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Trick or Treat with Karen Yin!

Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit, readers, writers, and all you cool ghouls! Today, we have the extremely talented and multi-published author of picture books and short stories, Karen Yin, with us. Karen's here to share fun details on her new book, So Not Ghoul (illustrated by Bonnie Lui). Her de-frightful book follows Mimi as she starts haunting school. Only, things aren't quite what Mimi expected. Want to know more about Karen, Mimi, and about how difficult haunting school can truly be? Read on...

Q: Hi, Karen. Thank you for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! I’m so excited to have you! For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you, you’re an award-winning, multi-published author of picture books, and short stories, are a copywriter and editor, and are the founder of Conscious Style Guide. How amazing! Can you share a little more about yourself and how you became an author of children’s books?

A: Hi Heather! Thanks for thinking of me for this fun project. I said adios to the corporate world ten years ago and have been writing this and that ever since, trying to find my storytelling niche. Is it screenplays? Nah, Hollywood didn’t want my queer Asian American rom-com. Is it stage plays? My one-act was selected for a theater festival that never happened. Short stories? I won a few awards but getting published in lit mags was slow-going. I was afraid of writing picture books, because they’re notoriously hard to pull off, but all my experience writing short stories and flash fiction came together. In 2020, I sold my first book, Whole Whale, through #DVpit.

Q: Congrats! That's amazing, Karen. Your book, So Not Ghoul, follows Mimi as she starts haunting school. Mimi, however, instantly faces some unexpected challenges. Can you share more about Mimi’s journey in haunting school?

A: Haunting a new school is tough enough, but poor Mimi has to juggle the demands of two cultures. She wants to be a classic American sheet-and-chains ghost, but her ancestors insist that she be a ghost from Chinese pop culture, with hair over her face and a long tongue. Not being good enough is a common lament of bicultural kids like me, but instead of our world, Mimi’s story is set in the afterworld.

Q: What will readers love most about Mimi?

A: When a mean ghoul misappropriates Mimi’s look, she goes from timid to fierce and stands up against the bully. Kids will applaud her powerful transformation, because the best response to disrespect is self-respect.

Q: What makes So Not Ghoul the perfect fall or anytime read?

A: Ghosts are chilly, but the story will warm your heart! So Not Ghoul is less of a ghost story than a story about a ghost, and a cute one at that. The ghost world makes the story perfect for Halloween, but the bicultural angst and terror-ific proverbs make it perfect for anytime.

Q: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the near future?

A: I’m beyond excited about my short story appearing in Boundless, a YA anthology from Inkyard Press. Hopefully, more YA and MG projects will be in my future. I’m also working on an adult nonfiction book, Conscious Language, from Little, Brown Spark, to share my philosophy and best practices for promoting equity through language.

Thanks for sharing your ghoulishly cool book with us today, Karen! We can't wait to check it out!

Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?

A: Surprise, I’d like to leave a trick and a treat!

For the trick, you can learn about my practical Story Pantry method of writing picture books:

For the treat, one lucky winner in the U.S. will receive a copy of my book, So Not Ghoul, illustrated by Bonnie Lui and published by Page Street Kids.

Wow! Thanks for the sweet trick and treat!

Contest Details: To enter to win a signed copy of So Not Ghoul, (1) follow @KarenYin on Twitter, (2) tweet this post, and (3), comment below to let Karen know why you can't wait to read her ghoulishly fun book! The winner will be announced on or about November 4th.

*Note: Book giveaways will be shipped in the US only.

Reminder: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes.

About Karen Yin:

Karen Yin is the author of Whole Whale (Barefoot Books, 2021), So Not Ghoul (Page Street Kids, 2022), Doug the Pug and the Kindness Crew (Scholastic, 2022), “My Kinda Sorta Badass Move” (Bridges and Islands, Inkyard, 2023), and the upcoming nonfiction book Conscious Language (Little, Brown Spark). Acclaim for her writing includes a 2021 California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, a 2020 SCBWI/Smithsonian Nonfiction Grant, selection of her flash fiction by the Los Angeles Public Library for its permanent collection in 2020, and a 2015 Lambda Literary Fellowship. Winner of the 2017 ACES Robinson Prize (Editor of the Year), Karen founded several acclaimed digital resources, including Conscious Style Guide, The Conscious Language Newsletter, and the Editors of Color Database. Conscious Style Guide was named by Poynter as one of the top tools for journalists in 2018 and is recommended by Poets & Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and countless others, including NASA. Karen serves on the advisory board of The Chicago Manual of Style and is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and the Dramatists Guild. She lives with her partner and their cat friends on a mountain near Los Angeles. Find her online at and her book recommendations at

For more about Karen, check out the below links:

Twitter: @KarenYin

Instagram: @karensoffice


To purchase Karen's books, or to leave a review, click here.

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43 comentários

Jessica Milo
Jessica Milo
24 de out. de 2022

I absolutely love this story, Karen!! So important and will speak to so many young readers on topics of having more than one culture, bullies, and loving yourself and where you come from!


14 de out. de 2022

Oh, there is so many reasons I can't wait to get a hold of this book. First off Halloween is my favorite holiday. Second, I love historical fiction and third my students need to see there culture in PB's! I teach literacy for K through grade 8. Just yesterday I brought in Watercress with a pile of other books for my students to look at. My Vietnamese first grader held Watercress in her arms the whole time. She can't read but she connected. Thank you for writing this story I know my students will love this one just as much.


Rosanna Montanaro
Rosanna Montanaro
14 de out. de 2022

Boosting only. LOVE LOVE LOVE, Karen!! Such a great, fun book. And of course love your pantry trick. Congratulations!!


Andrew Fairchild
Andrew Fairchild
12 de out. de 2022

I remember seeing the cover reveal for Karen's book and fell in love with the cover and title. I love the story premise and although I haven't yet read the story, it is on my wish list of books to purchase for our home library.


11 de out. de 2022

Already read this from the library - can't wait to share it with students at the end of the month!

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