Lisa Yee (she/her)
“Connecting with readers is everything. I love sharing stories about my awkward youth, the reason I was terrified to pursue my dream to become an author, and why books mean the world to me. (Plus, I reveal the writing revelation that hit me when broccoli came out my nose.”)
Lisa Yee’s groundbreaking Millicent Min, Girl Genius, featuring one of the first Asian American protagonists in contemporary children’s literature, debuted in 2003. Since then Lisa’s had over twenty more books published – and at this very moment is working on a new one, or eating chocolate . . . or doing both! In addition to two YA novels, her books for younger readers include the Bobby Ellis-Chan series, illustrated by Caldecott medalist Dan Santat, and DC Super Hero Girls middle grade novel series.
Lisa’s most recent novel, the critically acclaimed Maizy Chen’s Last Chance, features a Chinese American girl who’s been kept in the dark about her family history. When Maizy shines a light on it, she’s shocked by what she finds. Packed with surprises, heart, and stories within stories, this irresistible novel celebrates food, fortune, and family.
The child of two public school teachers, Lisa Yee is a third-generation Chinese American. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she was on the debate team and president of the honor society. On occasion, Lisa would ditch class and sneak off to the library. (She never quite figured out the juvenile delinquent thing.) At the University of Southern California, Lisa majored in English, Humanities, and snacking at odd hours.
Lisa was a hand model (once), wrote jingles and Red Lobster menus, and was a writer/producer at Walt Disney World. Her book research has taken her to Japan (for ninja training!), the Amazon rainforest (she met a baby sloth!), and Hawaii (to learn how to surf!). For the past several years, Lisa has helped select NPR’s Best Books of the Year. Even though she’s had lots of interesting careers, Lisa says that being an author is the best job in the world.
If you’re interested in having Lisa visit your school or attend your event, or if you have a general question about Lisa, please fill out the following form: