherever I go, I check out the library. I find odd facts, like a description of a Chinese laundry, and I just found an account of a Chinese riding in a rodeo in 1800. I also found an account of a Chinese circus coming to Yellowstone at the turn of the century. So it's little things like that. Why do you write all of your books about Chinese culture? It's what I know best, but I also write about other things. I wrote a suspense novel called Liar, Liar about teenage kids in Silicon Valley. I got my start writing science fiction when I wrote a Star Trek book about Mr. Sulu called Shadow Lord. I'm also writing some stories with my wife, who's also a writer, named Joanne Ryder, and they're just funny little chapter books about things that we've seen.
  44. 44. Were your parents immigrants, and if so, do you know what their journey to America was like? My mother was actually born in Ohio, but raised in West Virginia, where her family had a laundry. She has a West Virginian accent. My father was born in China, but he's the son of an American citizen. My paternal grandfather was born in San Francisco in 1867. We actually have 500 pages of interviews with the different paternal generations as they went back and forth from China to America, because the immigration officials really quizzed the Chinese when they would try to come into the country again.I've actually written a novel about my father's journey from China to America. I have an interview of my father when he was ten, and it's like having a window where I can look at him at that age. It's like a time machine. The interrogations were very thorough. They would ask questions about how many windows were in a room in a typical Chinese home, and which direction they faced. The interrogators would give them a set of wooden blocks and ask them to arrange them like they were in a Chinese village. The person being interrogated would have to go block by block, house by house, and say who lived in the houses and how many animals they had, etc. It was very detailed. The Americans were trying to send back as many Chinese as they could, so when a Chinese tried to come to America, the interrogators were trying to prove that the person didn't belong in America. They tried to trip up the immigrants and show that they were lying. It was very scary for my father. One of my uncles made a mistake in an interview, and they almost deported him. If they had deported him, they would've deported all my other uncles and my grandfather. Were you ever persecuted or discriminated against because you are of Chinese heritage? There were incidents when I was a kid, but for every bad incident, there are always ten good ones. I've found that if you can get these persecutors to think of you as a person, they stop persecuting you. Once they lose those stereotypes about you and see you as a human being, they stop treating you poorly. Have you ever been to China, and if you have, what is it like? Well, my father never spoke about China. So it never seemed real to me. I always heard about West Virginia, and so I thought of that as my real homeland. I did go back there twice, because I wrote a book about my mother's life there. The book won a prize in West Virginia. When I went to accept it, they loaded me down with presents for my mother. Since I started doing folklore and picture books, China has become real to me. My wife and I have tried to set up trips to Asia, but it just hasn't worked out yet. Is it true that Later Gator was based on your life? Oh, yes. It's based on Oscar, our pet alligator. Except my brother's ten years older than I am, so I reversed the roles of the brothers in the book. What is the importance of the word dragon in your books? I love dragons. Dragons in Chinese mythology bring rain, so they're symbols of fertility. But they've also come to have a deeper meaning for me. They're symbols of my own creativity. Sometimes the dragon takes me where she wants to go rather than where I want to go. I think
  45. 45. there's a dragon inside each of us. In fact, my wife hates it when I'm doing a dragon book, because I turn very dragonish. Is there a real Dragon's Gate? There is a mythical Dragon's Gate in China. For various reasons, I needed to have the characters go to one in the novel. But the carp is a symbol of success for many reasons. You'll see it in many forms in Chinatown. Is Star Fisher a real Chinese story, or did you just make it up? It's a real Chinese story. It's actually a little gorier in the original, and they actually weren't kingfishers, they were herons, but it's a true folktale — an old folktale, that is. Do you believe your creativity is based on a very active imagination? I think it's part of being alive. I really think it's part of just being open to the world. We learn to shut ourselves off from our feelings and our memories, and a writer learns how to connect all those things together. Do you ever base your characters on people you know? Oh, yes, in fact, one of my family's favorite games is to guess who is which character. I've never had a problem in my fiction. My family is very supportive. But they became very nervous when I did an autobiography. They all wanted to see their sections. My brother, in particular, was nervous, but he finally approved his section. But his wife got mad at me and said that I'd taken it too easy on him. My wife also got mad because I only gave her three paragraphs. So I wrote more about her, but then my editor asked me to cut that part out. I told my editor that was only okay if she would agree to be co-respondent in a divorce. In your autobiography, what do you mean when you say that many teenagers feel like aliens? If you think about that age, you're an alien even from your own body. The hormones are making your body change, and you can't stop the changes. Your voice changes, your body changes, you start getting hair. So it's an age when a lot of teenage boys start getting interested in monster movies, because they help them deal with their own reality. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas started subscribing to monster magazines at that age.But there are larger issues of identity and independence at that age. Growing up means growing away. You have to separate yourself from your parents and become your own person. You have to alienate yourself from your childhood and many of the other things that went with that childhood in order to become a unique person. Most people I know remember that age as a miserable time in their lives.I also think we live in a time where the pace of technology tends to make aliens of us all. I bought my first computer in 1984, and a similar model is now in a computer museum. My brother makes machines that make silicon chips — the machines look like jukeboxes, by the way — and he deals with a product that he knows will be out of date within a year. Just look at how computers have changed in the last five years. So the children of today are faced with a pace of life that is alienating in general. Did you look up to any heroes or writers when you were a kid?
  46. 46. Oh yes, I loved Robert Heinlein because he taught me how to write first-person narratives. In one page he made a character come to life as if the character was whispering in your ear, and you wanted to be that character's friend. I also loved Andre Norton. She taught me how to create worlds of science fiction. There was always a certain sadness to those worlds, because those worlds were always changing and disappearing — that's what I could see in Chinatown around me. It seems as if many of your books are written in the first person. Why? I like the lens that it provides. It makes me focus on my own experience in a certain way when I write in the first person as opposed to when I write in the third person as an omniscient narrator. What kinds of books did you like to read as a child? As a child, I read mostly science fiction and fantasy books like the Oz books. When I was a child, I grew up in a black neighborhood but went to school in Chinatown. So I moved back and forth between two ghettoes. I could never get into the Homer Price novels, because in those books, every kid had a bicycle, and every kid left their front door unlocked, and that was alien to me as a child. You had to lock your doors, and no one I knew had a bike. But in science fiction and fantasy, children leave the everyday world and go to a strange place where they have to learn a new language and new customs. Science fiction and fantasy were about adapting, and that was something I did every day when I got on and off the bus. Are you planning to write any science fiction books for children or for grownups? I'm planning to write a new series of fantasy books with the Monkey King and more dragons — and maybe find a girlfriend for Thorn. Did you study kites before you wrote Dragonwings? My father was a kite-maker. He learned how to make Chinese kites from the old-timers in Chinatown. He tried to teach me. My father made his kites from scratch so I actually had to find bamboo that he would trim down to make the pieces of the kite. The rice paper had to be just the right kind, and it was getting harder and harder to find Chinese bamboo in America. Much of the bamboo that's for sale now in America is inferior — it won't bend right. Some of my earliest memories of my father are flying kites with him. He always said that a good kite-flyer never had to run to get the kite up in the air, but I always had to run. In fact, my father objected to the cover ofDragonwings, because the kite there isn't really a kite. It looks like a sail for a type of Chinese boat called a junk. Are there any similarities between the behaviors of the characters in your stories and your behavior as a child? Well, I was always getting in trouble in Chinese school, and I wrote a little bit about that in Shadow of the Owl.Often I'm trying to step into someone's shoes. In Dragonwings, I was trying to understand what it was like for my father to come from China to America. In Child of the Owl, I was trying to figure out what it was like for my mother to come from West Virginia to
  47. 47. California. The way I was raised, I was always an outsider in both areas, even though I had friends in both. So I think I've always written about that in my books. What is the origin of the owl folktale in Child of the Owl? That's based on Chinese folklore about owls. They're disrespectful of their parents; they'll kick them out of the nest, and even eat them. It's also based on a folktale about filial duty and a son who makes sacrifices and is rewarded with a bird wife. Do you think it's important for children's books to have a lesson? I don't think you can do it from the top down. I don't think you can start with the moral first. If the story is true to human experience, I think a lesson emerges. For instance in the book about the massacre in Rock Springs, Wyoming, in 1885, I began to understand the point of view of the American miners who were upset with the Chinese. I don't approve of the murders, but I understand some of their motives now. So the whole story changed from a horror story to a tragedy. Do you think the attitude towards people of Asian heritage has changed? Oh, yes, I've seen it all around me. When I was a kid in the 50s, I got spat on if I went into certain areas of San Francisco. Now there are Asians all around. People cook with woks; they use Chinese herbal cures like tiger balm. I think it's very interesting how Americans have embraced the martial arts. When I was a kid, you were embarrassed if you were learning tai chi, because you were an American, and you were supposed to learn how to box. Now it seems like every third child is taking some kind of martial arts lesson. It's similar in a way to what I've learned about Hawaii, where people were embarrassed to do the hula at one time. Now it's a matter of pride to learn hula. Do you have any hobbies or pets? I would love pets, but I have asthma, so my wife has threatened to replace me with six dogs when I'm dead. I like to walk a lot — we live two blocks from the ocean. Every time I walk by the beach it's like looking at a different page in the same book. My wife and I watch sea otters mate and their pups grow up. We've seen whales and coves of pelicans so crowded you can't see the water because the pelicans are wingtip to wingtip. If I had the time, I'd love to play computer games. I do watch a lot of Japanese animation. In America, we only get to see a little of what's available in Japan, but through fans, I've been able to see a little bit more of what else is out there. What advice would you give to young writers who want to publish their work? Well, the first thing is to write about what they know. And the second thing is to try to use all their senses when they write. Too many writers just use their eyes. It's more striking if you can use smells, for instance. Try and map your world by smells. Beyond that, you have to just pay attention to the world around you — gestures that a person makes, how they change their voice. I've taught creative writing at UC Berkeley, and it's surprising how much detail people leave out. Once you connect these details to your memories, you can start making them come to life.
  48. 48. Do you have any final words for the audience? Well, it's been a pleasure talking to you. I look forward to reading your books when they come out!

×