Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Ying Compestine

Award-winning author of over twenty books, Ying Compestine is a sought-after inspirational speaker who has visited schools all over the world. Her keen interest in cuisine has led her to weave food into her writing — from cookbooks, novels, to picture books for young readers. Schools often invite her to present from primary, upper elementary students, to teachers and parents. Besides assemblies, Ying also offers a week-long Writer-in-Residence program, writing workshops, as well as hands-on cooking demonstrations on healthy eating and cooking.

Her highly acclaimed novel about her life growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, has received over 33 national awards and has been selected as required reading in schools around the world. Several of her works are currently being optioned for film adaptations, television series, and video games.


For Younger Grades will highlight:

  • Her life as a writer growing up in China, emphasizing the rich culture and delicious food that are main themes in her books
  • The inspiration of behind writing her picture books
  • One of the short cooking videos of her preparing the recipes from The Runaway Rice Cake or Boy Dumplings

For Older Grades will highlight:

  • Her journey writing her novel Revolution is Not a Dinner Party, based on her life growing up in China
  • The process of writing a story: developing ideas, researching, writing, and revising
  • The importance of rewriting, with examples of her revision process from A Banquet for Hungry Ghost
  • The bittersweet experience of co-authoring Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier with her high-school son, as well as their research and writing process.

Here are some photos of her recent school visits.

Here are some photos and a video of her cooking the recipes from her books with students after reading their favorite stories.

Here are some of Ying’s cooking videos

Watch how to make dumplings Recipe from her picture book Boy Dumplings.

Watch how to make Rice cakes Recipe from her picture book Runaway Rice cake



New picture book The Chinese Emperor’s New Clothes, January 9th 2018

Ying’s bilingual picture book, Boy Dumplings is being developed into a TV series

Ying’s award winning novel, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, is being adapted into a feature film

Ying’s MG Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier is also optioned by a studio to be adapted into an animated film

What people say about Ying’s visits

“Students from kindergarten to fifth grade enjoyed presentations that enriched their writing skills and understanding of other cultures. Chopsticks-using contests and videos made Ms. Compestine’s words even more memorable!”

– Joanne Endo, Teacher, Baker Elementary School

“Ms. Compestine was a wonderful speaker and enthralled everyone from kindergarten through 8th grade.  Her personal stories are woven with her books in an entertaining and thoughtful way. The kids continue to talk about her visit.”

— David Giff, Middle School Librarian, HPA, Hawaii

“Ying took German Swiss International School (Primary) by storm.  Everything was well prepared and she left us wanting more. We definitely want her back and wait for her next book.”

– Megan Lindsay, Teacher-Librarian, German Swiss International School

“Ying Compestine just completed a highly successful visit to our Middle School Division at Singapore American School. She had engaging conversations with students and teachers throughout her stay and made separate presentations to our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. We would love to have Ying back to SAS in the future for a longer stay. ”

Ron Starker, SAS Librarian, Singapore American School

“The students were inspired by your life story and how it influenced your writing.  Teachers were pleased with your many writing tips for the students, especially the photos of the pages of rewrites!  You artfully modified your presentation to fit the audience grade level.  We hope that you will come to our school again.”

— Linda Reser, Librarian, ‘Iolani School, Hawaii

For information on Ms. Compestine’s books and presentations, visit

Why I Wrote Revolution– an interview with the Children’s Book Council



Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2 , Middle School , Upper School
Genres: Fiction