Grace Lin

Commentator

Grace Lin, a New York Times bestselling author/ illustrator, won the Newbery Honor for "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" and the Theodor Geisel Honor for "Ling and Ting." Her most recent novel, "When the Sea Turned to Silver," was a National Book Award Finalist.

Lin is also a commentator for New England Public Radio, a reviewer for The New York Times, a video essayist for "PBS NewsHour," and the speaker of the popular TEDx talk, "The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf."

In 2016, Lin's art was displayed at the White House where Lin, herself, was recognized by President Obama’s office as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.

Author and illustrator Grace Lin.
Alan Bradley / Courtesy Grace Lin

All children's book creators worth their salt know the history of Dr. Seuss. We know that his early career was filled with racist propaganda. 

Grace Lin

A few years ago, commentator Grace Lin joined the Diversity Committee of her child's preschool in western Massachusetts . When one of the members asked dubiously whether race really needed to be addressed with young children, Lin knew the answer instantly.

When I was a child, the way adults dealt with race in my community was by not talking about it.

I remember in fifth grade, after I'd answered a question correctly, a boy burst in saying, “She just knows that because she’s Chin—,” only to be cut off by our teacher.

"Kite Fying" is a 2002 release from Grace Lin.
Courtesy / Grace Lin

Commentator and author Grace Lin recently heard her 4 year old daughter announce matter-of-factly, “I know a lot of things. I’m very smart.”

Lin agreed. But immediately added a word about the value hard work and compassion. Her daughter's response was not what Lin was expecting. 

Grace Lin

This Saturday marks the Lunar New Year, formerly known as the Chinese New Year. For commentator Grace Lin, it’s a holiday that comes with baggage.

As a child, I resented Chinese New Year. My Taiwanese parents celebrated with great enthusiasm. Other holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, were treated as obligatory duties as well as with much puzzlement.