Children’s Book Author Icy Smith Interview by Junior Journalists

In September 2015, La JaJa kids Junior Journalists Karen and Isabel sat down with famous children’s bootk author Icy Smith to learn about her inspiration and challenge in creating series of award winning chidlren’s book themed on historical events.

Icy Smith is the award-winning author of The Lonely Queue, Three Years and Eight Months, Mei Ling in China City, Half Spoon of Rice, and Daddy, My Favorite Guy. She is the 2012 recipient of the National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color Author Award for her “substantial and lasting contributions to the understanding of diversity and a multicultural society in the United States.”

In her acclaimed book, The Lonely Queue, Smith documents the remarkable history of the 150 years of Chinese Americans in Southern California. It was the recipient of the 2002 Clarion Award for nonfiction.

Three Years and Eight Months is inspired by Smith’s father and grandmother, who survived the war. It was selected as a 2014 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2014 Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices, and gold medalists of the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

Half Spoon of Rice was selected as a medalist of the Benjamin Franklin Awards, Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, California Book Award, Society of School Librarians International Honor Book Award, Skipping Stones Honor Awards, and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. And Mei Ling in China City received the 2009 Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award in the Children’s Category.

Her rhyming children’s book Daddy, My Favorite Guy is a Mom’s Choice Gold Award Winner and a finalist of the 2014 International Latino Book Awards in the Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book and Best Poetry Book categories. It is available in three bilingual editions — English and Spanish, English and Chinese, and English and Nepali.

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On September 18, 2015, three Junior Journalists– Isabel, Jaslyne, and I, Karen– went to Manhattan Beach to interview the award winning author, Ms. Icy Smith. This is what I have learned about her: Ms. Smith has written many books, such as Half Spoon of Rice, The Lonely Queue, and Mei Ling in China City. Her books are about the history of Asian people who have been treated wrongly because of race and culture. For example, her first children’s book –Mei Ling in China City– is about two friends, one Japanese American and the other Chinese American, being separated from each other when the Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps. Another one of her children’s books, A Half Spoon of Rice, is about a nine year old boy forced out of his home in Cambodia by soldiers of Khmer Rouge…




On September 18, I was privileged enough to have the pleasure of interviewing  the famous Ms. Icy Smith. She is a children’s book author and the founder of the East West Discovery Press. Our interview was conducted at her residence. Her house was very big. It had a huge spiral staircase that led up to the second story. Inside the house also had a very nice fragrance smell to it.There was a gigantic bookshelf on the right. We went out into her backyard to practice slating. All in all, this is how I would imagine a famous author house should look like. I was very impressed…



Icy Smith 的著名亞裔歷史童書

Mei Ling in China City by Icy Smith and Gayle Garner Roski (May 1, 2008) 描寫住在洛杉磯華埠的華裔女孩美玲,因為二戰爆發美國政府驅逐日裔,不得不和她最好的朋友秋山八重子分離。現實生活中的美玲和秋山八重子,則因鄧瑞冰的書牽線而重聚。

Half Spoon of Rice: A Survival Story of the Cambodian Genocide by Icy Smith and Sopaul Nhem (Jan 1, 2010) 描寫一個孩子在柬埔寨大屠殺中倖存,和家人團圓後移民來美的故事。

Three Years and Eight Months by Icy Smith and Jennifer Kindert (May 15, 2013) 描寫香港日治時期,兩個在日本軍營打工的香港孩子偷藥幫助香港游擊隊的故事。

The Lonely Queue: The Forgotten History Of The Courageous Chinese Americans In Los Angeles by Icy Smith (2000)