New York, Kansas City, Texas, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts

I’ve been busy! Wonderful visits to several schools, libraries, and bookstores in upstate New York, Kansas City, Texas, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts. Here’s some of the evidence:

A visit to Barbara Bush Elementary School in Houston.

A picture of me with one of my favorite authors, Barbara O’Connor (MOONPIE AND IVY, ME AND RUPERT GOODY, and many other great titles), at the Wellesley Free Library outside Boston:

Linda Sue Park & Barbara O'Connor

Photos of my visit to Cimarron Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma:

may2004_cimarronkite1
An amazing mural of The Kite Fighters in the library…

may2004_cimarrondragonkite
…complete with the dragon kite! (Notice the blue line!)

may2004_cimarronlunch
Lunch with Cimarron students.

may2004_thumb_02
At the Blue Manatee bookstore in Cincinnati

Another article by Patrician Newman: Click here

For readers of A Single Shard, a wonderful website about Celadon pottery: Click here

One page I haven’t updated lately is my “Recent Reading” page. Apologies to those of you who’ve asked about it. I hope to be able to work on it in the near future. In the meantime, keep reading!

Best wishes to all,
Linda Sue


May 2004

I’ve been busy! Wonderful visits to several schools, libraries, and bookstores in upstate New York, Kansas City, Texas, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts. Here’s some of the evidence:

A link to a page about my visit to Barbara Bush Elementary School in Houston: Click Here

A picture of me with one of my favorite authors, Barbara O’Connor (MOONPIE AND IVY, ME AND RUPERT GOODY, and many other great titles), at the Wellesley Free Library outside Boston:

Photos of my visit to Cimarron Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma:

An amazing mural of The Kite Fighters in the library…

…complete with the dragon kite! (Notice the blue line!)

Lunch with Cimarron students.

At the Blue Manatee bookstore in Cincinnati

A great article about me and my work from the Kansas City Star: Click here

Another article by Patrician Newman: Click here

For readers of A Single Shard, a wonderful website about celadon pottery: Click here

One page I haven’t updated lately is my “Recent Reading” page. Apologies to those of you who’ve asked about it. I hope to be able to work on it in the near future. In the meantime, keep reading!

Best wishes to all,
Linda Sue


January 2004

Mung Mung

MUNG-MUNG! A Fold-out Book of Animal Sounds, illustrated by Diane Bigda (Charlesbridge Books, January 2004)

What kind of animal says “Mung-mung”? Open the gatefold and find out! Kirkus Reviews says, “Bidga’s lightly lined, pastel illustrations are beautiful and surprisingly lively”–I couldn’t agree more. A guessing-game picture book for ages 1-7

jan2004_firekeeper

THE FIREKEEPER’S SON, illustrated by Julie Downing (Clarion Books, March 2004)

In Korea in the early 1800s, news from the countryside reached the king by means of signal fires. On one mountaintop after another, a fire was lit when all was well. If the king did not see a fire, that meant trouble, and he would send out his army.

When his father is unable to light the fire one night, young Sang-hee must take his place. Sang-hee knows how important it is for the fire to be lit, but he wishes that he could see soldiers . . . just once.

Mountains, firelight and shadow, and Sang-hee’s struggle with a hard choice are rendered in Julie Downing’s radiant paintings. I’m so awed by her work! Picture book, ages 5-8.

On Her Way: Stories and Poems about Growing Up Girl

ON HER WAY: Stories and Poems about Growing Up Girl, edited by Sandy Asher (Dutton, January 2004)

A collection of twenty-one stories and poems by writers like Donna Jo Napoli, Edwidge Danticat, and Angela Johnson. I’m delighted that my story, “The Apple,” is in such good company! Ages 8-10.

Look for these books in your local bookstore, or order online.

Best wishes to all for a terrific 2004! —Linda Sue


October 2003 – Recent Reading

At the Crossing Places, by Kevin Crossley-Holland. The second book of a brilliant Arthurian trilogy. Two Arthurs: a boy in medieval England, and the legendary King, or are they really one and the same? Crossley-Holland is a fine poet and a crackerjack storyteller, to my mind, an unsurpassable combination in a novelist. Read The Seeing Stone first.

Tears of the Salamander, by Peter Dickinson. I’d follow Dickinson anywhere in his fiction; in this case, to Italy via a fantasy set on Mount Etna. A young chorister unravels the mystery of his own family’s history. I loved the way Dickinson uses music as the central motif, I could hear it as I read.

Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going. Fat kid, rock band, terrific voice in the novel itself, that is; the fat kid doesn’t sing. He’s the new drummer in a band led by his charismatic and troubled friend. Writers: Are you working on a first-person narrative? This is how it’s done. Contemporary YA.

Visit K.L. Going’s terrific website at www.klgoing.com (Click on “Non-Lame Stuff,” and then “Games,” and try the Reflex Tester. It will drive you crazy.)

From my summer list:

Ruby Electric, by Theresa Nelson. Ruby lives in LA and thinks in screenplays (perfect use of a structural device to reflect character). She has family problems and friend problems, like any 12-year-old, but she also has an unusual interest in the urban ecology of her concrete-bound neighborhood. Contemporary middle grade.

Adult reading:

Best American Science Writing 2003, ed. by Oliver Sacks. Every one of these articles or essays a gem.


October 2003

The Children’s Book Council has a regular feature called “Meet the Author/Illustrator,” and this time around, it’s me!

The archives have a TERRIFIC list of other authors and illustrators you can read about, and while you’re at it, explore the whole site–a terrific resource for lovers of children’s books.

On October 3rd, Clarion vice-president and associate publisher Dinah Stevenson accepted the Jane Addams Honor award on my behalf, for When My Name Was Keoko. The ceremony, which celebrates books that promote peace, social justice, and world community, was held at the United Nations in New York City. The winner of the Fiction for Older Readers award was Deborah Ellis for her book Parvana’s Journey. And Katherine Paterson also received an Honor citation for The Same Stuff as Stars.

Click here if you’d like to read the brief remarks I prepared for the ceremony, which Dinah Stevenson read to the gathering. Three picture books were also cited. More information on the Jane Addams Award.

In September I spoke at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., as part of their year-long commemoration of the Korean-immigration centennial. (The first Koreans to settle in the U.S. arrived in Hawaii in 1903.) Along with four other Korean-American writers for young people, I gave a presentation, signed books, and got to meet many readers! Thanks to Franklin Odo, Gina Inocencio and especially Terry Hong for a lovely event.

october2003_smith1
(from left to right) Authors Frances Park, Yangsook Choi,
Ginger Park, me, and An Na. Frances and Ginger are sisters,
but not related to me.

Books (besides my own!) that were highlighted at the event:

  • by Frances and Ginger Park: My Mother’s Freedom Trip, The Royal Bee, Where in the World is my Bagel?
  • by Yangsook Choi: The Name Jar, New Cat, plus several others that she has illustrated for other authors
  • by An Na: A Step from Heaven

For more photos of the event, and information about the activities of the Asian Pacific American Program, click on this link.

Updated: the Recent Reading and Author Presentation pages.

Coming soon: EXCITING NEWS about the release of my first picture books!

Have a great fall, everyone. And hey, read something good this week! Best to all, Linda Sue


Summer 2003 – Recent Reading

Here’s a list of books I’ve read and enjoyed over the past several months:

for young people

Cheating Lessons, by Nan Willard Cappo

A Hundred Days from Home, by Randall Wright

Sahara Special, by Esme Raji Codell

Spitting Image, by Shutta Crum

The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau

Call on the Stars (published in the U.S. as Cold Tom), by Sally Prue

The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

The Other Side of Truth, by Beverly Naidoo

House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer

Ruby Electric, by Theresa Nelson

Dust, by Arthur Slade

The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo

for adults

Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger

Borrowed Finery, by Paula Fox

Carter Beats the Devil, by Glen David Gold

The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan

Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

The Apprentice, by Jacques Pepin

Dear Editor, (letters to Poetry magazine) edited by Joseph Parisi

The Making of a Chef, by Michael Ruhlman

Reading in Bed, ed. by Steven Gilbar

Uncle Tungsten, by Oliver Sachs

The Child That Books Built, by Francis Spufford

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett


August 2003

In May and June of 2003, I had a great time at several schools and events:

  • The Park School, Buffalo NY
  • Washington Irving School, Gates NY
  • Celebrate Libraries, Brighton NY
  • Midlakes Middle School, Clifton Springs NY
  • several schools in Ithaca NY
  • the 2003 ALA Conference in Toronto, Canada
  • Institute for Children’s Literature, Simmons College, Boston MA

Thanks to Leslie Occhiuto, Susan Swift, Sharyn Johnson, Jan Smith, Adrian Smith, David Patt, Susan Bloom and Cathie Mercier for making these events so enjoyable.

