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Christina Soontornvat facts for kids

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Christina Soontornvat
Born 1980 (age 41–42)
Occupation Author
Education Trinity University (BS)
University of Texas at Austin (MS)
Period 2016–present
Genre Children's and young adult fiction

Christina Soontornvat (born 1980) is an American author, educator, and mechanical engineer. She won two Newbery Honors in 2021 for the children's books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team.

Early life and education

Soontornvat was born in 1980, a daughter of Amnaj Soontornvat, a businessowner from Thailand and younger brother of Thai broadcasting executive Saengchai Sunthornwat. She attended Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Texas, graduating in 1998. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Trinity University in 2002, and a Master of Science degree in science education from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007.

Career

Prior to her literary career, Soontornvat worked at a science museum.

In 2020, Soontornvat wrote the children's books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team. In an interview, she stated that All Thirteen, which describes the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue, was told "from the Thai perspective as much as possible, and to let people know about Thailand". Both books were awarded a Newbery Honor in 2021, making Soontornvat the third author to receive two Newbery awards in the same year (after Meindert DeJong in 1954 and E. L. Konigsburg in 1968). She is the first author to win two Newbery awards in the same year for both fiction (A Wish in the Dark) and nonfiction (All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team).

Soontornvat, along with fellow writers Ellen Oh and Melanie Conklin, organized the Everywhere Book Fest, which took place May 1–2, 2020. It was created in response to book festival cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Tucson Festival of Books, where Soontornvat and Oh had been scheduled to speak on a panel. The event included live and pre-recorded segments featuring authors of children's and young adult books, and was attended by over 43,000 online viewers.

Personal life

Soontornvat lives in Austin, Texas with her husband. They have two children.

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