Ellen Oh

Ellen Oh is the co-founder, CEO, and president of We Need Diverse Books and the author of a YA fantasy trilogy set in feudal Korea, the Prophecy series (Prophecy, Warrior, and King), and Spirit Hunters, a mystery for middle grade readers. All of her books feature strong female characters. In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Ellen talks her childhood and some of her favorite books, making the transition from law to writing, the inspiration behind her books, and the We Need Diverse Books movement.

Visit Ellen's author website to find more resources, including information about school visits.

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Ellen Oh is co-founder, President, and CEO of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. She is the author of the YA Prophecy fantasy trilogy set in feudal Korea (Prophecy, Warrior, and King), and Spirit Hunters, a mystery for middle grade students.

Ellen grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Her favorite teacher was a high school English teacher who encouraged her to write creatively. Ellen says he’s the reason she learned to love writing. She started writing in 2000, after reading an article about Ghengis Khan in Time Magazine. They had just named him Man of the Millenium and she was intrigued enough to buy a biography on him. Little did she know that she would learn about ancient Korean history from a biography about a Mongol! Ellen continued to dig into Korean history, with help from her father who translated many Korean books for her.

Ellen has an undergraduate degree from New York University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law School. She doesn’t miss practicing law at all.

Ellen lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and three daughters.