About Cynthia

Cynthia Chin-Lee and her four older siblings were born and raised in Washington, D.C. by a medical-doctor father and a homemaker/artist mother. Cynthia began writing for fun when she was in the sixth grade. "I liked writing poetry and scribbling in my journal because I found it comforting and therapeutic. I still write for that reason and because I like playing with words."

Cynthia attended Harvard University, where she studied East Asian Languages. She spent her junior year abroad at the Mandarin Training Center of National Taiwan Normal University. After graduating from Harvard magna cum laude, Cynthia accepted a graduate fellowship at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and studied at the University of Hawaii.

She began a technical writing career by writing for banks and high-tech companies. She has also written freelance articles for magazines and newspapers, as well as taught writing classes at community colleges and universities. She currently works as a publications manager at Oracle.

Cynthia's first book, Almond Cookies & Dragon Well Tea (Polychrome Publishing 1993) is an autobiographical tale of friendship. She is also the author of A Is For Asia (Orchard Books 1997), which Ruminator Review called one of the "Best 100 American Children's Books of the Century," and A is For the Americas (Orchard Book, 1999), which earned an award from the National Council for Social Studies and Children's Book as a Notable Children's Book in Social Studies in 2000 and earned recognition as an Americas Award Commended Book. Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six Women Who Changed the World, and Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-six Men Who Changed the World, both illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy, are alphabet books that describe men and women who have made a considerable impact on the world. Her most recent book is called Operation Marriage (Reach and Teach, PM Press). Based on a true story, the book looks at what it takes for two children to convince their mothers to get married before California's Prop 8 passes and bans gay marriage.

Cynthia is an active member in the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), which can be found on the web at http://www.scbwi.org. The San Franciso Bay Area local chapter's web location is http://www.scbwisf.org.

She lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and two children.

Favorite Links

First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto