Crystal Chan

Crystal Chan grew up as a mixed-race kid in the middle of the Wisconsin cornfields and has been trying to find her place in the world ever since. Over time, she found that her heart lies in public speaking, performing, and ultimately, writing. She has given talks and workshops across the country; facilitated discussion groups at national conferences; is a professional storyteller for children and adults alike; and contributes to Wisconsin Public Radio.

In Chicago, where Crystal now lives, you will find her biking along the city streets and talking to her pet turtle. Her debut middle-grade novel, Bird, is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Stories from Crystal Chan

December 2, 2016

There’s tremendous power in giving. When writer Crystal Chan was the beneficiary of kindness in an unlikely place – Chicago traffic – she found a way to repay that kindness by giving to someone else.

June 22, 2016

For some people, rain is the chance to hunker down indoors. For others, rain is something to enjoy outdoors. Crystal Chan grew up with a rain-loving mother who encouraged her kids not to come inside when the rain drops fell but to go outside. Chan still loves rain to this day.

April 15, 2016

Many of us were forced to play sports as a child. Crystal Chan’s parents signed her up for tee-ball. One disastrous outing led to a change of plans.

December 30, 2015

It was a bad snowstorm, the kind that wipes out your vision, erases the world, and makes you break for a red light a full city block before you come to the intersection.

September 4, 2015

The first time I experienced wonder was on my first day in kindergarten.

August 12, 2015

My childhood home in Oshkosh lay on the outskirts of town, at the edge of a farmer’s field.

June 5, 2015

My dad never asked for directions. Never. He always knew the best way to get there, especially when he didn’t.

A winter path
January 14, 2015

Editor's Note: Snow and cold trigger warm memories for Crystal Chan. Now living in Chicago, she recalls what winter meant during a Wisconsin childhood and how she tries to recapture that now.

June 4, 2014

Crystal Chan grew up a mixed-race kid in Wisconsin. Shes been finding her place and answering people's questions about her place ever since.