Christina Soontornvat (she/her)

“When I was a child I was taught that only “certain types” of people could become authors. I thought that writing was a talent, and you either had it or you didn’t. When I speak to students, I try to break down this myth. I want them to leave my presentation knowing that writing is a craft and with practice, they can become anything they want, including a writer. I want them to know their stories are worthy of being told.”


Christina Soontornvat is the award-winning author of over a dozen books for children of all ages. Her picture books include The Ramble Shamble Children, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Lauren Castillo, and To Change a Planet, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Belle. She is the author of the beloved Diary of an Ice Princess chapter book series. Her recent works include the middle grade fantasy, A Wish in the Dark, which was named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book, and was chosen as Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and School Library Journal, and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, which received the 2021 Kirkus Prize for Young People’s Literature and was also named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book. Her latest novel, The Last Mapmaker, published April 2022 from Candlewick Press.

Christina Soontornvat grew up behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant in a small Texas town with her nose stuck in a book. She is very proud of both her Thai and her Texan roots, and makes regular trips to both Weatherford and Bangkok to see her beloved family members (and eat lots and lots of Thai food!). In addition to being an author, Christina holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Science Education. She spent a decade working in the science museum field, where she designed programs and exhibits to get kids excited about science. She is passionate about STEM (science, technology engineering, and math), and loves learning new things. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two young children, and one old cat.

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