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Lisa Yee (1959-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1959, in Los Angeles, CA; Ethnicity: "Chinese" Education: University of Southern California, B.A. (English and humanities). Hobbies and other interests: "Making strange things out of junk"


Agent—c/o Jodi Reamer, Writers House, 21 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10010.


Writer and entrepreneur. Workshop West (creative think tank), Beverly Hills, CA, former associate director; Walt Disney World, former writer and producer; Magic Pencil Studios, Orlando, FL, and Los Angeles, CA, co-owner and creative director. Also worked as an inventor and hand model (once).


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

Honors Awards

International Reading Association/Children's Book Council Children's Choice designation, Sid Fleishman Humor Award, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Cooperative Children's Book Center Recommended Book, Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year designation, and Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Choice, all 2004, all for Millicent Min, Girl Genius.


Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Arthur A. Levine Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, Arthur A. Levine Books (New York, NY), 2005.

The Year They Missed My Birthday (anthology), Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.

In Lisa Yee's humorous novel, brainy Millicent has a cloud hanging over her at school, and when she meets a "normal" friend at volleyball camp, she sets her genius to work by devising a scheme to keep her super-smarts super secret.

Contributor to periodicals, including Snickerdoodle Science short story for Storyworks Magazine. Also author of speeches, television and radio commercial scripts, menus, television specials, and a newspaper column.


Millicent Min, Girl Genius was adapted as an audiobook, read by Keiko Agena, Listening Library, 2003.

Work in Progress

Charm School Dropout for Arthur A. Levine, expected Fall, 2008; Untitled book (third in Millicent/Stanford series), expected Spring, 2007.


An inventive writer and entrepreneur who has channeled her boundless energy and sense of fun into a career that eventually found her as the co-owner and creative director of a marketing and creative services company, Lisa Yee has dabbled in just about everything at some point. It was with the success of her debut novel Millicent Min, Girl Genius however, that Lee finally achieved one of her life-long goals: to become a published author.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius follows the gifted, but immature main character, Millicent Min, as she attempts to find a friend. Burdened with a genius IQ, Millicent has become isolated from the other students at her high school. In addition to having skipped five grades and being only eleven years old, Millicent has also earned a bit of resentment for setting the test curve higher than other students would have liked. However, while participating in a summer volleyball league, she meets Emily, a girl her own age who is completely unaware of her new friend's intellectual gifts. While having a new friend makes her other arduous summer task—such as tutoring the geeky Stanford Wong—Millicent worries that if the truth comes out, Emily will be scared away. The clever preteen attempts to prevent the worst from by concocting a clever plan and swearing friends and family to silence, and the situation eventually resolves itself in a surprising way. "While some readers will have trouble identifying with Millie, her trials and tribulations result in a story that is both funny and heart-warming," stated Sharon Morrison in a School Library Journal review. In Publishers Weekly a critic praised Millicent Min, Girl Genius as an "energetic first novel," while Horn Book contributor Jennifer M. Brabander predicted that preteen readers will "laugh and groan" at the efforts of the precocious but clueless narrator, "and will share her relief when she finally does make a friend."

Yee told Something about the Author: "My second novel, Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time, takes place during the same summer as Millie's book, only it's all from her enemy's point of view. When my daughter was eleven years old, she thought all boys were stupid and stinky. I wrote about Stanford to show her the other side of the story.

"For me, the writing process begins the moment I sit in front of my computer. Even though I spend an awful (and I mean awful) lot of time goofing off on the internet, I like to think of that as warm-up. When I really get going, time flies and it's the best feeling. I can get excited writing a first draft, or a good sentence. It amazes me that with only twenty-six letters in the alphabet, we can do so much.

"I write about people. I am more interested in the person who comes in second, than first. Someone who is flawless is boring. Give me a character who is unsure of himself, and suddenly the possibilities open up."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 1, 2003, John Green, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 125; May 15, 2004, Traci Todd, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 1638.

Horn Book, September-October, 2003, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 622; May-June, 2004, Martha V. Parravano, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 350.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2003, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 1185.

Publishers Weekly, November 10, 2003, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 61; August 16, 2004, "Girl Genius & Two Guys," p. 16; January 12, 2004, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 25.

School Library Journal, March, 2004, Sharon Morrison, review of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, p. 224.


Lisa Yee Web site, http://www.lisayee.com (March 19, 2005).

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Carlos Watson Biography - Was a Student Journalist to Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) Biography