Thursday, January 27, 2011

Author Visit

My son currently wants to be a publisher or editor when he grows up.  He is an avid reader of mostly the fantasy and science fiction genre.  Either for school or the nudging of his mother (me) he will read other genres such as realistic fiction, historical fiction but he's most passionate about fantasy books.

We had a couple of authors come to our area this week and I brought him to meet them.  The first is Grace Lin who was awarded The Newberry Honor for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
Inspired by folktales of China, this is the story of a young Chinese girl named Minli. She lives in a poor village underneath a stark mountain and every day her mother expresses her discontent. So Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon to ask him how to change their fortune. What follows is the story of her journey. Along the way she meets many different characters and hears many different stories. The book reads like a fable, which is fitting because it contains so many beautifully rich stories.

This book is for younger readers and it just won The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.  It's a sweet story about twin girls who are always told by others, that they are EXACTLY the same and they disagree! 

Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of all of her books.  She shared her journey in the writing and illustrating world with us that night.  Her story brought tears to my eyes because she spoke of how she was first an illustrator and she tried "to fit in" to the American/Caucasian idea of picture drawing but it never felt right.  She felt nudged to draw pictures in a Chinese style that's vibrant with color but her editors told her that even though her pictures were good, they had no stories to fit them.  And that's how she became a writer... she wrote the stories to fit her illustrations.  Even then, she was told there was no market for Asian characters.  It was suggested she redraw the characters as Caucasian. 

Fortunately, she listened to that little voice inside and kept them as is, found another editor, had them published and she's receiving national recognition and awards.  We highly recommend her books!

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