My Appearance Schedule has been updated–check it out to see if I’ll be in your area!

It’s been so long since I’ve updated the Reading page that I’m afraid I’ll never catch up! So this time around, I’ve made a simple list of books I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Please check out the Bio page and meet Fergus, the newest member of the family!

Keep reading! Best wishes, Linda Sue


May 2003

Wonderful news: When My Name Was Keoko has been named an Honor Book by the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award committee! This award is given to recognize books that “promote the cause of peace, social justice and world community.” The 2003 winner is Parvana’s Journey, by Deborah Ellis, and the other fiction Honor book is The Same Stuff as Stars, by Katherine Paterson. I am so honored and thrilled by this recognition.

More on the Jane Addams award

Announcing (drum roll, please…) the publication of Period Pieces:
Stories for Girls
(HarperCollins).

may2003_periodjacket

This is an anthology of short stories written by several authors and edited by Erzsi Deak and Kristin Embry Litchman. Each story is fiction or memoir about a girl’s first period! I was delighted when Kris and Erzsi invited me to submit a story, and enjoyed working on it with them and with editor Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins, but best of all is seeing my story in book form alongside wonderful stories by other authors! For more information about the book, click on the cover image.

Fourth grade students at Jefferson School in Ottawa, Illinois, spent
almost the whole year studying my books! It was a great thrill for me to
meet some of these students, teacher Becky Nett, and librarian Connie Fultz last month during my tour. A big thank-you to author and friend Julia Durango, who helped set up the whole project: Click here to read the report on her website, and while you’re there have a good look around–it’s a terrific site!

Recent travels:

–to San Diego, for a great visit to LaJolla Country Day School

may2003_lajollabrink

With LaJolla Country Day student Sam Brink—great-grandson of
author Carol Ryrie Brink, who wrote Caddie Woodlawn

–Los Angeles, for presentations at the awesome Central Branch of the LA Public Library, and the Pio Pico branch in Koreatown

may2003_piopico

With supporters and community members of the Pio Pico branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

–San Francisco: presentations and signings at Kepler’s in Mountain View; Book Passage in Corte Madera; Rakestraw Books in Danville; and Hicklebee’s in San Jose

–Seattle: University Books; ParkPlace Books; and The Secret Garden

–Cobbles School in Penfield, NY

–Columbia, MD Public Library

–Baltimore: visits to Roland Park Country Day School; Bryn Mawr School; and the Calvert School, as well as a signing at The Children’s Bookstore under the aegis of wonderful owner Joanne Fruchtmann.

may2003_rolandparkjpg

With students at Roland Park Country Day School in Baltimore.

–Tour to promote the paperback edition of A Single Shard! Schools and
bookstores in Kansas, Missouri, Chicago, Milwaukee, Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton, Washington DC, and Maryland! It was a wonderful trip, busy and hectic, and a BLAST meeting so many readers and book lovers!

may2003_amytour1

With Random House publicist and miracle-tour-arranger Amy
Ehrenreich at the Barnes & Noble in Bethesda, MD.

—District 203 in Naperville, IL and Indiana Elementary School in Park
Forest, IL—MY old elementary school!

The last couple of months have been frantically busy, but after almost a
year and a half of near-continual travel, I’m going to be taking a break to stay home and see if I can remember how to write. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend a little more time on the site during the summer months, so please come by again soon!

Happy reading and writing to all —Linda Sue.


March 2003

With concerns about war a part of our daily lives these days, I thought readers might be interested in the link below, to a page put together by author Uma Krishnaswami. It’s a list of books for young people on conflict, war, and peace. I’ll be reading titles like these in the days to come, and I hope you will too.

Uma Krishnaswami’s Peace Page

The paperback edition of A Single Shard is now available! Random House / Dell Yearling have done a wonderful job producing this edition, complete with a striking new cover by artist Rick Lieder:

A Single Shard

Look for it at your local bookstore, or it can be ordered from online sources.

To launch the Shard paperback, I will be going on tour in March and April. Please check out the tour schedule to see if and when I’ll be in your neighborhood.

Busy, busy, and having a blast: Over the past few months, I’ve been to schools in Boston, Leroy NY, and Houston, as well as conferences in New York City and Vancouver. Some wonderful memories:

Boston: Visiting Tenacres Country Day School, Cambridge Friends School, and Zinori’s Book Club, a book talk tv show directed, taped and hosted by kids! (created and produced by Karen Roehr of Artistic License.)

