"One thing I feel passionate about is that kids should be able to grow up without being bullied for any reason."
- Cynthia Chin-Lee
Cynthia grew up as a studious and curious child, the youngest of five children in Washington, D.C. Observant and academic, she developed an ability to connect with others with compassion and empathy. This has led her to research and write books that are accessible, informative, and diverse.
Cynthia Chin-Lee and her four older siblings were born and raised in Washington, D.C. by her father, a medical doctor, and mother, a homemaker/artist. 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 an information development manager at Oracle (Redwood Shores, CA), where she also volunteers in women's leadership events and as global ally chair for OPEN: Oracle Pride Employee Network (LGBTQ and allies).
Cynthia's first children's 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 Books, 1999), which earned an award from the National Council for Social Studies/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 an 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 (later overturned by the Supreme Court). Cynthia also wrote the career book It's Who You Know: the Magic of Networking in Person and on the Internet.
Cynthia is an active member in the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI - San Francisco Bay Area local chapter). She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her family.