Linda Sue Park is the Newbery Award-winning author of A Single Shard. In this exclusive video interview with Reading Rockets, Linda Sue Park compares writing to sports, questions animal sounds among different countries, and says that young writers need to practice writing.
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Linda Sue Park, or see a selected list of her children's books. (This video is also available on YouTube and iTunes.)
Linda Sue Park, Korean American author of children's fiction, has been an avid reader and writer her entire life. In fact, she began poetry and story writing before kindergarten – at the age of four. Growing up outside of Chicago, one could often find this notorious bookworm grazing the pages of Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and E. L. Konigsburg. At the age of nine, Park had her first publication – a haiku – in Trailblazer magazine. She received a one dollar check for her hard work, which she gave to her father for Christmas. To this day, the un-cashed check is still framed above his desk.
Park advanced through school with several other publications. She attended Stanford University, where she earned a degree in English and competed on the gymnastics team. Upon graduation, she was a public relations writer for a major oil company. Although it was an outlet to write, she was not satisfied with her profession. However, it taught her how to be more of a professional writer.
Two years later, Linda Sue Park and her future husband packed their bags and moved to Dublin, and later to London. In Europe, she earned advanced degrees in literature at Trinity College and the University of London. Happily married with two children, Park worked at an advertising agency, then became an ESL teacher to college students, and later worked as a food journalist. Throughout her busy life and many job changes, her love of writing flourished.
Park's husband's career relocated the family to the United States, where she continued to teach ESL – something she still does to this day. She also had this great idea of writing her first children's book – Seesaw Girl. Her work mainly focuses on historical fiction. Seesaw Girl, Kite Fighters, A Single Shard (2002 Newbery Medal winner), Project Mulberry, Bee-Bim Bop, and Archer's Quest all delve in to the Korean culture and history – embroidery, kite fighting, celadon pottery, silkworms, and Korean food.