With students at Cambridge Friends School.
With students at Cambridge Friends School.

On the set of Zinori's Book Club with the anchors who interviewed me.
On the set of Zinori’s Book Club with the anchors who interviewed me.

The cake served after the Zinori Book Club taping—decorated with 'shards'! (Really broken-up Andes mints, much tastier than the real thing.)
The cake served after the Zinori Book Club taping—decorated with ‘shards’!
(Really broken-up Andes mints, much tastier than the real thing.)

Leroy, NY: A visit to the Leroy Public Library and Wolcott Street School, where the administration bought every single student in 4th through 7th grades a hardback copy of A Single Shard–wow!

Houston: Two days at the Kinkaid School, where they pulled out ALL the stops, even constructing a reproduction of a Korean-style room in the library!

With third-grade students from the Kinkaid School.
With third-grade students from the Kinkaid School.

New York: I spoke at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators midyear conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The Saturday luncheon crowd was warm and supportive, and the next day I gave a joint presentation with my editor Dinah Stevenson from Clarion Books. The best part of these conferences is meeting up with old friends and making new ones–what fun to spend a weekend with people who all love books!

Linda Sue Park with author/illustrator friends in New York.
With author/illustrator friends in New York. Standing from left, Esther (Chicken Soup by Heart) Hershenhorn; Cynthia (Snow Ponies) Cotten; me; Erszi (Period Pieces) Deak; Jennifer (Winnie On Her Own) Jacobson; Toni (Dawdle Duckling) Buzzeo. Seated from left, Katie (Party Animals) Davis; Kay (The Teeny Tiny Ghost) Winters; Dian (Monster of the Month) Curtis Regan. What a gang!

Vancouver: The Serendipity Conference run by the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable. The awesome Ron Jobe was in charge and he and his cohorts provided me with a terrific two days amid the beautiful surroundings of coastal British Columbia. Dinah Stevenson and I presented together again, and I got to listen to the other speakers: nonfiction author Linda Granfield; author/illustrator Chris Riddell, winner of the 2002 Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration in England; and the legendary Katherine Paterson. Couldn’t have been better!

Need help with a book report? Announcing a new page of Frequently Asked Questions!


January 2003

If you’re reading this, then you’ve found my ‘new’ website. It may not look new, but the URL has changed to www.lspark.com

This is because my old domain name was recently hijacked by Ultimate Search, Inc. I am currently investigating the possibility of getting the name back (hey! it’s MY name after all). In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate help in spreading the word about the new URL. Especially important are links: If you have a link to this site, I would be most grateful if you would update it! I will let folks know if and when I’m able to get the old domain back and will then arrange for both URLs to point to this site.

[Note: It’s safe to also use www.lindasuepark.com again.]

On to much nicer news! I’m delighted to report that When My Name Was Keoko has received several honors:

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the year

Child Magazine 50 Best Books of the year

New York Public Library’s “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing”

The Mitten Award from the children’s services division of the Michigan Library Association. For this award a committee of librarians chooses one title a year. Previous winners include Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo; and Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech. I’m thrilled to be in such fine company!

Below, two very exciting photos! The first was taken on the steps of the White House with First Lady Laura Bush, as part of the National Book Festival in October.

White House

Do you see me? No? OK, I’m right there—behind Mrs. Bush, on her left.

The next photo was taken in November, after my audience with First Lady Lee Hee-ho (right) at the Blue House, Korea’s presidential residence.

jan2003_bluehouse

Two First Ladies in one month-and really, it was three, because I also met Mrs. Lyudmila Putin, Russia’s First Lady, who was a surprise guest at the Book Festival in Washington. Whodathunkit!?

I had a wonderful fall visiting schools in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Boston, as well as in Korea and in my local area of Rochester, NY. Other travels included conferences in Pennsylvania and the Adirondacks, and bookstores everywhere! I hope to put together a journal of my amazing trip to Korea, but for now here are a few photos: Korea Trip

For the rest of the winter and on into spring, I’m continuing my busy schedule of travel and speaking engagements, including a two-part book tour to promote the Random House/Dell paperback of A Single Shard. Check my Appearance Schedule to see if I’ll be in your neck of the woods.

BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR A GREAT YEAR OF READING AND WRITING!