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ABOUT ME

I grew up in Mexico City and Southern California. Although I wrote for adults for many years, I began to write for children after the birth of my daughters. I attended Vermont College and earned an MFA in Writing for Children. My first book, THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS, published by Candlewick, was a Booklist Top Ten Youth Novel of 2002. My second novel, SILK UMBRELLAS, was a Texas Bluebonnet nominee and Booklist Top Ten Art Novel of 2003. Since then, I've published many more award-winning middle grade and YA novels with Candlewick, Viking, and Carolrhoda, almost all with multicultural/historical themes. I live in California with my Thai husband and two half-Thai daughters.

Maleeka and Preeya years ago in their gold-threaded dresses
This is my husband as a boy with his four brothers. Pal is the oldest.

COUNTRIES I HAVE VISITED AS AN ADULT:
Mexico
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Thailand
Laos
Burma
Mali
Burkina Faso
Senegal
Costa Rica
France
Belize
India
Cuba
Tahiti
Taiwan
Japan
Korea

OTHER COUNTRIES I VISITED AS A CHILD:
Italy
The Bahamas
England
Germany
Sweden
Austria
Spain
Holland

NINE THINGS I LOVE TO DO:

1. Play with my dogs and cats
2. Hang out with my family
3. Boogie board in the ocean
4. Paint and do collage
5. Dance
6. Read great books
7. Take long walks by the beach
8. Travel to exotic places
9. Write!

EDUCATION:

*Pomona College, Claremont, CA

*University of Colorado, Boulder (BA in Philosophy)

*Prescott College, Tucson, AZ (Elementary Teaching Credential)

*Vermont College, Montpelier (MFA in Writing for Children)

This is Cici. We rescued her in Mexico.
Our dog, Frankie. He's part Terrier and part Beagle. He loves to chase balls and sticks.

PLACES I'VE LIVED

Mexico City
Newport Beach, CA
Laguna Beach, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Ojai, CA
Del Mar, CA
La Jolla, CA
Claremont, CA
Boulder, CO
Berkeley, CA
Santa Fe, NM
Philadelphia, PA
New York City
Tucson, AZ
Ensenada, Mexico
Tecate, Mexico

Phoebe
Jaguar

JOBS I'VE HAD:
phone solicitor
maid
dance teacher
check microfilmer
poetry teacher
care provider
bartender
landlady
paralegal
elementary and preschool teacher
writer (Yay!)