Meet the Author

Lensey Namioka

Portrait of Lensey Namioka

Lensey Namioka's first love is reading and writing adventure stories. As a child in China, she read Chinese martial arts novels, Sherlock Holmes stories, and The Three Musketeers. When she was eight, she wrote her first book on pieces of scrap paper that she sewed together with thread. It was about a woman warrior called the "Princess with a Bamboo Sword." As an adult, her first published stories were about the adventures of two samurai (warriors) in sixteenth-century Japan.

Writing wasn't Namioka's first career, however. When she moved to the United States from China at age nine, she knew no English at first. Math seemed easier than other school subjects because it used the same numerals used in China. Namioka ended up earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in math and then taught college math. But in time she turned back to what she had loved doing as a child: writing adventure stories.

Although she was born in China, Lensey Namioka has a Japanese last name. That's because when she married she took the name of her husband, who is from Japan. Her father, who helped to develop the current system for Chinese writing, came up with her first name. Namioka says her father liked to play with language; as a result, she says, "I am the only person in the world with the name Lensey."

Photography Credit


Other Books Written by Lensey Namioka

  • Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear
    (illustrated by Kees de Kiefte)
  • Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family
    (illustrated by Kees de Kiefte)
  • Yang the Eldest and His Odd Jobs
    (illustrated by Kees de Kiefte)