Linda Sue Park brings Korean history and culture vividly to life through her richly imagined stories for young readers. She creates unforgettable characters that cross centuries and continents, yet still feel fresh and relevant – like the 12th century orphan, Tree Ear, from A Single Shard, her Newbery-winning novel. Prairie Lotus was recognized as the 2021 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honor book. We also love her lively, clever sijo poems from Tap Dancing on the Roof.
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.
To learn more, visit Linda Sue Park's official website.
Presentation at the the 2019 National Book Festival
Linda Sue Park discusses Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time, a picture book companion to her novel A Long Walk to Water, on the children’s stage at the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. She is introduced by NBC-TV anchor Eun Yang.